The Catholic University of America

 Courses taught by Paul McPartlan

HSTR 203 The Church: Community and Institution

Why is the Christian life essentially one of community, and what kind of institutional organisation is appropriate for this particular community? These were central questions addressed by Vatican II in its constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, and they remain central questions in ecumenical dialogue seeking the unity of the Church today. This course will consider the life and shape of the Church at various points in its history, and the flourishing of study of the Church or 'ecclesiology' in the 20th century. It will closely examine the teaching of the Council itself and issues that have arisen in ecumenical discussion in recent decades on this topic.

TRS 364 The Catholic Church and Ecumenism

This course will discuss the involvement of the Catholic Church in the ecumenical movement from both an historical and a theological perspective. Attention will be given to the many dialogues the Catholic Church is now conducting, e.g. with the Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists. What are the achievements, the problems and the prospects?

TRS 641B Eucharist

A historical, theological and liturgical study of the Eucharist, examining the development of the Church's understanding of this sacrament through four main periods: New Testament; patristic; scholastic; and modern. Recent ecumenical perspectives on the Eucharist are also considered, together with a number of aspects of contemporary discussion of this sacrament.

TRS 641D Ordained Ministries

A historical, theological and liturgical study of Ordained Ministries, examining the development of the Church's understanding of the sacrament of Holy Orders through four main periods: New Testament; patristic; scholastic; and modern. Recent ecumenical perspectives on Ordination are considered, together with canonical aspects, the relationship between Holy Orders and celibacy, and the relationship between Holy Orders and gender.

TRS 728K Vatican II: History and Theology

The aim of this course is to set the event of the council in a historical and theological context so as to enable the council's teaching to be better understood and evaluated and the council itself to be more effectively implemented today. We particularly examine the four movements for renewal, patristic, biblical, liturgical and ecumenical, that strongly influenced the council, some of the leading pioneers in those movements, and seven of the major texts promulgated by the council, namely the constitutions on the liturgy, revelation, the Church, and the Church in the modern world, together with the documents on ecumenism, religious freedom and relations with non-christian religions. Finally, the ongoing impact and reception of the council both within the Catholic Church and beyond are considered.

TRS 765B Ecumenical Theology

Ecumenical dialogue on all levels has been taking place for the last forty years. Although substantial agreements have been reached, intricate theological problems remain to be solved, including the nature of consensus and the idea of Church unity itself. This course surveys a number of dialogues in which the Catholic Church is involved at an international level. Texts will be studied and analyzed and outstanding issues discussed.

TRS 766C Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue

Catholic-Orthodox relations entered a new phase with the lifting in 1965 of the mutual anathemas dating back to 1054, which precipitated the great schism. Recent decades have subsequently seen a concerted effort at reconciliation by means of a dialogue of charity and a dialogue of truth. This course examines the strategy and major achievements of this dialogue, particularly the agreed statements that have been reached by the international and the north American theological dialogue commissions, respectively. It also considers the problems that have arisen and the issues still outstanding on the path towards the restoration of full eucharistic communion.

TRS 862C Eucharist and Church

A doctoral seminar to explore and analyse aspects of the relationship between the Eucharist and the Church, with particular attention to `eucharistic ecclesiology¿, i.e. a eucharistic approach to understanding the Church. The scriptural and patristic roots of such an ecclesiology are examined, as well as the major development of this approach to the Church in modern times and its considerable ecumenical importance. Various issues, such as the ability of eucharistic ecclesiology to incorporate an adequate reference to Baptism, the Word, and primacy in the Church, are examined.

TRS 864C Theology and Ecology

In these times of ecological crisis, what resources does the Christian tradition have to offer to current debate? This seminar considers a range of material from the last half-century, with particular attention to contributions from Christian East and West, and to the ecological discussion that has taken place under the auspices of the World Council of Churches.