Catholic Studies

On This Page

Program Overview

‌‌Catholic Studies is an inter-disciplinary inquiry into the intellectual tradition, history and culture, both "high" and popular, of the Catholic Christian tradition. While the field of study includes religious questions and theological issues, it primarily follows a "cultural studies" model. In addition to courses on the Catholic Church and issues in Catholic theology, it examines the role of the Catholic tradition in:

  • History
  • Literature and the arts
  • The history of science
  • Cultural and ethical issues related to many fields of professional practice



The purpose of the minor in Catholic Studies is to raise awareness of the distinctive contributions of the Catholic Church to religious, cultural, and intellectual issues throughout the last 2,000 years.

The minor in Catholic Studies will explore the texts, traditions, themes, teachings, and cultural role of the Catholic Church from its inception to its contemporary expression. Particular attention will be paid to its place in contemporary America. This interdisciplinary program will enable students to study the Catholic tradition - its ethos, identity, and mission - as made tangible in:

  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Literature
  • Theology
  • The fine arts
  • The social and behavioral sciences
  • The natural sciences


For a 15-credit minor in Catholic studies, students:

  • Complete five three-credit courses
    • One course must be RS 230: Introduction to Catholicism
    • At least two additional courses in the Department of Religious Studies
    • At least one course outside of the Religious Studies department

Course Offerings

See course descriptions from our catalog for more information.


  • BI 96 God and Modern Biology



  • EN 115 Dante
  • EN 161 Irish Literature
  • EN 162 Irish Women Writers
  • EN 211 The Age of Chaucer
  • EN 311 Chaucer's Canterbury Tales
  • EN 312 Medieval English Drama
  • EN 319 James Joyce
  • EN 372 All About Eve


Art History:

  • AH 120 Medieval Art
  • AH 121 The Celtic World and Early Irish Art
  • AH 130 Early Renaissance Art in Italy
  • AH 131 High Renaissance and Mannerism in Italy
  • AH 135 Renaissance and Baroque Architecture
  • AH 140 Baroque Art
  • AH 142 Art of Early Modern Spain and Latin America
  • AH 221 Art of Ireland and England
  • AH 222 Byzantine Art
  • AH 242 The Arts of Spain and Its World, 1474-1700



  • IT 289 Dante


  • HI 203 European Society in the Middle Ages
  • HI 205 Anti-Semitism: Medieval to Modern
  • HI 215 Ireland from the Middle Ages
  • to the Present
  • HI 288 Colonial Latin America, 1492 to 1800
  • HI 317 Religious Outsiders in Early Modern
  • France and European Jewish Communities



  • HR 202 Seminar: Dante



  • PH 207 Augustine, Pascal, and Camus
  • PH 208 Mysticism and Philosophy
  • PH 220 Philosophy of Religion
  • PH 261 Political Philosophy: Plato to Machiavelli
  • PH 282 Violence and the Sacred
  • PH 305 Aquinas
  • PH 320 Metaphysics
  • PH 322 The Problem of God



  • PO 115 Introduction to the Study of Peace and Justice
  • PO 147 Northern Ireland: The Politics of War and Peace



  • RS 220 The Writings of Paul
  • RS 221 The Good News of the Gospels
  • RS 222 The Writings of John
  • RS 320 The Reinterpretation of the New Testament


Catholic Studies:

  • RS 230 Introduction to Catholicism
  • RS 234 The Church
  • RS 235 Liberation Theology
  • RS 239 Last Things: The Catholic Belief in Life After Death
  • RS 244 Finding God in All Things: The Spiritual Legacy of Ignatius Loyola
  • RS 249 American Catholic Theologians
  • RS 255 Catholic Social Teaching
  • RS 299B Special Topics in Religious
  • Studies: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition
  • RS 341 Selected Topics in the Catholic Tradition
  • RS 343 The Papacy


Religious Studies:

  • RS 228 Early Christianity
  • RS 231 The Problem of God
  • RS 232 Jesus Christ, Yesterday and Today
  • RS 236 Christian Feminist Theology
  • RS 237 The Sacraments in Christian Life
  • RS 238 Evil
  • RS 240 The Medieval Church
  • RS 241 Encountering God in Medieval Christian Theology
  • RS 242 Voices of Medieval Women: Silent No More
  • RS 245 The Reformation Era
  • RS 252 Contemporary Moral Problems
  • RS 253 The Morality of Marriage in Christian Perspective
  • RS 257 Lay Perspectives on Christian Spirituality
  • RS 354 Saints and Sinners: Images of Holiness in Contemporary Fiction



Life After Faifield

Learn about how Fairfield's Career Planning Center can support your post-graduate goals, and how Fairfield's tight-knit alumni network can build career and mentoring opportunities that last a lifetime.

Search Results