Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

Catholic Studies

Curriculum Description
Courses in Catholic Studies focus on both the theological and the cultural dimensions of Catholicism, showing the connections between Catholic faith and life. Students explore the theological development of Catholicism from the biblical world through major thinkers of the past to contemporary thought. They also examine the many ways in which Catholicism has shaped a view of God, world, and human experience as manifested in art, literature, ethics, and spirituality.

Faculty Advisor
William J. O'Brien, Ph.D., University of Chicago, Adjunct Professor of Theology, Georgetown University.  He works in the areas of interdisciplinary studies, especially in theology and literature, philosophical, histortical, and systematic theology.  obrienw@georgetown.edu

Degree Requirements
In order to earn a Master's degree in the Catholic Studies curricular field, students must complete six courses in this field including one Core course and one Human Values course or two Core courses, and a three-credit thesis reflecting this field.  To complete the total number of credits required for the MALS degree, 30 credits, three elective courses may be selected from any Liberal Studies courses or other courses at the University appropriate to this degree with the approval of the Program Director.  The selected curricular field will appear on the final transcript of record.

Catholic Studies courses are divided into three categories: Systematic, Catholic Culture and Society, and Biblical offerings.  Systematic courses explore the sources, traditions, and doctrinal elaborations of Catholicism; Catholic Culture and Society courses explore the ways in which Catholicism has expressed itself in art, literature, ethics, spirituality, and other areas of human culture; and Biblical courses use the modern tools of historical criticism and other current scholarly methods to examine the foundational texts of the religion.  Students are required to take two Systematic courses, two Catholic Culture and Society courses, and one Biblical course.

No course may be counted twice to satisfy the Core course requirement and the five Catholic Studies course requirements. A course may be counted twice to satisfy the Human Values course requirement and the five Catholic Studies course requirements.

Curricular Field
Click here for the current pamphlet describing the requirements for this field and the listing of its courses and faculty advisor.  The following courses are a sampling of recent course offerings in this field.

Curricular Field Core:

Christology: Jesus in History and Today
The Problem of Evil
Theologies in Conflict
Understanding Catholicism

Curricular Field Elective:

Adam and Eve in Theology and Image
Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and the Late Medieval Renaissance
Christian Orgins
Christology and New Physics
James Joyce: A Culture and Literary Study
Medieval Cathedrals,Gothic Architecture and Catholic Imagination

Curricular Field Human Values:

Aquinas and Kant On Faith
Christian God, Muslim God
Classics in the Catholic Tradition
Foundation: Dante: The Journey to Freedom
Religion and Society: Lessons from Latin America
The Art of Biblical Literature
The Book of Genesis: Literature, Ethics, and Theology
The Medieval Synthesis: Art and Religion in the Middle Ages
The New Testament and Social Justice
The Old Testament and Social Justice
The World of Plato
Theology and Literature
Three Models of the Mind: Aristotle, Kant, and Contemporary Mind-Brain Issues
Understanding the Symbolic Language of Religion

Courses:

MALS Thesis Proposal Workshop

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Georgetown MALS and DLS Graduate Pens Essay on Lifelong Learning

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