Frequently Asked Questions
How can I expect to benefit from taking required theology courses? How is theology related to the liberal arts curriculum at the university?
The classic definition of theology as “faith seeking understanding,” suggests the first benefit: studying theology enables a student to understand a faith tradition more thoroughly. A deeper understanding of one’s own faith tradition enables a person to practice it in a more thorough and informed way. All students at the University of Scranton, regardless of their religious background and commitments, benefit from an understanding of the Catholic tradition because this tradition is the foundation on which the University is built and the vision which inspires everything that is done here at the University of Scranton.
More broadly, the study of religion is important because it concerns the deepest questions humans can ask, and it is one of the most ubiquitous aspects of the human experience. Faith has motivated the greatest acts of philanthropy and the most intractable conflicts in history. Religion is everywhere –in popular music, movies, politics, advertising, and television shows. It is the backbone of all culture, and one cannot understand our own culture or others without studying religious faith. Any serious study of Christianity contributes to an understanding of history, literature, political science, philosophy and art --to name only a few of the disciplines that are directly related to the study of theology. And the reverse is also true. Your work in courses outside our department will aid your understanding of Catholic theology, history, art, engagement with the sciences, and so on.
Finally, theology classes will help you learn how to read carefully, think critically, formulate persuasive arguments, and communicate clearly. The skills you gain in reading and discussing the Bible or the works of St. Thomas Aquinas can also be applied to deciphering the annual reports of any company, understanding the chemical make-up of a drug or arguing a case in court.