Saint John the Evangelist
ST 516: Creation & Eschatology (3CH)
The first part of the course will examine the Catholic
hope for an absolute future in the Risen Christ. We will investigate the
following subjects: the nature and basis of Christian hope; death, the
immortality of the soul, the resurrection of the body, heaven, hell,
purgatory, petitionary prayer and the consummation of history in the
The second part of the course will investigate the Catholic belief in
creation. We will approach creation as the foundation of God's union
with humanity in Christ. The course will also investigate the Fall and
Original Sin. Biblical traditions about creation will be considered as
well as contemporary theologies of creation and the fall. Throughout
this section of the course attention will be given to magisterial
teachings on creation and the Fall.
1) To become familiar doctrinally and theologically with the Christian
hope for the absolute future in the Risen Christ; how this impacts our
understanding of the human person, body and soul and how this hope
entails a hope for a new human communion in the Blessed Trinity.
2) To become aware of the distinctive nature of the Christian doctrine
3) To acquire knowledge about the doctrine of original sin and gain a
sense of contemporary efforts to better understand the doctrine.
4) To further expand the student's ability to think theologically.
One homily assignment, one online PowerPoint assignment or book review
and several short written assignments that answer focus questions on the
readings, a written exam, and oral final at the end of the course.
1. Homily/Book Review assignment.
Homily Option. Each student has write a homily revolving around the
course themes of eschatology, sin and creation. The homily will critique
how they appear in the movie Flatliners or The Matrix Reloaded. These
movies are to provide the cultural setting for the homily. For details
on this assignment contact instructor. The homily will be no less than 5
type written pages and is due November 30.
Book Review Option consists of a review of Carl Olson, Will Catholics be
Left Behind? (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2003)
2. PowerPoint Assignment TBA
3. Other Writing Assignments
Several shorter writing assignments make up part of the final grade.
These short writing assignments - 200 words minimum length - involve
answering focus question(s). The focus questions together with the due
date of the short writing assignments are given below.
Focus Questions for Eschatology:
Focus Questions for TBA Schonbom
reading: In what sense does Schonbom think that we can speak of a
distance between the kingdom and the Church? Explain. Does Schonbom
think we should speak of the Church as a sacrament of the kingdom?
Focus Question for TBA, Schonbom
reading: If the saints in heaven enjoy the beatific vision what can the
resurrection add to it? Is the resurrection merely an ornament? How does
Schonborn try to answer this question?
Focus Question for TBA, Kasper
Reading: Why does Kasper reject the idea that the consummation of the
cosmos is not merely the ripening of evolution and of history. Why is
Kasper reluctant to speak of the Parousia as involving a repeated
entrance of Christ into time?
Focus Question for Creation section:
Focus Question for TBA How does God
understand freedom in the state of original innocence? Explain.
Michael Schmaus, God and Creation, tr. Ann Laeuchli, (Westminster:
Christian Classics, 1986).
Joseph Ratzinger, In the Beginning: A Catholic Understanding of Creation
and the Fall, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmanns, 1995).
Zachary Hayes, Vision of a Future, Collegeville: (Liturgical Press,
Christoph Schonborn, From Death to Life, (San Francisco: Ignatius Press,
Additional Assignments TBA
Saint John the Evangelist Seminary
An Online Academic Program