General Objective: To introduce students to the structural theme of Fundamental Theology: Divine revelation and its credibility—to this is added the corresponding act of faith on the part of the thinking and believing subject as a subjective principle of theological knowledge. To help students develop the capacity to dialogue with the cultures and religions they encounter and to “always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks (them) for a reason for (their) hope” (1Pt 3:15).
Course Outlines: The whole course is addressed transversally by “an original (creative) apologetics” (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 132; Veritatis Gaudium, Proemio 5), and by the dynamism from a theology of foundations to a foundational theology compatible with the relationship between faith and reason (cf. Fides et Ratio, 67). The main themes are: Fundamental theology today: identity, task, and content; towards a new theological apologetics; the credibility of Revelation: its possibility, fact and instances (theological, historical and anthropological); theological synthesis of faith (credere Deo/Christo, credere Deum/Christum and credere in Deum/Christum); Revelation and its transmission in the Church (Tradition, Sacred Scripture and Magisterium); Theological aspects of contemporary fundamental theology.
Bibliography: Alfaro, Juan. Rivelazione Cristiana, Fede Teologia. Brescia: Queriniana, 1986; Denzinger, Heinrich. Enchiridion Symbolorum: A Compendium of Creeds, Definitions and Declarations of the Catholic Church [Latin & English text]. Edited by Peter Hünermann. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2012; Dotolo, Carmelo. The Christian Revelation: Word, Event, and Mystery. Aurora (CO): Davies Group, 2006; Demski, William A. and Jay Wesley Richards. Editors. Unapologetic Apologetics: Meeting the Challenges of Theological Studies. Downers Grove IL: Intervarsity Press, 2001; Dulles, Avery. A History of Apologetics. 3rd Edition. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2005; Dulles, Avery. Magisterium: Teacher and Guardian of the Faith. Naples (FL): Sapientia Press of Ave Maria University, 2007; Dulles, Avery. Models of Revelation. Maryknoll (NY): Orbis Books, 1992; Dulles, Avery. The Assurance of Things Hoped For. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994; Dulles, Avery. The Craft of Theology: From Symbol to System. New York: Crossroads, 1995; Fisichella, Rino & Latourelle, René. Editors. Dictionary of Fundamental Theology. Middlegreen: St. Pauls, 1994; Fisichella, Rino. Introduction to Fundamental Theology. Casale Monferrato (AL): Piemme, 1996; Francis, Pope. Encyclical Letter “Lumen Fidei”. Vatican City: LEV, 2013; Fries, Heinrich. Fundamental Theology. Translated by Robert Daly. Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 1996; Gadamer, Hans-Georg. Truth and Method. New York: Crossroad, 1992; John Paul II. Encyclical Letter “Fides et Ratio” on the Relationship Between Faith and Reason. Vatican City: LEV, 1998; Gallagher, Michael P. Clashing Symbols: An Introduction to Faith and Culture. London: Longman and Todd, 2003; Latourelle, René and Gerald O’Collins. Editors. Problems and Perspectives of Fundamental Theology. New York, Ramsey (NJ): Paulist Press, 1982. Lonergan, Bernard. Method in Theology. Toronto: UTP, 1990; Mansini, Guy. Fundamental Theology. Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 2018; O’Collins, Gerald. Rethinking Fundamental Theology. Oxford: OUP, 2011; Ormerod, Neil. Foundational Theology: A New Approach to Catholic Fundamental Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2015; Rahner, Karl. Foundations of Christian Faith: An Introduction to the idea of Christianity. New York: Seabury Press, 2006; Ratzinger, Joseph. Principles of Catholic Theology: Building Stones for a Fundamental Theology. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1989; Rousseau, Richard. Disclosure of the Ultimate: Fundamental Theology Reconsidered. Lanham: University Press of America, 1990. Salvador, Pié-Ninot. Compendio di Teologia Fondamentale. Brescia: Queriniana, 2018. Schmisek, Brian. Resurrection of the Flesh or Resurrection from the Dead, Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2013; Seboüé, Bernard. Credere: Invito alla Fede Cattolica per le Donne e gli Uomini del XXI Secolo. 4th edition. Brescia: Queriniana, 2012.
Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of the course, students are expected to: identify the difference and complementarity of Fundamental Theology and Dogmatic Theology; the relationship between Fundamental Theology and other scientific disciplines; recognize the irreplaceable apologetic dimension in contemporary fundamental theology; use the theological resource of the argumentum logicum; elucidate in a synthetic manner the principal themes treated.