Syllabus: SS 665 St. John

2008 Fall, Boettcher

I. Overview

A. Goal

An exegetical course to study a NT book/epistle line-by-line, to learn and apply principles for interpretation, while coming to understand and apply what God is telling us through the text. Constant reference will be made to the integration of the text into the faith life of the Church.

B. Readings

1. The Gospel of John and 1-3 John.

2. Each is free to choose a translation, provided that it is Catholic.  That means: Douay, Confraternity, [New] Jerusalem, [New] RSV Catholic, New American, Good News Catholic.

3. One of the following commentaries/homily series on John: St. John Chrysostom, St. Augustine, St. Cyril of Alexandria, St. Thomas, St. Bonaventure.

II. Course method

We will simply read the Gospel ffrom one end to the other, expanding on certain passages and introducing various material relevant to understanding it.

III. Work and Grading

A. Each must choose a Patristic or Scholastic commentary written by a Doctor of the Church as a basis for interpretation, and follow it through.

B. All assignments are due on specified date and count towards the grade

C. Everyone is expected to contribute to discussion, by asking questions, or with observations or applications – not necessarily every session, but regularly.

D. Information, readings, and homework is found on the website: Check it a couple of times a week.

E. A paper or project written on a particular passage or theme of John’s. 5-8 pages.

The main point of the paper is to learn to apply the principles and methods of the course to text in a way relevant to Christian life. This could take several forms, for example: 1) a homily or reflection, together with the method and materials used in preparation (ie. not just the homily, but how you prepared for it, and what principles you applied to interpreting the text, and what sources/commentaries you consulted); 2) a thematic study, like ‘Healing in John’ or ‘Seeing is Believing’; 3) a word study, like ‘Titles of Christ and the Progress of Faith’ or ‘John’s use of Present and Past tense’; 4) a textual study, such as comparing two translations and their different effects on our understanding of Christ’s life and teaching. You are free to propose other work to the professor.

F. Some in-class quizzes may be presented