Intellectual formation is “deeply connected with, and indeed can be seen as a necessary expression of, both human and spiritual formation. It is a fundamental demand of the human intelligence by which one ‘participates in the light of God’s mind’ and seeks to acquire a wisdom which in turn opens to and is directed toward knowing and adhering to God.” (PDV 51).
The priest is sent first of all to preach the Good News. Jesus himself was sent to teach. “He passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem” (Lk 13:22). In his teaching, the priest participates in the prophetic mission of Jesus. For this reason, intellectual formation of future priests “finds its specific justification in the very nature of the ordained ministry, and the challenge of the ‘new evangelization’ to which our Lord is calling the Church.” (ibid.). In his first letter Peter exhorts the first Christians: “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope” (1Pt 3:15). “If we expect every Christian to be prepared to make a defence of the faith and to account for the hope that is in us, then all the more should candidates for the priesthood and priests have diligent care of the quality of their intellectual formation in their education and pastoral activity. For the salvation of their brothers and sisters they should seek an ever deeper knowledge of the divine mysteries.” (ibid.).
The academic component of priestly formation is meant to offer a seminarian an organic and syntethic knowledge of catholic theology. A sound philosophical and theological training is essential for him. It also helps him deepen his faith and his relationship with the person of Jesus Christ. Candidates for the priesthood are called to study and meditate the Word of God in the light of the tradition and teaching of the Church. They must also learn to express it in a language that can be readily understood in the social and cultural situation of today.
The present situation, heavily marked by religious indifference, by a widespread mistrust regarding the real capacity of reason to reach objective and universal truth, and by fresh problems and questions brought up by scientific and technological discoveries”, as well as by “the present phenomenon of pluralism, which is very marked in the field not only of human society but also of the community of the Church herself”, makes the intellectual formation of the future priests more urgent. This situation “strongly demands a high level of intellectual formation, such as will enable priests to proclaim, in a context like this, the changeless Gospel of Christ and to make it credible to the legitimate demands of human reason.” (ibid.).
given through the years of Priestly Formation
in the Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Gozo
- Systematic Philosophy
- History of Philosophy
- Fundamental Theology
- Sacred Scripture
- Dogmatic Theology
- Moral Theology
- Pastoral Theology
- Sacred Liturgy
- History of the Church
- Canon Law
- Auxiliary Courses
INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY (2 ECTS) (Can Frank Bajada)
- Introduction: What is Philosophy?
- The Principal Themes of Philosophy
- Human Knowledge and the Epistemological Problem
- Philosophy and the Physical World
- The Anthropological Problem
- A Brief Introduction to the Principal Philosophical Schools throughout the History of Philosophy.
LOGIC: CRITICAL THINKING (2 ECTS)
The main aim of the course is to bring the traditional subject of logic directly into contact with the various fallacies that crop up in various fields of knowledge and communication; analyzing the roots and causes of different type of fallacies.
Attention will also be given to:
• The general rules covering the construction of valid inferences.
• Language and its oneness with thought, reasoning, and communicating; its variety and uses.
• Deduction and induction; hypotheses and probability; verification and falsification.
• Analysis of the roots and causes of different types of fallacies.
PHILOSOPHY OF KNOWLEDGE (5 ECTS) (Can Frank Bajada)
1. Method and History of Epistemology. 2. Towards truth: Logical and ontological truth in Saint Thomas. 3. The subjective and the objective poles in knowledge. 4. The Structure of Consciousness and its relation to reality. 5. The finality of knowledge. Critical Examination of the various sources and ways of knowledge: self-knowledge, knowledge of matter; reasoning, memory. 6. The Problem of Error. 7. Scepticism and its problematics. 8. The dynamic character of human knowledge. Limits of human knowledge and their transcendence.
PHILOSOPHY OF BEING (5 ECTS) (Can Frank Bajada)
a) Ontology as the “discourse of being” as being. Possibility and limits of such a discourse. Notion, subject and history of Metaphysics.
b) Being and its Attributes.
c) Analogy of Being.
d) The Transcendental properties of finite and infinite being.
e) Principles of Being
f) The predicaments of finite being: form and matter, substance and accident, act and potency.
g) Causality in the world – Coordination and subordination of causes in the order of efficiency, finality and exemplarity.
h) Beyond the crisis of Metaphysics.Readingsof selections from Aristotle’s Metaphysics, De Ente et Essentia of St. Thomas and Heidegger’s Being and Time.
PHILOSOPHY OF THE PHYSICAL WORLD (4 ECTS) (Can Frank Bajada)
Epistemological status of the world – Man and the world, evolution of world visions, the various grades of knowledge of the world, cosmology. The structure of corporeal beings – analysis of change, potency and act, substance and accidents, accidental categories, unity of form and matter, physical and metaphysical essence of matter. The nature of the world – mathematics, kinetics, dynamics. Some particular problems: the being of the world, natural evolution of the universe, finitude and contingency of the universe, physics and creation. The value of the world.
PHILOSOPHY OF THE HUMAN PERSON (5 ECTS) (Mgr Anton Borg)
The main objective of this course is to go in detail in the study of the human person through the reflective or subjective method; man as an incarnate spirit, a being in the world, man as a social, free, corporal, historical, culturally conditioned being; as man is seen as a moral subject anthropology offers the basis for morality, other issues dealing with man’s irrevocable decision in life, his final decision in death, the problem of evil; his intellectual dynamism towards the Absolute to be deeply discussed.
– Man’s search for meaning: nature and importance of a philosophical anthropology.
– The human person as a moral subject and as a norm of moral behaviour.
– Man as a being with others: his relational reality.
– Man as a self-conscious being: intelligent and free.
– Man as an interiority within a body.
– Man as a historical being: his unique self-realisation in freedom.
– Man as mortal and yet as transcending death.
– Man and culture.
GENERAL ETHICS (5 ECTS) (Mgr Anton Borg)
The main objective of this course is to give a better understanding of ethics as the directive science that guides human acts according to the ultimate principles of reason; to distinguish ethics from other sciences; to bring to light man’s awareness of moral values, of moral experience; to examine, through a historical-critical exposure of the principal moral doctrines, various philosophical explanations of moral experience; to deepen one’s knowledge on the relation between moral value and man’s happiness, positive law and natural law, moral norm and moral conscience.
• Moral philosophy
• The phenomenon of the Moral Fact and the Moral Value
• The Idealistic Kantian solution
• The Positivist and Collectivist solution
• The Existential solution
• The Phenomenological and the Assiological solution
• The Moral Norm – the Good – the Reasonable Nature – Reason
• The End of Man and Happiness
• The Natural Moral Law
• Natural Moral Law and Positive Law
• Some Ethical Notions
PHILOSOPHY OF GOD (5 ECTS) (Can Frank Bajada)
Nature, object and history of Natural Theology. The proof of God’s existence through reason. Atheism and its various forms. Classical arguments for the proofs of God’s existence: ontological, cosmological, anthropological, teological, moral, religious experience. Theological language and ineffability of God. Essence and attributes of God: fullness of Being, Simplicity, Goodness, Eternity, Immutability, Freedom. The problem of evil. God’s action: how the existence of God explains the World and its order and the existence of humans. Science and the proof of God.
HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY
I. ANCIENT GREEK PHILOSOPHY (4 ECTS) (Mgr Jimmy Xerri)
This will introduce the student to the known beginnings of philosophy, to the transition from myth to rational thought, its first developments, and principal actors. The course will cover classical Greek thought, from the 6th Century B.C. to the 4th A.D., to include the Presocratics, the Sophists, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.
II. HELLENISTIC-ROMAN PHILOSOPHY (4 ECTS) (Mgr Jimmy Xerri)
The chief objective of the course is to show how the social change from City-State to Empire affected philosophy, causing it to sideline metaphysical and physical speculation in favour of the ethical and practical. The course covers the period that stretches from the 4th century B.C. to the 7th A.D., having as its major contents: Stoicism, Epicureanism, Cynicism, Eclecticism, Scepticism, Jewish-Hellenistic Philosophy, and Neoplatonism.
III. PATRISTIC PHILOSOPHY (4 ECTS) (Mgr Jimmy Xerri)
• The main objective is to understand the thought and thinkers of the first eight centuries of the Christian era. Reflection will be centred on the various attempts of the Church Fathers to use philosophy to defend and formulate the teaching of the Church. There will be an examination of the various social and historical contexts that aided or thwarted the development of a “Christian Philosophy”.
• The course will include: the Greek Apologists, the Alexandrines, the Latin Apologists, the Cappadocians, Augustine, John Damascene, Boethius.
IV. MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY (4 ECTS) (Mgr Jimmy Xerri)
• The aim of the course is to study the doctrines and minds of what is generally known as Scholastic Philosophy, covering the period from the ninth to the fourteenth century. Not unlike the Patristic period, Scholasticism is closely connected with theology and the Church, but still it merits the name of philosophy.
• The course embraces:
i) The Preparatory Phase: the Carolingian Renaissance, Scotus Eriugena, Anselm, Arabian and Jewish Philosophy.
ii) The Great Syntheses: Bonaventura, Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus.
iii) The Decline: William of Ockham.
V. THE RENAISSANCE AND EARLY MODERN ERA (4 ECTS) (Mgr Jimmy Xerri)
• The aim is to study the two centuries (15th & 16th) of the rebirth of classical Greek philosophy, a period considered as transitory and introductory to the Modern Era, of which the first two centuries 17th& 18th) will also be treated.
• The Renaissance: The revival of Platonism, Aristotelism, Nicholas of Cusa, Machiavelli, Giordano Bruno, Galileo Galilei, Frances Bacon, the revival of Scholaticism.
• Early modern Period: Descartes, Pascal, Spinoza, Leibniz, British Empiricism, The Enlightenment, Kant.
VI. LATER MODERN PHILOSOPHY (4 ECTS) (Mgr Jimmy Xerri)
The objective of the course is to cover the main thinkers and schools of thought of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The principal subjects of the course will be: Idealism, Kiekegaard, Nietzsche, Neo-Thomism, Pragmatism, Analytical Philosophy, Phenomenology, Existentialism, Postmodernism.
INTRODUCTION TO THEOLOGY (2 ECTS) (Fr Daniel Xerri)
Main objective: The course intends to help students understand the true meaning of Theology and the importance of theological formation for future priests, in the light of Pastores dabo vobis.
The course: Nature and function of theology. True theology proceeds from the faith and aims at leading to the faith. Christological and ecclesial dimensios of theology. Theology at the service of truth and of revealed Truth. Theology at the service of the Church and its Magisterium. Relations between theology and philosophy. Monastic and scholastic theology. Positive and systematic theology. Theological pluralism. Various theological disciplines. A complete and unified vision of theology. Pastoral nature of theology.
DIVINE REVELATION (4 ECTS) (Mgr Saviour Grima)
The principal objective of this study is to know how God intervened to come out of his mystery and addressed himself to humanity. It is an attempt to have the most necessary answers to the most important questions of modern man when focusing his attention on the theme of truth itself. It gives an idea of a very long process that involves the Incarnate Word of God whose teachings and redeeming actions are made present today in all the salvific ministry of His Church.
The course covers the problematic aspect regarding the universality of Revelation. The supernatural reality of Revelation and its manifestation in the Old Testament. The historical character and the manifold forms of Divine Revelation. Reflections on Revelation in the writings of the Fathers of the Church. Revelation and Creation. Incarnation and the fullness of Revelation. Miracles and Revelation. The apostolic transmission. The assistance of the Holy Spirit. The mutual relationship between Sacred Tradition and the Scriptures. The Church’s Magisterium and credibility in transmitting Divine Revelation.
FAITH, REASON AND RELIGION (5 ECTS) (Mgr Saviour Grima)
The purpose of this course is to present the fact that knowledge through faith differs from purely rational knowledge. It explains that alongside and in addition to an “I know” which is proper to man’s intellect, there is an “I believe” proper to the christian. It means that with faith one receives an access, even if obscurely, to the mystery of the intimate life of God manifested through supernatural revelation, which relationship is expressed explicitly in a particular religious way of life.
The course covers the reality and various stages of Faith in Holy Scripture, Tradition and in the Church’s teaching. Faith as a supernatural gift offered to human being. Faith embraces reason and the free will of man. Faith manifested in believing community and leads to eternal salvation. The formal and material object of Faith. Man as a religious being: his rights and duties orientated towards God. The truth about religious search as known to mankind through Revelation. The supremacy of revealed truths through Christ. The miracles, prophecies and Christ’s Resurrection as manifestations of the one and true religion.
INTRODUCTION TO THE BIBLE (4 ECTS) (Mgr Lawrence Sciberras)
The course: Achievement of the human mind apart from Christ. The patriarchal period: Abraham and the environment. The Jews in Egyptand Moses. The formation of the kingdom: Samuel, David, Solomon. Reasons for deportation into the exile of Babylon. During he exile: its positive and negative effects (586-536). The Liberation. Attempt to rebuild the temple. The Greco-Roman World and the religious fact. The Kingdom preached by Christ. Christianity and the Church.
INTRODUCTION TO THE OLD TESTAMENT (4 ECTS) (Mgr Joseph Sultana)
The course: The study of hermeneutics: literary forms. Inspiration and inerrancy. Their effects. Biblical language. The formation of the Canon of the Old Testament. Canonical, deutro-canonical and apocryphal books. The Massoretic Text. Efforts to guarantee accurate transmission. The importance of the Qumran Text. The Septuagint. The translations dependent on the LXX. The Council ofTrent. The Vulgate.
INTRODUCTION TO THE PENTATEUCH (4 ECTS) (Mgr Lawrence Sciberras)
The question of authenticity. The origin of the dependent legal collections and codes. The growth of the four sources strata: Yahwist, Elohist, Deuteronomist, Priestly. Terminology, content, scope and style. The development from the original law-book to the present book of Deuteronomy. A study of the four other books of the Mosaic era.
THE POETIC AND DIDACTIC BOOKS (5 ECTS) (Mgr Joseph Sultana)
The prayer of Israel: introduction to the psalms: terminology and enumeration, authorship and date; compilation and growth of the Psalter; theological ideas. The Canticle of Canticles. Introduction to the Sapiental and Hebrew thought and the relative problematic. The nature of the Book of Wisdom: the problems of happiness and retribution.Readingof selected passages: Ps 1-9;Wis1-5;Wis6-9; Qoh.
THE PROPHETIC LITERATURE (5 ECTS) (Mgr Lawrence Sciberras)
The prophetic charism: Vocation, consecration, mission. The concept of “prophet” in the O.T.: perspectives and interpretation. The books of the later prophets. The prophets before the exile: Amos, Hosea, Michea, Proto-Isaias. Exegesis of the Book of Emmanuel (Is 1-39). The prophets of the 7th century and the beginning of the 6th century. Exegesis of the messianic prophecy in Jeremiah. The prophets of the exile period. Ezekiel: the problem of the vision and symbolic action; the great messianic prophecies. Deutero-Isaias: theology of the book and exegesis of the canticles Ebed-Yahweh. The prophets of the Persian period (538-332). The prophets of the restoration: Aggeus, Zechariah (1-6), Trito-Isaias (56-66). The prophets of the 5th and 4th century: Malachi. The Book of Daniel: literary genre, interpretation, theology of history.
GREEK AND HEBREW CULTURE OF THE BIBLE (4 ECTS) (Mgr Joseph Sultana)
Methods of biblical textual criticism. Orthographic errors in the N.T. Greek text. The Jewish Synod of Jamnia. The Targum, the Midrash, the Mishnah. The principal Jewish feasts referred to in the N.T. The feasts of the Passover, of Expiation (Yom Kippur), of the Weeks, of the Boaths. The Sabbath. The Archaeology of theHoly Land.
INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT (4 ECTS) (Mgr Anthony Mizzi)
The main objective of the course is to acquaint the student with the literature of the New Testament, its relationship to the Old Testament, its geographical and historical setting and its relation to Judaism and the Hellenistic Roman environment and provide a reliable chronology for important events in it. The New Testament is seen in its relationship to the Old Testament and as an ecclesial proclamation of Jesus’ message and the Apostles’ teachings. Attention is given to the geographical aspects ofPalestinedepicting the physical environment and the biblical geography related to the Gospels and Acts. The historical outlook, of Judaism in the Hellenistic and Roman period, starting from Alexander the Great up to the Second Jewish revolt is covered, thus providing a setting for the study of the Jewish religious environment including the Apocalyptic and the Jewish life and belief in the time of the New Testament both in Palestine and in the Diaspora. The Hellenistic-Roman environment is taken also in account considering the first century A.D. society, pagan religious movements and early Gnosticism. The chronology and the literary forms of the New Testament are also studied.
THE SYNOPTIC GOSPELS (5 ECTS) (Mgr Anton Mizzi)
The main objective is to enable the student to appreciate the uniqueness of each one of the Synoptic Gospels in the examination of their content, stucture and theological perspective and to be familiar with the discussions in biblical scholarship dealing with various topics in the study of the Synoptics. The course. The following issues are considered based on the wide consensus in the present state of research: the origin and nature of the Gospels; the history of the Synoptic problem and proposed solutions. An introduction to the Gospels dealing with the literary and historical aspects will be followed by a detailed discussion to bring out the overall theological message. This discussion will include the Christological titles, the parables and the miracles of Jesus. Exegesis of some selected texts will also provide the opportunity to discuss problems arising from the text.
THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES (4 ECTS) (Mgr Anthony Mizzi)
The main objective of this unit is to show to the student that not only the Christ’s events were part of the divine design but even the events of the primitive community, if read in the correct perspective, reveal God’s plan in Jesus for the salvation of all, and what happened in the Church from its beginnings had the effect of continuing Jesus’ work, thus relating Acts to Luke’s Gospel which appeal to the same authorship into a single narrative arc within a historical and theological framework. The course. Treating Acts as the second book of Luke responding to his perspective, the course will s’eek to examine the various literary aspects: the content, language and style, structure and literary genre. The question about its purpose will be addressed. This will entail a study of the close connection between narrative and theology in Luke and to illustrate fundamental theological themes of Luke: universal salvation, Jesus Christ, eschatology, pneumatology and ecclesiology. Other issues to be tackled: its historical value and authorship. A detailed study of selected passages will discuss certain problems arising from the text and show the significance of the Lukan narrative for the Church today.
THE GOSPEL & LETTERS OF JOHN (5 ECTS) (Mgr Anton Mizzi)
The main objective is to acquaint the student with the main issues debated in the Johannine studies, to explore the background, literary character and theology of the Fourth Gospel as a whole and to be introduced with the contemporary interpretation of this Gospel.
The course covers the major Johannine questions of authorship, composition, dating, and its relationship with the Synoptic Gospels will be discussed. Other issues are studied: influences on the religious thought of the Fourth Gospel (Gnosticism, Hellenism, Judaism), its historical value and its purpose. An outline of the Fourth Gospel is indicated. Other important aspects in the Gospel to be dealt carefully are: the literary character of the Gospel especially the narrative tradition and the dialogues; the theological character of the Gospel: christology, eschatology, Johannine faith. A detailed exegesis of some selected passages will be included.
THE PAULINE LETTERS – I (5 ECTS) (Mgr Anthony Mizzi)
The main objective of this course will permit the student upon reading Paul’s letters, to come in contact with his great personality during his ministry and to develop an appreciation for the major issues in Pauline thought, particularly his christocentric soteriology, anthropology and eschatology. First consideration is given to Paul’s life to situate his letters and his thought in the story of his ministry. A glance is given at the epistolary genre and on contemporary studies of Paul’s letters. A reading of the first four letters of Paul,1 and 2 Thessalonians and 1 and 2 Corinthians discussing issues of authorship, integrity of composition and other problems where necessary. The content and the theological message of each letter is expounded, followed by an exegesis of some selected texts to explore certain Pauline doctrinal themes: Christology (Christ’s role in salvation history), ecclesiology and eschatology.
THE PAULINE LETTERS – II AND THE LETTER TO THE HEBREWS (5 ECTS) (Mgr Anthony Mizzi)
The main objective of this course is to allow the student to come further in contact with other important issues in Paul’s thought especially his christocentric soteriology, the situation of humanity before Christ and his moral teachings applied in Christian life. The Letter to the Hebrews provides its dominant theological theme on the priesthood of Christ. This unit will continue to read the other Pauline letters: Galatians and Romans, the Captivity Letters (Phil.,Col., Eph., Phlm.), the Pastoral Letters (1-2Tim., Ti) as well as the Letter to the Hebrews, discussing issues of authorship, integrity of composition and other problems where necessary. The content and the theological message of each letter is expounded, followed by an exegesis of some selected texts to explore certain Pauline doctrinal themes: christology (Christ-event and its effects expressed in different images: justification, reconciliation, etc.), anthropology (sin, law and man), ethics (in Christian life); Christ’s priesthood in Hebrews.
THE BOOK OF REVELATION AND THE CATHOLIC LETTERS (5 ECTS) (Mgr Anton Mizzi)
The main objective of this course is twofold: with respect to the Catholic Letters, the student will be introduced to the literary, historical and theological aspects of each one of the seven letters; on the other hand, the Book ofRevelation’s apparent inaccessibility of meaning will be encountered by treating the literary character, namely its structure and symbolism, and the theological significance of the book.
The course. A. The three letters of John. The principal introductory issues will be discussed: the literary context, structure, literary genre, authorship and the theological themes about Christology and Christian life.
B. The book of Revelation. The study of Revelation will entail the attention to the following literary aspects: literary genre, structure and symbolism. Authorship is discussed too. A general outlook to the theological themes will be further explicated through the exegesis of some selected passages.
C. First and second Peter, James and Jude. Each letter will be studied in a threefold dimension, that is by exploring its literary, theological and historical social aspects, not least in marking any particular feature.
THE MYSTERY OF GOD (5 ECTS) (Mgr Saviour Grima)
The objective of this course is to reflect on a systematic theological understanding of God in the Trinitarian mystery through the relationship and revelation of the Incarnate Word and the salvific event realized completely in the fullness of time. The aim of God’s relational approach to His Chosen People in the Old Testament and continued in Christ in the New Covenant is to create a special encounter in the believer with the immanent Trinity in and through the economic aspect of the same mystery in human history. Modern man and the presence of God. God’s existence as manifested in Sacred Scripture through His self-manifestations. The essence of God and His Divine attributes. The divine knowledge, love, justice and mercy. The Trinitarian mystery as revealed in the New Testament by the Incarnate Son. The major heretical opinions in the first centuries and the developments of the Trinitarian theology in the early Fathers of the Church. Theological aspects of the Triune God: internal processions, relationships and persons within the Holy Trinity. Common divine activities ad extra and appropriations.
THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST I – INCARNATION (5 ECTS) (Fr Hector Scerri)
The objective of this study-unit is to explore the mystery of the Incarnate Word and to delve into the identity of Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Man, the “one mediator between God and men” (1 Tim 2,5). This unit seeks to reflect on this great mystery adhered to by all those who believe in Christ, namely, that for the salvation of the world, the Son of God, while remaining fully divine, became truly and fully human. After an inductive starting point, the course discusses – in a preliminary way – the chronological question in the nascent Church. The basic New Testament presentations regarding the person of Jesus Christ are then outlined, as are the main facets of contemporary christological reflection. The theology of the Incarnation is studied in order to be able to grasp, in detail, the controversies which arose in the first centuries with regard to the identity of Jesus Christ. The central doctrine on Jesus as presented by the ecumenical councils of the fourth, fifth and sixth centuries is thus highlighted: his Divine Sonship, his humanity, his two natures and the hypostatic union, his two wills and twofold activity, and other related themes.
THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST – II: REDEMPTION (5 ECTS) (Fr Hector Scerri)
Aim: This study-unit focuses upon theological reflection on the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ, namely his suffering, death and resurrection. The solidarity of the Incarnate Word with humanity is examined, in particular as this has been revealed in the Passion narratives and in the Easter stories. The way different authors over the centuries have reflected upon the Paschal Mystery offers a variety of profound insights on the theology of redemption.
The course: A Christian understanding of authentic liberation. The death of Jesus as a saving act of God. The suffering of the righteous man and his discipleship. The significance of Jesus’ death as interpreted by him. The passion and death of Jesus in select theological texts over the centuries. An indepth reading of sections from von Balthasar’s Mysterium Paschale and Moltmann’s The Crucified God, among other authors. The mystery of Holy Saturday. The risen and transcendent Lord. The basis of belief in the resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus as exaltation. The corporeality of the Risen Lord. The Ascension of Jesus. Jesus as the new High Priest. The satisfaction of sins.
THE THEOLOGY OF GRACE (5 ECTS) (Mgr Joseph Farrugia)
The concept of ‘grace’ in the Bible: the O.T. background; the N.T. and the beginning of the theological concept. History of the theology of grace; the patristic era; St. Augustine; controversies and Church Councils; St Thomas Aquinas; the Council of Trent and its consequences; modern times. The theology of grace; good and bad deeds; the impossibility of the sinner recovering on his own and of every human being persevering without sin except with the help of Grace. The freely-given supernatural grace. Sufficient grace. Justification through faith and grace. Grace and original sin. Grace and freedom.
ECCLESIOLOGY (5 ECTS) (Mgr Joseph Farrugia)
The origin of the Church, its institution by Christ. Nature of the Church. New Testament ideas. Patristic, mediaeval and modern developments. Church as universal sacrament, life and structure. Mystical Body of Christ. Authority in the Church, its teaching office. The infallibility of the Pope.
The Episcopal College. Membership of the Church necessity. Unity of the Church – Apostolic succession. Church as Holy and Catholic. The heavenly Church and the pilgrim Church.
MARIOLOGY: MARY “ICON OF THE MYSTERY” (4 ECTS) (Fr Gerard Buhagiar)
The main objective of the course is to offer the student how the latest developments in exegesis and theology, based on Sacred Scripture, especially during the last half of the twentieth century, have contributed greatly to the place of Mary in the salvation history. She is the messianic woman that accompanies Christ and the Church, as well as the valuable model in the ecclesial image. The course: the history of both dogma and theology presents the faith of the Church and its enduring attention to the Virgin Mary and to her mission in the economy of salvation. A particular analysis of Chapter VIII of Vatican II “Lumen Gentium”. A doctrinal synthesis about the Virgin Mary in the light of the mystery of Christ and the Church. Other mariological reflections from the Church’s Magisterium, in the catholic theology, in the liturgy and in the ecumenical movement and pastoral activity.
ESCHATOLOGY (2 ECTS) (Mgr Joseph Farrugia)
Eschatology as part of Theology, its importance. The Judgement, the resurrection from the dead and eternal life in Scripture. The teaching of the Church as found in Tradition and the latest developments.
THEOLOGY OF THE SACRAMENTS IN GENERAL (4 ECTS) (Mgr Joseph Farrugia)
The notion of ‘sacrament’ in the Old and New Testament. The N.T. Sacraments instituted by Christ. The number of sacraments: historical development. The symbolism of the Sacraments in the Church Fathers. Efficacy of the Sacraments and grace ‘ex opere operato”. The character conferred by Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders. The matter and form of the Sacraments. The attention and intention of the minister of the Sacrament.
THE SACRAMENTS OF BAPTISM AND CONFIRMATION (4 ECTS) (Mgr Joseph Farrugia)
The institution of Baptism. Baptism in theological thought. Necessity of Baptism and Faith. The matter and form, minister, subject, effects of Baptism. The fate of children who die without Baptism. Regarding Confirmation: data of Revelation, the Church Fathers and the Magisterium. Confirmation as an integral part of the rite of initiation. The essence, matter and form, minister and effects of Confirmation.
THE SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST (5 ECTS) (Mgr Joseph Farrugia)
The course: The Eucharist in God’s salvific plan: its preparation in the Old Testament, its institution in the New testament, the testimony of the Primitive Church. The Eucharist as a Sacrament: Christ’s Meal, transubstantiation, the Eucharist koinonia. The Eucharist as a sacrifice: the Church’s teaching about the Eucharist as the sacrifice of Christ and the Church, the adoration due to the Eucharist.
THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY ORDERS (2 ECTS) (Mgr Joseph Farrugia)
The priesthood of Christ and the institution of the Christian priesthood. The essence, matter and form of the sacrament. Ministerial priesthood and its relation to the ‘priesthood’ of the faithful.
THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE (5 ECTS) (Mgr Anthony Borg)
The main objective of this course is to understand the moral experience of penance, of conversion and of reconciliation as found in biblical, patristic, scholastic, theological studies; to bring to light the penitent’s personal penitential process and the Church’s sacramental power to pardon sin. The Tridentine theology of Penance and the renewal of the sacrament in the light of the Ordo Poenitentiae. To deal the pastoral aspect of the sacrament with specific categories of penitents; to affirm the use of penitential and Eucharistic liturgies in the life of the Church in dealing with penitents. An outline of the biblical, historical, dogmatic, moral and pastoral aspects of the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. Forgiveness of sins in the New Testament; in the early Church and in the Patristic age. The sacramental structure of ecclesial penance: the Scholastics, Tridentine, and Post Tridentine theology. Crisis of the sacrament and its pastoral practice.
THE SACRAMENT OF ANOINTING (2 ECTS) (Mgr Joseph Farrugia)
This course deals with suffering and the ministry of the Church. The subject matter is divided in two parts. The first part of the course addresses the issue of the theological interpretation of human suffering. The second part considers the sacrament of the anointing of the sick: its foundations in Scripture and Tradition and its salvation context.
CHRISTIAN ANTHROPOLOGY (4 ECTS) (Fr Hector Scerri)
The aim of the study-unit lies in studying the truth about man in the light of Revelation. Man has been created in the image of God, and is called (a) to be his friend and thus the recipient of his love, and consequently (b) to be the steward of creation. The study-unit presents a theology of creation and man’s place in the divine plan. The course seeks to treat various themes, including man’s creation in God’s image, the gift of human freedom, the complementarity of man and woman, the human soul, the original state of human beings constituted in supernatural grace, the fall, suffering and death, and the promise of salvation.
BIBLICAL MORAL THEOLOGY (2 ECTS) (Mgr Joseph Sultana)
The main objective of this course is to emphasise the use of Holy Scripture in the study of Moral Theology, the relation between right reasoning and Holy Scripture; the latter offers us with a biblical anthropology to better understand Christian morals; to deepen the Christian meaning of the Decalogue, the intrinsic connection between ethics and religion as upheld by the prophets; the Sermon on the Mount; to read the categorical moral norms of the New Testament in the light of the fundamental commandment of the agape. The importance of Holy Scripture in Moral Theology. The Decalogue, its formulation. The prophet’s interpretation of the Decalogue. The Decalogue in the light of Christ’s ethical message. The Sermon on the Mount and the Commandment of Love. Moral issues predominant in the primitive Church.
THE VIRTUE OF RELIGION (4 ECTS) (Mgr Anthony Borg)
The main objective of this course is to deal with the first three commandments of the Decalogue with special reference to Sunday Restand the Eucharistic meal; the theological life of the christian as seen in the virtue of Religion; importance is given to Prayer and to Christian cult; popular religiosity and sins of false cult (superstition, satanism) are dealt with. The religious phenomenon and its interpretation. The religious structure of Christian morality. The first three commandments. Sins contrary to the nature of religion: irreligion, false cult. The Lord’s day and the Eucharist. The sacraments: a personal encounter with Christ; signs ofthe ecclesial community. Special ways of honouring God: prayer, reverence for the sacred, the vow, the Lord’s day.
THE MORAL NORM (4 ECTS) (Fr Joseph Farrugia)
The main objective of this course is to look at moral life as a dialogue between God calling and man answering, God calls in a concrete situation and by universal norms; to understand the moral norm – the criterion to discern the good from the bad as grounded in man’s nature and in God’s revelation, man is he whom God had in mind when He sent His Son in this world; to gain a better understanding of the role of the Church’s Magisterium on moral matters.
• The religious-personal character of Christian morality.
• The concrete Will of God and universal moral norms.
• The function of “law” in Christian morality.
• The Natural Moral Law and the Law of Christ.
• Christ the norm of Christian morality.
• The human law: notion, obligation, fulfilment, civil law and the moral order.
THE MORAL CONSCIENCE (4 ECTS) (Mgr Anton Borg)
The main objective of this course is to know how God directs man in the concreteness of His calling through moral conscience; the dictate of conscience regarding the placing of the act, one’s personal judgement and the act to be placed, the material-objective moral order; to emphasise the interdependence between fundamental option and concrete moral acts in the moral experience of the christian; the specificity of christian conscience; the right to follow one’s conscience and the duty to form moral conscience according to Truth.
• Fundamental option and man’s free concrete acts.
• The nature and dictate of conscience.
• Knowledge of the moral good.
• Freedom and autonomy.
• The Christian conscience.
• The formation of conscience.
• Moral conscience and ‘super-ego’.
• Religious freedom.
THE HUMAN MORAL ACT (4 ECTS) (Mgr Anton Borg)
The main objective of this course is to deal with the structure, the presuppositions and the conditionings of the moral act; only the moral act is the act specifically human; to examine the sources of the moral act, namely (a)the material act, (b)the intention of the doer and the free will of the moral agent (c) the conditionings of the intention and free will; to tackle deeply moral principles: voluntary in cause, the principle of double effect, the principle of totality, the lesser evil and the conflict of values.
– The human act: the personal actuation of the moral good.
– The personal structure and constituent principles of the human act.
– Obstacles impairing the human act.
– The sources defining the morality of the human act.
– The imputability of indirectly willed actions.
– The principles of totality, of double effect and conflict of values.
THE THEOLOGY OF SIN (4 ECTS) (Mgr Antony Borg)
The main objective of this course is to deal with sin understood as the act that destroys man’s communion with God, with himself, with his fellow men and with nature; to study the biblical, the patristic, the scholastic and the theological understanding of this negative human act; to comprehend better Original Sin and the Sin of the World that form as background for man’s negative moral behaviour; to understand Jesus Christ’s salvific act from evilness and man’s adoption as son and heir to the Kingdom of God. The reality of sin: biblical, patristic, theological, anthropological reflections. Distinction of sins: venial and grave. The sources of sin: the sin of the world and original sin. Seduction, scandal and co-operation in the sin of others.
THE VALUE AND INVIOLABILITY OF THE HUMAN LIFE (5 ECTS) (Can George Frendo)
The relation of the human life and its integrity to the moral order. “thou shalt no kill”: the law and precept in Revelation, and further theological elaboration. The teaching of the Church’s Magisterium. Direct and indirect killing. Killing in the name of society. Killing in a just war. Suicide, euthanasia, abortion. Responsibility for one’s health. Treatment, operations, preservations of life, cooperation. Surgery and experimentations on human beings.
RIGHT AND JUSTICE (5 ECTS) (Mgr Antony Borg)
The main objective of this course is to deal with justice from different aspects: social, legal and moral; commutative and distributive justice are extensively treated; the relation between moral order and the juridical order of justice; the biblical and the theological foundation of justice; the social teaching of the Magisterium of the Church is examined.
– Right and Justice: the NT message and the socio-economic order.
– A sound anthropology as the basis for an integral economic progress.
– An analysis, classification and characteristics of justice.
– Ownership in general and its different types.
– Injustice in general and its different types, reparation.
– Church’s teaching regarding the dignity of the human person and his fundamental human rights.
– Human solidarity and its relation with the principles of common good and subsidiarity.
– The virtue of justice incorporating its relation to Law, Love and Peace.
– The social teaching of the Magisterium on Social Justice.
– Work in the social teaching of the Church, including duties and rights of workers, trade unionism and workers’ partecipation.
HUMAN SEXUALITY AND THE VIRTUE OF CHASTITY (5 ECTS) (Fr Edgar Busuttil SJ)
The main objectives of this course are:
A. To give a personalistic approach to moral norms dealing with sexual activity.
B. To apply this approach in a pastoral setting. Sexuality has to do with corporeality and with anthropology as proposed in Scripture. Human beings’ vocation to love gives meaning to human sexuality; a call to love that transcends conjugal love and opens itself to intimacy with God. Human Sexuality needs to be seen in the context of an integral growth of human persons. Human beings must educate themselves to a love of sharing. The moral norms of the Magisterium on sexual matters will be seen in the light of such a self-education to love – the virtue of Chastity.
• Sexuality and sexual ethics in Scripture.
• Theological reflection on sexuality.
• Sexual ethics in traditional moral theology and in personalistic moral theology.
• Christian marriage and its profound spiritual foundation; its juridical aspects and its indissolubility.
• The requirements of Chastity within marriage. The responsible and authentic expression of conjugal love.
• The requirements of Chastity outside the covenant of marriage;
• Celibacy and the vow of Chastity.
• Recent Magisterial teachings on Love, Sexuality; Marriage and Family in various documents of the catholic sexual ethics.
• Dealing pastorally with people on sexual matters in the confessional and in pastoral counselling.
C. Helping couples prepare for marriage and helping married couples to grow in their vocation: conjugal love, responsible parenthood…..
D. How to deal with pre-marital sex; adultery; masturbation; promiscuity; prostitution; pornography; sexual abuse; child abuse…
E. How engage pastorally with: the divorced re-married; cohabiting couples; homosexuals; transsexuals…
THE SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE (5 ECTS) (Can George Frendo)
The course: Marriage in the O.T.: hermeneutic criteria; marriage as a gift of creation; historico-religious conclusions: the convenant of grace proclaimed by the Prophets in the image of a marriage. Marriage in the N.T.: “the marriage theme” from Matthew to the Apocalypse and in the saving context of Christ’s “bridal” relationship with the Church, Eph 5,21-31. Moral teaching on marriage absolute indissolubility, unity, finality. Marriage in the Patristic tradition: its sacramental nature. Theological reflection and Magisterial Definitions: marriage in medieval theological reflection; the Protestant crisis and the Council of Trent; post-tridentine theological reflection and practice of the Church up to the C.I.C.; the teaching of Leo XIII, Pius XI, Pius XII; Vatican II, post-conciliar documents. Moral and pastoral aspects; conjugal love, responsible parenthood and related problems. Conjugal and familiar spirituality.
CHRISTIAN SOCIAL ETHICS (IV & VIII COM) (5 ECTS) (Can George Frendo)
Christian Social Ethics in a historical perspective, in the biblical, theological and ecclesial contexts. Nature of and distinction between “person”, “society” and “international community”. Ecclesiology and diaconia: rights and duties of the ecclesial community. “The truth will set you free” (In 8,32): Christ himself, the saving Truth. Man who searches for Truth. A phenomenology and a sociology of truth. Truthfulness and discretion in communication. Truth and covenant fidelity. Human honour.
PASTORAL DIMENSION OF CATECHESIS (SEMINAR) (2 ECTS) (Mgr Saviour Debrincat)
Catechetical methodology: catechesis as a theological science; psychology in the service of catechesis. Theological and pastoral renewal of catechesis. Catechetical anthropology. The pastoral efficacy of the Word of God. Catechesis: the mission of the Church, in the local Church, in the parish community, in the ‘domestic church’.
THEOLOGY OF THE LAITY (SEMINAR) (2 ECTS) (Mgr Saviour Debrincat)
Ecclesiology and the laity after Vatican II. Co-reponsibiliy of the laity in the Christian communities. The formation of the laity: a theologico-pastoral approach. The ‘common priesthood’ and the ministerial priesthood: lay ministers and the emerging role of the lay person in the Church: lay apostolates and lay movements: types of lay ministries. The Universal call to sanctity: the spiritual life of the laity; the priest in the community of tomorrow.
INTRODUCTION TO LITURGY AND THE LITURGICAL YEAR (4 ECTS) (Fr Ignatius Borg)
The main objective of the study of Sacred Liturgy is to gain better and clearer comprehension of the nature of liturgy, in all its fullness and with all its implications. “The Liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; it is also the fount from which all her power flows” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 10).
PART I: General introduction. The place of Liturgy according to the Second Vatican Council. The meaning of the word Liturgy. Liturgy in the Greek and Roman world. Liturgy in The Old and New Testament. The Liturgical movement. The Theology of Liturgy. The Spirituality of Liturgy. Pastoral Liturgy.
PART II: Introduction to the Liturgical year. The Theology of time. The Theology of the Liturgical year. The Spirituality of the Liturgical year. A historical view of the evolution of the Liturgical year. The Liturgical Calendar.
THE LITURGICAL YEAR IN PARTICULAR (2 ECTS) (Fr Ignatius Borg)
The main objective of this course is to enter more deeply into the meaning of the various moments that constitute the liturgical year, starting from “the day which the Lord has made” (Psalm 118,24) and which is “the foundation and kernel of the whole liturgical year” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 106). The course: Sunday, the Lord’s Day. The Paschal Triduo and the Holy Week. Eastertide. Lent. Time of Manifestation. Advent. Ferial time. Feasts of Our Lord, of the Mother of God and Saints. Introduction to the Liturgy of the hours.
LITURGY: GESTURES & SYMBOLISM (2 ECTS) (Fr Ignatius Borg)
Liturgical symbolism in the modern world. Various interpretations of liturgical symbols. Gestures and symbols of liturgical celebrations. A major expressivity of the sacraments. Other aspects of rituality.
SACRED MINISTRIES (2 ECTS) (Fr Ignatius Borg)
The course covers the biblical aspect of ‘ministry. A historical outline of ministry in the Church. The liturgical rite of Episcopate, Presbyterate and Diaconate ordination. The ministries in the post-conciliar Church: Lector and Acolyte, permanent deacons, extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist.
HISTORY OF THE CHURCH
CHURCH HISTORY – Malta and Gozo (60-2000) (2 ECTS) (Mgr Joseph Bezzina)
The main objective of the course is to project an overview of the history of the Church in Malta and Gozo from the first preaching of the gospel by Saint Paul the Apostle down to recent times with the aim of prompting participants to widen their knowledge on the development of religious belief in this island nation.
The course opens with an appraisal of the first attestations of Christian belief in Malta, the palaeochristian cemeteries of the late third century, and its further development in Roman and Byzantine times. The Muslims, it was thought, despoiled the islands of their inhabitants and their faith. The recently unearthed evidence that points to a Christian community in Gozo with its own bishop will be discussed at length. Christianity flourished again in the open during the twelfth century when the islands were occupied by the Normans. These were followed by a succession of European Catholic powers and, eventually, by the religious military order of the Knights of Saint John. The ecclesiastical establishment witnessed a renaissance and the Church permeated the life of all the Maltese. After a short turbulence under the French, the British took Malta under their protection. The period, though not free from friction in Church-State relations, witnessed a steady rise in the population and this lead to a rapid expansion in all Church activities. Gozo got a bishop again by the establishment of the diocese in 1864. The attainment of nationhood in 1964 coincided with the post-conciliar Church struggling to meet the challenges of the new age.
CHURCH HISTORY – I: Antiqua (30-700) (4 ECTS) (Mgr Joseph Bezzina)
The main objective of the study of Church History is to gain a better and clearer comprehension of the Church, an understanding of the present day problems, a deeper concept of the richness and sovereignty of truth, and for an effective apologia of the church. This first period of Church History discusses the expansion and formation of the Church in the Hellenistic–Roman World. The first period of Church History — known for convenience as antiqua — examines the expansion and formation of the Church in the Hellenistic-Roman World. Jesus Christ preached a new religion in the Roman province of Judea and his apostles and disciples proceeded with his teachings and even founded a community at Rome, the centre of theRoman Empire. The Roman state persecuted this Church for over two centuries, but with the accession of Emperor Constantine a dramatic change took place, Christianity was first tolerated and then it became the official religion. An ecclesiastical constitution began to develop. Its beliefs were debated in the first ecumenical Councils. Its chief dogma, belief in the Trinity and in Christ as God and Man, was affirmed and clarified in lasting terms. Several forms in its life and liturgy were standardized and were to be retained for the next fifteen hundred years. The bishop ofRomegained primacy over the whole Church. This period comes to an end with the downfall of the Empire at the hands of the Barbarians.
CHURCH HISTORY – II: Mediævalis (700-1300) (4 ECTS) (Mgr Joseph Bezzina)
The main objective of the study of Church History is to gain a better and clearer comprehension of the Church, an understanding of the present day problems, a deeper concept of the richness and sovereignity of truth, and for an effective apologia of the Church. This second period of Church History describes how the Church became the entelechy of the Christian nations of the West. Church and State in the post-Constantine era had become part and parcel. This union disintegrated with the downfall of the Empire at the hands of the Barbarian tribes that descended from the north of Europe to occupy the south and the Mediterranean. Through the policy of the popes, the labour of the monks, and the bellicose Franks, a new social order is construed: Christendom. A new period of Church history — known for convenience as mediævalis — is ushered in. Charlemagne consolidated this order with the foundation of a new holy Empire. This renewed union of the spiritual and the temporal caused many problems and the popes set in motion a reform to regain full liberty for the Church. The foundation of mendicant Orders and of Universities, among other things, played an important role in the foundation of a new social order in Europe.
CHURCH HISTORY III – NOVA (4 ECTS) (Mgr Joseph Bezzina)
The main objective of the study of Church History is to gain a better and clearer comprehension of the Church, an understanding of the present day problems, a deeper concept of the richness and sovereignty of truth, and for an attractive apologia of the church. This third period of Church History tackles the break-up of the western Christian world and the foundation of the new missions.
The course: The European social order based on Christendom began to disintegrate by the turn of the fourteenth century. A new period of Church History – known for convenience as nova – is ushered in. Papal primacy was challenged by the Hohenstaufen emperors and the French kings, who began to struggle to gain the leadership of the West. French supremacy led to the seventy year-long recess of the popes in Avignon. This stay contributed to the Great Western Schism when two and eventually three popes fought each other for the control of the Church. The Schism was solved at the Council of Constance where conciliarism began gaining ground. The way had been paved for the Protestant Reformation led by Luther. The Church finally decided to tackle its problems on a grand scale, at the general council of Trent, whose doctrine and decisions were to prevail for the following four centuries – a time that offer a striking variety of currents and counter currents, of triumphs and failures.
CHURCH HISTORY IV – Moderna (1800-2000) (4 ECTS) (Mgr Joseph Bezzina)
The main objective of the study of Church History is to gain a better and clearer comprehension of the Church, an understanding of the present day problems, a deeper concept of the richness and sovereignty of truth, and for an effective apologia of the church. This fourth period of Church History delves into the historical events that have moulded the present times.
The course opens with an appraisal of the French Revolution. It was the bloody sequel to the age of Absolutism and for some years it succeeded to dechristianize European society. The post Revolutionary period marks the slow but certain subversion of the ancien regime and the old order it embodied and the beginning of a new political and social order that marked a complete break with the past. A new period of Church History – known for convenience as moderna – is ushered in. The ideals of liberalism and democracy swept through the nations in waves. In many countries the rise of secularization put an end to ecclesiastical traditions over one thousand years old. In the meantime the Church had to tackle the social traditions over one thousand years old. In the meantime the Church had to tackle the social question generated by the industrial revolution and the problems created by the Nationalistic, Totalitarian, and Socialistic regimes. The process of renewal animating the Church since after the French revolution proceeded throughout the eventful nineteenth and twentieth centuries finding a fitting expression in the missionary ovement and culminating in a new vision of the Church and the world projected by the second Vatican Council and the post conciliar Church.
PATROLOGY I + II Origins of Christian Literature and Genesis of Theology (I-III Centuries) (5 ECTS) (Mgr Joseph Bezzina)
The main objective of this course is to offer an overview of the life, the writings, and the teachings of a selection of early Christian writers, indicating their individual characteristics and placing their literary and teaching activity in its proper historical context. The course is introduced by an examination of (1) the Fathers in theological studies today; (2) the Fathers in the directives of the Church; (3) the importance of studying the Fathers; and (4) the method employed to study the Fathers and their writings.
• Part I (I-II centuries) examines the genesis of Christian Literature by exploring (1) the primitive ecclesiastical writings; (2) the Apostolic Fathers; (3) the apologetic literature of the second century; and (3) the heretical and anti-heretical literature during the same period.
• Part II (II-III centuries) examines the genesis of Christian Theology by delving into the teachings of a selection of (1) Eastern writers; (2) African writers; and (3) Roman and other western writers.
PATROLOGY III: The Golden Age of Patristic Literature (IV – V centuries) (4 ECTS) (Mgr Carmel Refalo)
The main objective of the course is to offer an overview of the life, the writings, and the teachings of a selection of the Christian writers during the third and last period of Patrology, referred to as The Golden Age of Patristic Literature (IV-V centuries).
The course is introduced by giving a general prospectus of the life and times in which these writers flourished to place their literary activity and teaching in its proper historical context. This is followed by a glance at the most representative (1) Greek writers; (2) Antiochene and Syrian writers; and (3) Latin writers. The writings and teaching of these Fathers are examined for their cultural, spiritual and apostolic richness, qualities that make them great teachers of the Church in both past and modern times.
GENERAL NORMS (2 ECTS) (H.L. Mgr Mario Grech)
This course has a twofold objective: to provide an introduction to the legal science and to Canon Law in particular, and to define certain key juridical concepts and important canonical legal institutes that are indispensable for a pastoral functionary in order to understand, interpret and apply Church law. Once the sources of law are identified and the powers of those who are entitled to act within the canonical legal system are determined (legislative, executive and judicial), other juridical principles are explained and elucidated by cross-references from the same code of Canon Law. Particular attention is given to the ten directive principles that the Bishops’ Synod, held in 1967, proposed for the revision of the Code.
THE HIERARCHICAL CONSTITUTION OF THE CHURCH (4 ECTS) (Mgr John B. Gauci)
The main objective: According to Pope John Paul II, the (new) canonical legislation is to “be an effective instrument by the help of which the Church will be able to perfect itself in spirit of the Second Vatican Council, and show itself ever more equal to carry out its salvific role in the world.” (Sacrae disiplinæ leges, AAS 75, 1983, pars II, p.XIII) A profound study of the the new Code of Canon Law will make one aware that there should be no conflict between the rigour of ecclesiastical discipline and the healthy freedom of Christian community.
The course: In Bk II we can observe an internal arrangement which touches from top to bottom the hierarchical structure which is at the service of the pastoral ministry of the Church. The class syllabus does not cover all the jurisdictional entities which form the “totum” of that hierarchical structure. However, a very wide and solid explanation of that structure is given during the course. As a matter of fact, the canons re. “The Supreme Authority of the Church”, “Particular Churches” and those which deal with the parish and the office of its Pastor are all given particular attention: they are vital and important structures through which the Church continues that ministry which was given to Peter and the Apostles by the Lord Jesus Christ himself.
CANON LAW: ECCLESIAL COMMUNION AND SANCTIONS (2 ECTS) (H.L. Mgr Mario Grech)
As the title of this course suggests, an introduction to Book VI of the Code of Canon Law aims at defining the pastoral significance of canonical penalties, in that they are meant to seek only the spiritual integrity of the whole church and the good of the offenders themselves. The transgression of certain important and delicate values in the life of the Christian community calls for immediate disciplinary measures; otherwise, the communio in the Church would suffer. The Church’s inherent right to have it’s own penal laws rests not only on the classical principles underlining social philosophy but also on theological and ecclesiological tenets. However penal law remains a positive law, and as in the case of all man-made-laws, throughout the ages the way sanctions were formulated and applied has evolved. The canonical system is different from other similar civil systems not only in the type of penalties it contemplates, but also in what amounts to offence, the processes for the declaration or imposition of penalties and how the latter are extinguished.
CANON LAW:THE SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION AND OTHER SACRAMENTS (4 ECTS) (Mgr John B. Gauci)
Duties and rights of the reconciled Christian. The minister of the sacrament of reconciliation: faculties, delegation, suspension, reserved sins, etc. Abuses by the minister: solicitation, absolution of his accomplice in sin. The sacramental seal: duty, nature, subject, violation. Duties of the minister: doctrine, instruction, spiritual judgement, human qualities, correction of defects in administration. Norms for a collective confession and absolution. Other sacraments: baptism, confirmation, holy orders, the sacrament of the sick.
CANON LAW: THE SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE (5 ECTS) (H.L. Mgr Mario Grech)
The course: Marriage and its canonical legislation. The jurisdiction of the Church. The structure of marriage. Consent. The purposes and properties of marriage. The conjugal contract and the consummation of marriage. Impediments: in general and in particular.
CANONICAL PROCESSES (2 ECTS) (H.L. Mgr Mario Grech)
The main objective The primary thrust of this introductory course is to set forth the basic principles and procedures involved in canonical trails. Bearing in mind the important distinction between a judicial process and an administrative process, various selected issues are addressed.
The course: In the Church trails are held for the pursuit or the vindication ofrights, for the declaration of juridical facts and for the investigation about offences with the view to deciding whether or not to impose or to declare a specific penalty. Thus we explore (a) various matrimonial processes: cases concerning nullity declaration, dispensation from a ratified and non-consummated marriage, dissolutuion of marriage by applying the Pauline privilege. (b) process concerning the clerical state: declaration of the nullity of sacred ordination; dispensation from the obbligation of the priesthood; (c) penal application by administrative or judicial process, with particular references concerning alleged sexual abuse by pastoral functionaries.
EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY (4 ECTS) (Fr George Borg)
The course: What is educational psychology? What makes a good teacher? How did Plaget view cognitive development? What kind of early childhood education do children need? How do children develop during the elementary years? What is the impact of culture, socio-economic status, ethnicity and race on the student’s learning. Achievement and social experience. What is learning? What behavioural learning theories have evolved? Some principles of behavioural learning. Effective instruction; direct instruction. The co-operative learning used in instruction. How do humanistic approaches differ from direct instruction? Accomodating instruction to individual needs. Motivating students to learn. Classroom management. The educator and human relations.
THEORIES OF PERSONALITY (4 ECTS) (Fr George Borg)
The course: What is personality? What is theory? The critical interaction between nature and nurture. Psycho dynamic forces (S. Freud, E. Erikson, A. Addier). The experiencing person (A. Maslow, C. Rogers, L. Binswanger). The uniqueness of the person ( G. Allport). Personality as a structure of traits (R. Catteil, H. Eysench). Learning and environment (B.F. Skinner). Stimulus response theory (N.E. Meller). Personality as social learning (A. Bandura).
PSYCHOLOGY OF RELIGION (2 ECTS) (Fr George Borg)
The psychological nature of religiosity. History (W. James, S. Freud, C.G.Jung, G. Allport). The nature of the religious attitude. Human development and religion. Religiosity during the stages of human development. Moral development (Piaget, Kohlberg). The psychology of worship, sin and conversion.
GROUP AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY (2 ECTS) (Fr George Borg)
The nature of Social Psychology. Social Influence processes. Group structure process. Socialization
INTRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT PSYCHOLOGY (2 ECTS) (Fr George Borg)
Introduction (origins and divisions of Psychology; Psychology and the other disciplines on man; method in Psychology). Motivation, feelings and emotions; perception, conflict and frustration; defence mechanisms. Three accounts of human development: Learning’s theory, Piaget’s theory, Freud’s theory.
PSYCHODYNAMICS OF FAMILY LIFE (2 ECTS) (Fr Anthony Teuma)
The main objective of the course is to become familiar with some basic psychological tools in order to have the ability to interpret the single family events in the context of Christian anthropology and evangelical family values. This may lead to a deep understanding of the family dynamics in the light of Christian marriage and may offer concrete suggestions in favour of authentic relations.
The course: Family in the present situation, stages in the family life, relations between the partners, communication, family crisis and conflicts, relation with siblings, mature and immature love, relation with adolescents, some helping skills.
PSYCHOPATHOLOGY AND PASTORAL CARE (2 ECTS) (Fr George Borg)
The course: Definition of terms: psychopathology, infant psychiatry, mental diseases, etc. The psychoneuroses and psychosomatic illness: anxiety neurosis, neurotic depression, obsessional neurosis, phobic states, hysteria, anorexia nervosa. The personality disorders and psycho sexual disorders. Alcoholism and drug dependence. Suicide and attempted suicide. The functional psychoses. The effective disorders, schizophrenia. Psychiatric condition due to old age.
MASS MEDIA (4 ECTS) (Fr Effie Masini)
Communication and evolution of the main instruments of communication. Persuasive communication. Positive and negative aspects of Mass Media. Effects of social communication. Control or self-control in Mass Media. Responsibility in Mass Media. Truth – the fundamental norm in communication. Public opinion. Mass Media and the Christian message.
WORLD RELIGIONS (4 ECTS)
Religion and Religious Pluralism. Religious Language. The origins and development of Religion. Difficulties in studying Religion. Comparative Study of Religious Tradition.
a) Different Religions: African Religions. Australian Religions, North American Religions. Central American Religions. South American Religions. European Religions.
b) Different Religions of the East: Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Jainism, Shamanism, Shinto, Taoism, Zoroastriansim.
c) Judeo-Christian current: Judaism, Christianity, Islam.
ISLAM: AN INTRODUCTORY COURSE (2 ECTS) (Fr Joe Ellul O.P.)
A survey of the main elements that constitute Islam as a religion and as a culture. Topics such as the Qur’an and Tradition, Islamic Law, Mysticism and contemporary Islamic movements will be discussed.
SPIRITUAL THEOLOGY (4 ECTS) (Fr Alexander Refalo)
The main objective is to help students integrate the theoretical and experimental side of Christian life by providing them with the essential data and principles of spiritual theology. The course discusses Spiritual Theology in terms of its method, sources and relationship with other disciplines. Special emphasis will be given to everyday experience. The course covers: 1) the biblical roots of spirituality; 2) a short history of spirituality and 3) the journey toward spiritual maturity. The lives and thoughts of spiritual writers through the centuries provide good illustrations of the believer’s response to the indwelling spirit of God.
ECUMENICAL ISSUES (2 ECTS) (Mgr Saviour Debrincat)
The Theology of Ecumenism: a rediscovery of unity – as a given possibility. The response of our “Ecumenical Faith”: hope in God. The Ecumenical Movement as a healing process. The Church as a Sacrament of Unity. The Ecumenical Movement in the Catholic Church: its beginnings, Vatican Council II. The Catholic theological concept of the Unity of the Church.Differences between the Catholic Church and other Christian Churches.
PERSONIFICATION OF EVIL: A BIBLICAL AND PASTORAL PERSPECTIVE (2 ECTS) (Fr Marcello Ghirlando OFM)
The aim of this course if to give an integral biblical perspective as regards the idea of the personification of evil in the whole context of revelation and how this was subsequently interpreted by the Church in its theological debates and pastoral praxis vis-a-vis phenomena such as Satanism, spiritism, belief in spells, magic practices, etc. This will serve as the basis for subsequent debate as regards the relevance of the specific Ministry of Exorcism in theChristianChurches, with special reference to the Catholic Church. Special emphasis will be laid on this specific pastoral ministry amongst youth.
THE THEOLOGY OF THE MISSIONS (2 ECTS) (Fr John Curmi)
The course: A brief introduction to Missiology. Missio Dei. TheMission of Jesus Christ. The christological and soteriological foundations ofMission. TheMission of the Holy Spirit: the pneumatological foundation ofMission. The Missionary Church.Salvation. Various paths ofMission. A brief Mission History.
CHRISTIAN ARCHAEOLOGY (2 ECTS) (Mgr Saviour Grima)
A study of this course aims principally to inspire deep reflection on the Gospel message through the help and examples lived by the first witnesses of Christ. The eloquent features of christian life in the first centuries offer also a perennial school of faith, hope and charity. They also revive one’s religious identity on a sort of spiritual journey in matters of liturgy, catechesis, administration, community and pastoral life.
The course: Different periods of Rome’s sacred monuments, especially the catacombs. Literary sources: Biblical, Patristic, and other Christian literature. Archaeological studies through the ages. Origin of different Christian cemeteries. The Church’s property. The tombs of the martyrs: rites, beliefs and organizations. Funeral inscriptions: Christian invocations, sacraments, dogmatic truths, biblical paintings, etc. Transportation of martyrs from the cemeteries outside the city.Rome’s favourite places of prayers and pilgrimages with sound inspirations for the new evangelization.
INTRODUCTION TO THE SOCIAL TEACHING OF THE CHURCH (4 ECTS) (Fr Effie Masini)
The course: A historical outline. The basic principles of the social teaching of the Church. Man in society. Problems concerning family life. The State and political problems. The human dimensions of work and the economic life. The international community. A detailed study of Gaudium and Spes and Centesimus Annus. The post conciliar social teaching of the Church with particular references to the Magisterium of Pope John Paul II.
THE CHURCH AND THE POLITICAL COMMUNITY (4 ECTS) (Can Emmanuel Saliba)
The main objective of the study of the relations between the Church and Political Community is to understanding the different methods used in governing a society, whether it is ecclesiastical or civil. This course also aims at giving a better understanding of the Church in theAbsoluteState, in theLiberalStateand in the Democratic State, by evaluating the separatist, collaborative and concordative regimes. Moreover, this course will discuss the teachings of the Church on Religious Liberty, the presence of the Church in the international community, and the Church’s role in building and safeguarding Peace.
The course covers Church and State relations in Sacred Scripture and in the teachings of the Holy Fathers, Aristotle, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, N. Macchiavelli, T. Hobbes, G.W.F. Hegel, J. Loche, C. Montesquieu, J.J. Rousseau. The Church in the AbsoluteState, in the LiberalStateand in the Democratic State. Teachings of the Magisterium from Gregory XVI to the Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus. Evaluation of separatist, collaborative and concordative regimes. Catholics and the ConfessionalState. The Teachings of the Church on Religious Liberty. The Conciliar Declaration Dignitatis Humanae. The presence of the Church in the international community. Teaching on the International Organisations. Peace in the teachings of the Popes and the Second Vatican Council.
SOCIOLOGY OF THE FAMILY (4 ECTS) (Fr Renato Borg)
Sociological approaches towards the family. Family models in various cultures and in history. Classical theories: Morgan, Engels, Durkheim, Mauss; contemporary theories: Levi-Strauss, Tillion, Parsons. The functions and structure of and roles within the contemporary family. Socio-demographic aspects of the contemporary family. Family life as influenced by the State and politics in 20th centuryEurope. Is the family in crisis? The family in Gozo.
CURRENT SOCIAL ISSUES (4 ECTS) (Fr Effie Masini)
Work and Economy: nature of work from a christian perspective, work and the economic processes, industrial relations. Free-Time and Leisure: nature of free-time. God’s plan, moral aspects of leisure activities. A case-study; tourism, internal and external. Ecology: nature and ecology, main ecological problems, a biblical perspective. Man and nature in the teaching of the Church. Youth: in a changing society, frustrations and expectations. A case study: voluntary work. Emargination: nature of emargination, biblical aspect, crime and deviance, educational dropouts, sick and aged.
TECHNIQUES IN SOCIAL RESEARCH (2 ECTS) (Can Emmanuel Saliba)
The main objective of the study of the techniques used in social research is to gain a better and clearer understanding of the methods and techniques used nowadays to understand, judge and interpret repeated phenomena in today’s society. This course aims at enabling our students by giving them particular skills to know and interpret the main social trends in today’s reality.
The Course: Sociology and social research. The theory behind social research. The process of social research. Hypothesis and documentation. Methods of obtaining data; census, questionnaires, interviews, case analysis, participant observation, life-histories. Limits and adjacent problems. Working on data obtained: statistics and conclusions.
CATECHESIS: A LIFE-LONG JOURNEY (4 ECTS) (Fr Emmanuel Magro)
The main objective of the study of catechesis is to gain a clear understanding of the history, structure and process of this ancient ecclesial ministry of the Word of God and to obtain an ecclesial perspective on present day problems facing the Church in her efforts to catechize her members.
The course. From her foundation the Church always has striven to educate and form her members in the faith and for this reason established the baptismal catechumenate. For various reasons this pastoral approach was abandoned after the fourth century A.D. The Second Vatican Council mandated that the baptismal catechumenate be introduced in every diocese and the General Directory for Catechesis published in 1997 set the renewed baptismal catechumenate as the model of any type of catechesis. The Christian community is to accompany its members on their journey of faith throughout their lives. Every stage of their life cycle presents them with an occasion to deepen their understanding of their gift of faith.
CONSECRATED LIFE (2 ECTS) (Fr Tony Sciberras MSSP)
At the end of this course, participants would be able to: appreciate the richness of ways in the following of Christ that developed throughout history; understand that Christian spirituality needs to be incarnated in the concrete historical, social and ecclesial situation of a given moment of history.
PART I: Four are considered to be the originators of the basic “Rules” of religious life: Sts. Basil, Augustine, Benedict and Francis. All other founders/foundresses compiled “Constitutions”.
PART II: St. Ignatius of Loyola.
PART III: While the course will delve in an introductory manner into the aforementioned foundations of Religious Life, it will then offer a deeper reflection on the theology of religious life presented by Vatican II up to Vita Consacrata:
• The divine-ecclesial origin of consecrated life;
• Function and importance of consecrated life within the Church;
• The universal vocation of all the Christians to sanctity and the particular vocation of the consecrated persons;
• Spiritual theology of community-living and the vows;
• The charismatic origin of consecrated life: its mission in the Church;
• The theological effects of consecration on the individual and the Church in general.PART IV: Secular Institutes: the Provida Mater and Primo Feliciter.
CATHOLIC CELIBACY (SEMINAR) (2 ECTS) (Fr Anthony Teuma)
The main Objective of the seminar is to reflect about sexuality from psychological, Christian and priestly point of view. It considers sexuality as part of the energy and power that enables the priest in his love of God and self donation to his brethren.
The Course/ The relevance of priestly celibacy today. The meaning of human sexuality. Celibacy and Psychology: its meaning, dynamics and function. The biblical foundation of priestly celibacy. Relationship and intimacy. Healthy and unhealthy ways of coping with the celibate option. Celibacy as a lifelong process. Priestly celibacy in church documents.
SPIRITUALITY OF THE CATHOLIC PRIESTHOOD (2 ECTS) (Fr Daniel Xerri)
The main objective of this course is to reflect on the true identity of the Catholic Priest and then on the spirituality intrinsic to it, in the light of his mission in contemporary world. The course: Identity of the Catholic Priest. Trinitarian, Christological, Pneumatological and Ecclesiological dimensions of the priesthood. The triple function deriving from such identity: prophetic, cultic, pastoral. Configuration with Christ. Spirituality as identity. Spirituality of consecration and mission. Spirituality of eschatological service. Spirituality of communion.
CHURCH MUSIC (4 ECTS) (Fr Joseph Mercieca)
The aim of this programme is to provide a context and content for students to be able to acquire knowledge and deepen their understanding and appreciation of Gregorian chant: the official and proper chant of the Roman Latin Catholic Church. The programme places special emphasis on the study of the history of liturgical music and the theory and practice of Gregorian chant, comprising textual understanding of the liturgical literature.
LATIN LANGUAGE (PART I) (4 ECTS) (Can Joseph Grech)
The chief aim of this course is to give the student the ability to read and write both Classical and Church Latin, thus enabling him to handle classical works and ecclesiastical writings, including typical liturgical texts, official Church documents and theological literature. The course which has been designed to lead the student to achieve the Secondary Education Certificate in Latin, comprises study-units focusing on grammar, syntax and literature.
LATIN LANGUAGE (PART II and III) (8 ECTS) (Can Joseph Grech)
The chief aim of this course is to give the student the ability to read and write both Classical and Church Latin, thus enabling him to handle classical works and ecclesiastical writings, including typical liturgical texts, official Church documents and theological literature. The course which has been designed to lead the student to achieve the Secondary Education Certificate in Latin, comprises study-units focusing on grammar, syntax and literature.
NEW TESTAMENT GREEK (4 ECTS) (Mgr Anton Mizzi)
The main objective of this course designed mainly for the student with no previous knowledge of the Greek language, is to acquire a good knowledge of all the important features as a first approach to the New Testament Greek.
The course introduces to the basic morphology, syntax and vocabulary of New Testament Greek. Attention will be paid to integrate the grammar learnt with biblical examples from selected texts from the Gospels of John and Mark. Students will be encouraged to read aloud the Greek text.