ST 213 Sacramental Theology: An Introduction

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Module Level


Time Allowance

Lectures: 12 hours Private study: 8 hours Assignment: 10 hours



Module Aims

  • This course aims to introduce students to the theological understanding of sacraments. It will situate sacraments in their Christological and Ecclesial contexts and trace their historical development.
  • The sacraments of initiation will be treated in detail.

Learning Outcomes

  • At the end of the course, the student will: • Understand the sacramental nature of the Church and its source in Christ the Sacrament of God • Appreciate the gradual development of sacraments and, at the same time, realize that the sacraments are rooted in Christ • Realize the anthropological underpinning of sacraments • Distinguish between the scholastic terms ‘principal’ and ‘instrumental’ causality • Be aware of the usefulness of the term ‘symbol’ and, at the same time, be alert to its pitfalls • Have an in-depth understanding of the sacraments of initiation • Be able to distinguish the theological differences of Baptism and Confirmation based on significant passages in the Acts of the Apostles as well as the writings of the Fathers. • Understand the Eucharist as the source and summit of the Christian life • Appreciate the Ecumenical issues concerning sacraments
  • Indicative Syllabus: • Christ as sacrament of God; the Church as sacrament of Christ • History of the sacraments from Scripture, through the patristic and medieval period, to contemporary issues in sacramentality • Institution of the sacraments by Christ • The relationship between nature and grace and its significance for sacramental theology • The richness of the Scholastic theology of sacraments and the subsequent encrustation of Neo-Scholasticism • The theology of symbol as understood by Rahner, Chauvet and others • Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist • Implications for Ecumenism