University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Synoptic Study-Unit 2: Dogma

LEVEL 04 - Years 4, 5 in Modular UG or PG Cert Course


DEPARTMENT Fundamental and Dogmatic Theology, including Ecumenism

DESCRIPTION This study unit seeks to assist students in the final year of the course in their quest to reach a comprehensive and integrated approach to Dogmatic theology. Drawing on scripture and tradition for the data of revelation, students are to be able to examine and present coherently the major Christian doctrines. The inter-relationship existing among the various spheres of Dogmatic theology is highlighted, especially through an insightful reading of a number of theological texts during the seminar.

Learning Objectives:

1. At the end of the S.Th.B. course, candidates are expected to be able to elaborate at length on the themes outlined below and how they are interrelated. The aim of this study-unit is to examine the candidates' ability at synthesis in the field of systematic theology.

2. Reflection on God in the light of the act of faith and divine revelation reaches its climax in the mystery of the Incarnation of the Eternal Word. The life and the mission of Jesus Christ culminates in his Paschal Mystery. This mystery is re-actualised in the celebration of the sacraments by the Church, the community of eschatological salvation. The mission of the different members of the ecclesial community which is on a pilgrim journey of hope is to be highlighted. Furthermore, cognizance must be made of the contradiction prevailing between the profession of faith in the one Church of Christ and the actual divisions in this Church. Thus, the field of ecumenical theology has become the touchstone of sincerity in the theology of the Church and other ecclesial communities, in all their theological disciplines, and a criterion for the alertness of theological thought in general.

3. The relationship between christology and theological anthropology: Christ is man in an "ideal way" and so is an example to men and women and the ideal model for a theological doctrine of man. As viewed both in relation to God and man, christology therefore appears as the most radical recapitulation and transcendent culmination of theological anthropology. The ultimate destination of men and women is life in the Trinity.

4. The sacraments, as defined in the theology of the Church, are the seven vital actions of the Church in its liturgy which are efficacious for salvation. The symbolic reality of salvific Church life, bestowed by God's grace, to be known and accepted by men and women in faith, unfolds in various practical actions which are individually and socially perceptible. These – along with other modes of the mediation of salvation – are the sacraments, through which the Church, in its members, shares "today", i.e. at all times, in the eschatological salvation promised by God through Christ as his Word, and accomplished by God through Christ as the incarnate Son of God and mediator.

Reading List:

- General works which provide a useful synthesis on the themes covered in fundamental and dogmatic theology, such as: Rahner, K. et al., ed., Sacramentum Mundi
- Ford, D., ed., The Modern Theologians
- Galvin, J. – Schüssler Fiorenza, F., ed., Systematic Theology. Roman Catholic Perspectives, 2 vols, Minneapolis 1991
- Neuner, J. – Dupuis, J., ed., The Christian Faith in the Doctrinal Documents of the Catholic Church

ADDITIONAL NOTES Prerequisite study unit: - Units in Dogmatic theology covered throughout the course


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (3 Hours) Yes 100%

Rene Camilleri
Hector Scerri

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
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