Introduction to the Magisterium

(Course 1 of 3 for Magisterial Studies Certificate)

- Summer 2024 -

Michael Lofton, Adjunct Professor

Course Description: "Introduction to the Magisterium" allows students to establish a foundational understanding of how teaching authority works within the Catholic Church.

Course Objectives: This course introduces students to the teaching authority of the Catholic Church. It will evaluate (a) the Biblical roots of the Magisterium, (b) the organs of the Magisterium (c) the objects of the Magisterium, (d) the acts of the Magisterium, (e) the levels of magisterial teachings, (f) and how to evaluate magisterial propositions, among other material. Upon completion, students will demonstrate:

1. How the Catholic Magisterium was established.
2. Who may teach authoritatively in the Catholic Church.
3. The scope of Catholic teaching authority.
4. The different ways the Magisterium teaches.
5. The levels of Catholic doctrine.
6. The ability to evaluate the weight of a magisterial teaching.

Course Outline:

1. The Old Testament roots of the Magisterium.
2. The New Testament roots of the Magisterium.
3. The Magisterium considered as subject.
4. The Magisterium considered as object.
5. The Magisterium considered as act.
6. Dogmas.
7. Definitive Catholic doctrine.
8. Authentic Catholic doctrine.
9. Evaluating magisterial propositions.
10. Magisterial reversals.

Cost: $350

Date/Time: Mondays, 7:30-8:45 pm (Central Daylight Time), June 17-Aug. 19

Recommended reading:

Avery Dulles, SJ, Magisterium, Teacher and Guardian of the Faith
Francis A. Sullivan, SJ, Magisterium: Teaching Authority in the Catholic Church
Francis A. Sullivan, SJ, Creative Fidelity: Weighing and Interpreting Documents of the Magisterium
Richard R. Gaillardetz, By what Authority?: Foundations for Understanding Authority in the Church
Jimmy Akin, Teaching with Authority

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