Theology Department

At Canterbury, we believe in promoting the application of Christian principles through student engagement in the study of theology. Theology classes at Canterbury invite students to learn about the scriptures and traditions of major world religions while challenging them to consider the meaning and purpose of life and the effect of behavior and action. Theology teachers are active in the Campus Ministry program outside of the classroom. Students are required to take 1/2 credit of theology each year.

Theology courses range from a study of world religions to a course on mystic visionaries, or a semester-long study of Catholicism The Third and Fourth Form curriculum is standard and theme-based; Fifth and Sixth Formers choose from a number of electives.

DEVELOP

  • A deeper appreciation of your own religious tradition.
  • An understanding of the origin and tenets of the major world religions.
  • An awareness of how our image of self is formed.

REFLECT

  • On the lives of such figures as Thomas Merton, Mother Theresa, and Dorothy Day.
  • On the role of spirituality in your own life.
  • On how to redress social and economic disparities.

CONSIDER

  • The influence of world religions on contemporary issues and international situations.
  • The importance of engaging with ethical issues and social justice.
  • The moral responsibilities that come with a Christian worldview.

2016 - 17 Course Offerings

Theology

Co-Chairs: Frank Bice and Tracy Garcia-LaVigne

The Theology Department educates young men and women in the Catholic sacramental worldview and tradition in a challenging academic environment. Students discern their relationship with God and their neighbor and consider the moral rights and responsibilities that come with this relationship. The academic program includes an in-depth study of life of Jesus and his mission, Scripture, tradition, Catholic social justice, morality, and world religions. The program informs our school community through active participation in service to others and the liturgical life of the School.


Accordion

THEOLOGY III (FALL AND SPRING)

This course introduces students to the concepts of morality and social conscience. Students will use Canterbury’s Five Values as a framework to explore the aspects of the development of character and its influence on decision making as well as our relationship with God, self, and others.

For Third Formers

THEOLOGY IV (FALL AND SPRING)

This course introduces students to various methods of reading sacred Scripture with a primary focus on the Holy Bible. The first semester is devoted to the Jewish Scriptures with a particular emphasis on the concepts of creation, call, and covenant. The second semester focuses on the Christian Scriptures and Jesus Christ. The year ends with an application of Biblical teachings to contemporary social justice issues.

For Fourth Formers

JUSTICE, PEACE AND SERVICE (FALL AND/OR SPRING)

In this course students study the critical connection between justice and peace. It is our responsibility to understand the consequences of any kind of injustice and its relation to discrimination, poverty, and war and do something about them. Students begin by investigating these issues in the world today; students explore ways of helping others, both near and far; and students seek practical applications by doing service projects to complete the course.

For Fifth and Sixth Formers

WORLD RELIGIONS (FALL AND/OR SPRING)

This is an introductory study of past and present world religions. Looking through a chronological lens, students begin with the development of religion as a way to interpret and understand the primitive world. In the first semester, students will study the earliest indigenous traditions as well as Hinduism and Buddhism. In the second semester, students go beyond the eastern traditions and explore the monotheistic traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Added to our historical and doctrinal study is a review of the ethical stance each religion takes on the contemporary issues of peace and justice.

For Fifth and Sixth Formers

GRIEF AND LOSS (FALL AND/OR SPRING)

Grief and Loss is an exploration into the different aspects of grief, death, and life. Students will explore common misinformation about grief, as well as the different types of loss other than death. Other topics covered are different cultural perspectives on death, the survivor’s experience of grief, and different cultural and religious beliefs about life after death. We also explore near-death experience and conclude the course by reading the book The Shack. The goal of the course is to introduce students to loss in a way that is informative and give them tools to help navigate this experience in the future.

For Fifth and Sixth Formers

TOPICS IN MODERN RELIGIONS (FALL)

This course considers how various world religions influence and continue to shape contemporary issues and international situations. This course explores, but is not limited to, political, ethical, social, economic, and ecological issues. Using a variety of online and print resources, students specialize in three main topics of their choosing throughout the semester, one of global impact, one specific to a religious tradition, and finally, one of generational impact. In this way, students are able to explore topics, which pique a personal interest and are able to pursue them more deeply. Topics include sacred art and architecture, poverty in a war of plenty, war, stewardship and the use of natural resources, capital punishment, euthanasia, the changing role of women and clergy, and the rise of fundamentalism.

For Fifth and Sixth Formers

SAINTS AND MYSTICS (SPRING)

This course is an introduction to the essential texts and themes of the world’s great mystic visionaries. Paying special attention to both historical context and the sacred feminine, this course is organized around thematically grouped extracts from many traditions, including Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, and Jewish. The goal of this course is to introduce and illustrate the unique and inspiring personalities (medieval to modern day) that embody the mystic experience. Representative figures include Teresa of Avila, Mother Teresa, and Thomas Merton.

For Fifth and Sixth Formers

THEOLOGY VI (FALL AND SPRING)

This full-year course combines the study of Scripture, tradition, and cultural issues. From exploring the books of the Old and New Testaments, to studying the works of the Apostolic Fathers and Apologists, the class examines the history of the Church and its mission. The course offers the opportunity to study the lives of the saints and an in depth study of the philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas in a context that relates to the students’ experience.

For Sixth Formers

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