St. Gregory the Great Christianity & Culture Minor

Program Coordinators: Dr. Farrell O’Gorman (English - Chair); Dr. Grattan Brown (Theology); Dr. Patrick Wadden (History) 

Program Mission: Building on the foundational knowledge of the Western tradition emphasized in Belmont Abbey College’s core curriculum, the minor in Christianity and Culture is designed to help students attain deeper understanding of how Christian thought and practice engage culture (broadly interpreted). Specifically, the minor incorporates study of Christianity’s roots in the Mediterranean, stages of growth in Europe, expansion to the Americas, and current global status. Students will explore how Christianity has engaged in intensive dialogue with distinct cultures—sometimes cooperative, sometimes combative, always transformative—and will thereby become better prepared to bear witness to its continuing potential to do so. They will also become more aware of both real historical differences and ecumenical possibilities in Christian thought and practice. Ultimately, students in the minor will better understand the relationship of Christianity to culture in their own time and place. They will be able to articulate that relationship in conversation with a variety of audiences and to translate and connect their experience of the Benedictine heritage on our campus to the world beyond it.

Annual courses with a donor-funded study abroad component are a distinctive component of the minor. Students in these courses will have the opportunity to visit Rome, where the seed of the Gospel first took root in the West and which remains the center of Roman Catholicism, and the British Isles, which nurtured those forms of Christian experience most historically influential in the United States.

Minor in Christianity and Culture: 15 hours:  Students must complete 15 hours of courses from the following list. Of those 15 hours, at least 3 hours must be earned in each of the following disciplines: English, History, and Theology.

CC 201 Catholicism in America Introduction to 1) the historical and cultural experience of Catholics in America and 2) the role of Catholicism in the American imagination. The course is multidisciplinary, with primary attention to history and literature, occasional consideration of theology and the social sciences, and some attention to the role of Catholics in professional life. While the main geographical focus of the course is the United States, the broader American hemisphere will necessarily receive some consideration (for example, saints of the Americas)

CC 350 Topics in Christianity and Culture (cross-listed). Offered in Spring semester. Special topics. In this course, students will complete at least one assignment that could be expanded during CC 351. (3)

CC 351 Studies in Christianity and Culture (cross-listed). Prerequisite: CC 350 Study abroad course offered in Summer (travel in May-early June), with tuition rolled into Spring Semester. This course builds upon the foundations laid in Topics in Christianity and Culture, which is a prerequisite for enrollment. The course will be centrally focused on a study abroad experience during which students will visit sites of historical and cultural significance as well as attend lectures and participate in seminar-style discussion. Students may be required to give oral presentations on topics related to the locations visited. On the basis of the travel, presentations, and classes attended abroad, students will develop a significant research paper over the course of the summer, perhaps expanding a paper already completed in CC 350

Other Courses:

  • EN 400 Special Topics (on Christian topics or authors such as Tolkien, Dostoevsky, O’Connor)
  • EN 403 Medieval Literature 
  • EN 413 Dante 
  • EN 421 Love in the Literary Tradition 
  • HI 334 Religion and Revolution in Early America 
  • HI 350 History of the Benedictine Tradition 
  • HI 360 The Crusades 
  • HI/TH 366 Islamic Beliefs and History 
  • HI 405 Christianity and Colonialism 
  • PO 371 Catholic Political Thought 
  • PO 402 Medieval Political Philosophy 
  • TH 325 Protestant Tradition 
  • TH 340 Catholic Social Teaching 
  • TH/HI 341 Church History 
  • TH 345 Theology of Sexuality and Marriage 
  • TH 370 Theology of Science 
  • TH 371 Theology of Culture 
  • TH 384 The Virgin Mary 
  • TH 425 Theology of Ecumenism