DO520CE Fundamental Theology

This course in fundamental theology will introduce students to the complex issues surrounding the interchange between faith and reason. The goal of this course is to help students to solidify their intellectual foundation for the work of theological study.

Course Syllabus

Many people in our world today approach theology from an emotive or even fundamentalistic approach. The Catholic tradition has always understood that the gift of human reason can be used to study revealed truth. Faith and reason are not opposed, but work in concert to arrive at the truth. This can be a challenging course because of the use of philosophy and human reason. This course will help students in the work of evangelization by giving them a solid grasp of the problem of modern faith, with a special emphasis on preaching the gospel in our modern times.

Course Objectives:

  • To provide students a foundation for Christian theology using the gift of reason.
  • To assist students in their preaching and teaching by highlighting modern issues that can cause difficulties.
  • To provide students with an opportunity to engage in serious theological thinking, reasoning, and writing.

Required Texts

  1. Guy Mansini. Fundamental Theology. Catholic University of America Press, Washington, DC, 2018. ISBN: 9780813229850
  2. John Paul II: Fides et Ratio:
  3. Joseph Ratzinger. Introduction to Christianity. Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 2004. ISBN: 0739456253
  4. Josef Pieper. Problems of Modern Faith. Franciscan Herald Press, Chicago, 1985 Pages 1-12 (scan provided)

Module 1   Introduction

  • understand how belief in the transcendent that we call God is revealed in scripture and tradition.
  • understand the connection between faith and reason and their important role in theology.
  • become familiar with how scripture is interpreted by the Church in the Historical-Critical Method.
  • identify that language is imperfect in explaining and defining God.


Module 2 - Faith

  • understand that faith enables us to believe in God and in all that God has revealed.
  • Know that our faith is itself a graced gift of God and cannot be generated by our own acts or private beliefs.
  • be aware that faith results in religion which binds us into a relationship with God.
  • comprehend that faith is a response to God’s revelation and requires the submission of one’s mind and will to God.
  • know that the Magisterium of the Church is responsible for interpreting and transmitting Catholic belief and teachings that are found in Sacred Scripture and Tradition.


Module 3 - Reason

  • understand the basic difference between faith and reason
  • know that reason is a gift from God
  • recognize the difference between rationalism, materialism and determinism
  • appreciate the unique relationship between faith and reason when working together they assist in understanding God’s revelation to mankind
  • comprehend that we know God through revelation


Module 4 – Co-Existence of Faith and Reason

  • discuss what is meant by the transcendent.
  • understand what is meant by theology.
  • recognize some of the contributions to Theology by St Thomas Aquinas.
  • comprehend “Moral Law” and how it applies to a believer.


Module 5 – The Truth

  • understand that all truth comes from God.
  • recognize that science operates rationally along with faith.
  • appreciate that when we err against faith, the Holy Spirit will guide us back to the truth.
  • comprehend that the existence of God can be understood with faith and truth.


Module 6 - Revelation

  • comprehend that because of God’s love for us he communicates with us through revelation.
  • understand that the scriptures reveal many of God’s revelations.
  • realize that God has revealed himself in nature and through our conscience.
  • appreciate the gift from God in the Incarnate Son.
  • grasp that in Jesus we have seen the Father.




Module 7 - Language

  • understand that our language limits us in our description of God.
  • realize that terms to describe God are analogous.
  • comprehend that all this can have goodness and only God is good.


Module 8 - Philosophy

  • Understand and discuss the distinction between philosophy and theology
  • Understand and discuss the relationship between philosophy and theology
  • Discuss the value of philosophy to Catholic theology and the Catholic Church
  • Identify and describe some of the ways in which the theological works of St Augustine were influenced by Plato and the Platonic Tradition.


Module 9 - Scripture

  • understand the importance of knowing that scripture is a revelation from God.
  • recognize that one of the Old Testament key elements is the prefigurement of revelation of the Son of God as the Messiah.
  • distinguish the message of salvation given to us by Jesus.
  • comprehend that in knowing the scriptures, we will develop a personal relationship with God who wants to communicate with us.


Module 10 – Tradition and traditions

  • Understand that tradition is in addition to Sacred Scripture a self-communication of God to the Church.
  • Realize that traditions come from scripture and apostolic word.
  • Recognize that Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture contain the single sacred deposit of the word of God entrusted to the Church.


Module 11 - Hermeneutics

  • Understand the development and aspects of the Historical-Critical Method.
  • Comprehend the steps necessary in this method of biblical interpretation.
  • Recognize the need to accurately determine the original meaning of the text by the author.
  • Be aware that the Church employs other methods besides the Historical-Critical Method.


Module 12 - Ecclesiology

  • understand the meaning of One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
  • comprehend that Christ is the head of the Church and we as members are the body.
  • recognize that the light of Christ is present with us in the Church.
  • know that the sacraments are grace filled moments in the life of the Church.
  • identify that the Church holds true to the teaching of Jesus in its magisterium.