Study Theology Overseas
Theology majors and minors are encouraged to study abroad. Specific courses taken abroad may substitute for St. Thomas requirements. The exchange with Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia, is particularly suitable. For program options, see the chair of the department, Dr. Bernie Brady, or a study abroad advisor in the International Education Center.
The Department of Theology regularly offers these courses abroad. Visit the International Education Center's website for details about current offerings.
Theo. 101 in Rome
This course is designed to acquaint students with the contents of the Bible and with Christian history, especially in the context of the Catholic tradition. Through careful reading of a core of common texts, a variety of site visits and guided tours, as well as written assignments, students are expected to attain a basic understanding of human experiences as interpreted by major areas of Christian theology (including revelation, God, creation, Jesus, and the Church). Emphasis will be placed on the city of Rome, its role in Christian history, and the cultural expressions of Christianity found in its environments. See what two instructors wrote about the course in this article from the fall 2014 newsletter of the department, Theology Matters.
AIDS, Apartheid, and the Arts of Resistance in South Africa
Through analysis of works of artistic resistance, students in this course will examine the interrelationships between two catastrophes of the modern era in South Africa: Apartheid and AIDS. Students will approach works of art with theological lenses to explore such themes as lament, imago Dei, prophecy, theodicy, justice/charity, memory, storytelling, covenant, forgiveness/reconciliation and hope. Artistic examples will be drawn from the visual arts (both "fine-" and "folk-" styles), music, literature (novel and poetry) and film. Students will learn about the arts of resistance through guest presentations and through visits to selected sites in Johannesburg and Cape Town and their surrounding areas. Students will participate in the arts of resistance by service work conducted at the Central Methodist Mission church in Johannesburg and the Scalabrini Center in Cape Town. Students will integrate the dimensions of the course by reflecting on a theological theme by reference to works of visual art, music, literature and film. See what Kim Vrudny wrote about the course in this article from the fall 2014 newsletter of the department, Theology Matters.
Nazism and Apartheid: Theological Roots
Christian theology has been implicated in giving support to the nationalisms that gave rise to the Nazi party under Hitler in Germany in 1933, and to the National party under Malan and Verwoerd in South Africa in 1948. This course will examine the theological rationales that Christians used to support both movements, as well as the Christian theologies that were used by the resistance that ultimately contributed to the dismantling of both systems of government. The course will take students to significant sites in and around Berlin to visit with theologians, clergy, rabbis, and other guest speakers in order to study the historical and theological contexts that gave rise to Hitler as well as to the resistance; then we will fly to Cape Town to visit with theologians, clergy, and other guest speakers to examine the transfer of the “Aryan” project to South Africa under apartheid law and the “black theology” that played a role in dismantling the system. Through readings from the course textbooks and compiled excerpts, lectures, and site visits, students will learn about political dimensions of theology in the modern world through these two case studies.
Christianity and World Religions in Hawai'i
Using Christianity as its point of reference, this version of THEO 424 focuses upon the religions of the Pacific Islands (including indigenous religions practiced on the Hawai’ian islands) and Asia (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Shinto, Taoism, and Confucianism), as well as Christianity. The course will consist of lectures by faculty from UST and experts from the University of Hawai’i, field trips as well as student presentations, discussion groups, and experiential learning activities, including service learning and field trips.
The Church in Latin America: Guatemala
Study Christian theology and practice in a context of the great struggle for human dignity. From on-location in the Guatemalan highlands, students will study the experiences of Guatemalan churches in the twentieth century. These churches serve as a lens for analyzing the various forms that Christianity has taken in Latin American history since the Spanish Conquest. Students will study the politics, history, culture and economy of Guatemala in order to join with Latin Americans in reflecting theologically on the meaning of the gospel in its historical context. Theological topics explored may include evangelization, Christology, sin, martyrdom, poverty, the nature of the Church, the Eucharist and the Church’s role in Guatemala’s peace process. Practical service activities will be combined with academic study. The class will also follow the VISION Program’s six-point philosophy. See what Dr. Schlabach wrote about the course in this article from the fall 2014 newsletter of the department, Theology Matters.
Pilgrimage in Italy: The Christian Experience from the Early Church to the Catholic Reformation (UST)
This course introduces students to the significance of Christian pilgrimage to Italy and explores each development including the early period, Medieval, Renaissance, and Catholic Reformation time periods.
John Paul II in his Polish Context (UMAIE)
Examine the life, thought and ongoing significance of Pope John Paul II against the background of the history, culture, and politics of his native Poland. Students attend lectures at the Catholic University of Lublin and visit sites in Lublin, Cracow, Częstochowa, and Wadowice. Prerequisites: THEO101, THEO 200/300-level; PHIL115.
Consult the International Education Center's web page for additional information.