1.1.6. What kinds of courses do theology majors take?
The major in theology at St. Mary’s calls for ten theology courses distributed between the areas of Scripture and Thought and Practice. The course catalog gives descriptions more thorough than these brief summaries.
- Old Testament… survey of all or part of the writings of the Israelites and early Jews
- New Testament… survey of all or part of the writings of the first followers of Jesus of Nazareth
- Moral Theology… the theory and practice of doing the right thing. Abortion? Euthanasia? Is this just personal opinion? When is it not okay to just agree to disagree?
- Catholic Social Ethics… do religion and politics mix? Religion and work? Faith and citizenship? What does it mean to be a Christian other than Sunday morning?
- Health Care and Medical Ethics… does stem cell research save lives or take lives, or both? If my brain is dead and a machine is making my heart beat, am I alive?
- Christology… is Jesus God? Human? Both? Neither? What has he done for me lately?
- Ecclesiology… what is the Church? Do we need it?
- Sacraments… how do certain objects and actions in particular become encounters with the divine?
- Theology in the Southwest… how do regional language and culture, particularly those of the Southwest, shape experiences of faith?
1.1.7. What do theology majors get paid to do?
The theology major/minor can combine with other majors/minors in many interesting ways. Christianity is involved in a variety of endeavors besides Sunday morning worship, so theological training could come in handy in all sorts of areas such as non-profit/charity business leadership, healthcare, law and government, and media studies. The most direct areas of employment are teaching and parish work. A B.A. in Theology would be enough to teach in a catholic grade school or high school. It would also qualify one for jobs in youth or other parish ministry. One could continue study for the degree Master of Arts, which generally takes two years. In order to teach college level theology and write books one should plan on five years to pursue a Ph.D.
2.1. Who are the Israelites?
The Israelites are an ancient civilization that had a lasting impact on the world because they produced the books that became the Bible for all Jews and Christians (who also have additional books). They live on through the Jewish people, and Christians and Muslims claim spiritual descent from them as the first recipients of God’s revelation.
The word “Israel” refers to a person, a people, and a land. In the Bible, Abraham’s grandson Jacob is also given the name “Israel.” In general, the ending “–ites” means “sons of” or “descendants of,” so the Israelites are the people who claim descent from Israel the person . As a people the Israelites can be called the people of Israel or simply Israel. The land or territory in which the Israelites lived is also called the land of Israel or simply Israel. (If you continue Old Testament studies you will also learn that Israel can refer to the Northern Kingdom of Israel, in contrast to the Southern Kingdom, Judah.) The land and people of Israel are linked, especially in the Jewish perspective, because God promised to form a special relationship with one nation and make them secure in their own land. Christians and Muslims OH title loans recognize this special relationship but also believe that God later expanded God’s promise to all ethnic groups and all territories.
For Jews, the connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel was always special, but was interrupted for most of the past two thousand years. In the twentieth century Jews made an effort to restore a homeland for the Jewish people with its own territory and government. This culminated in the declaration of independence of the modern nation of Israel in 1948. This territory is also the home to Arab Muslims and Christians who identify as Palestinians. The struggle to achieve peace between Jews, Muslims, and Christians in this territory continues to be difficult. The term “Israeli” refers to a citizen of the modern state of Israel, while the term “Israelite” refers to the ancient civilization. Though separated by about 2500 years, they are connected through the Jewish people.