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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Theological Anthropology
Module Code TP112
School 59
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Joseph Rivera
Semester 2: Joseph Rivera
Autumn: Joseph Rivera
Module TeachersJoseph Rivera
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 7.5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

The purpose of this module is to study and to explore the Christian understanding of human existence. It will focus on the traditional loci of theological anthropology, namely, human nature, grace, creation, eschatology, sin, imago Dei, as well as hope, death and immortality, and the redemption of the human body. The module will assess the recent resurgence of interest in the imago Dei among authors of the different traditions by considering their respective contributions to the efforts to say something important about human dignity in contemporary society. The module follows a ressourcement, ecumenical, and interdisciplinary methodology throughout. An important objective will be the study of such masterpieces as Augustine’s Confessions and City of God as well as other original texts, with particular attention to the contribution of Thomas Aquinas, one of the most important medieval Catholic thinkers. Calvin’s assertion that ‘without knowledge of self there is no knowledge of God’ will be analysed in conjunction with other relevant texts on self-knowledge. The module will study patristic and medieval notions of grace, creation, sin, and the imago Dei, with particular reference to the Latin tradition. The module attempts to respond to modern and contemporary challenges, notably, nouvelle théologie, as well as feminist and liberation perspectives. In this module, students will develop knowledge and skills in reading original texts, as well as introductory and advanced historical, theological, and philosophical textbooks in a collaborative learning environment. A critical element of the course will be weekly reading assignments and participation in in-class presentations by students.

Learning Outcomes

1. Identify and reflect on the sources and traditions which have contributed to Christian anthropology;
2. Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the themes of grace, creation and eschatology in addition to important philosophical categories as they pertain to Christian anthropology;
3. Make a theologically-informed response to the question ‘Who am I’
4. Read and assess original sources and demonstrate an understanding of key thinkers including Augustine, Aquinas, and Aristotle;
5. Communicate a vision of the human person that recognises ‘the dignity of difference’;
6. Collect, synthesise and present knowledge on complex problems in a critical, objective manner;
7. Communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to specialised and non-specialist audiences.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Independent Study50Assigned Weekly Readings
Independent Study50No Description
Assignment Completion63.5Essay
Total Workload: 187.5

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Imago Dei and the Human Person

Grace, Creation, and Eschatology


Reading Augustine

Reading Aquinas

Reading Pieper

Hope and Eternal Life

Liberation and Feminist Perspectives

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Fathers of the English Dominican Province: 1912, The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas, Burns, Oates & Benziger, London,
  • Bonhoeffer, Dietrich: 1986, Ethics, 5, Collier / Macmillan, New York,
  • Calvin, John: 1960, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Westminster Press, Philadelphia,
  • Chadwick, Henry: 1986, Augustine, Oxford University Press, Oxford,
  • Cortez, Marc: 2010, Theological Anthropology: A Guide for the Perplexed, T and T Clark, London,
  • De Lubac: 1988, The Mystery of the Supernatural, Crossroad Publishing, New York,
  • Davies, Brian: 1993, The Thought of Thomas Aquinas, 2, Clarendon Press, Oxford,
  • Dodaro, Edward and George Lawless: 2000, Augustine and His Critics, Routledge, London,
  • Finnis, John: 1998, Aquinas: Moral, Political, and Legal Theory, Oxford University Press, Oxford,
  • Kardong, Terrence G: 2012, Conversations with Saint Benedict: The Rule in Today’s World, Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN,
  • Kerr, Fergus: 2003, Contemplating Aquinas: On the Varieties of Interpretation, SCM Press, London,
  • Lancel, Serge: 2002, St Augustine, SCM Press, London,
  • Lane Fox, Robin: 2015, Augustine: Conversions and Confessions, Penguin, London,
  • Matthiesen, Michom M: 2013, Sacrifice as Gift: Eucharist, and Contemplative Prayer in Maurice de la Taille, The Catholic University of America Press, Washington D.C.,
  • O’Daly, Gerard: 2004, Augustine’s City of God: A Reader’s Guide, Oxford University Press, Oxford,
  • Orsi, Robert A: 2016, History and Presence, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA,
  • Pieper, Joseph: 1992, In Defense of Philosophy: Classical Wisdom Stands up to Modern Challenges, Ignatius Press, San Francisco,
  • trans. by Mary Frances McCarthy: 1986, On Hope, Ignatius Press, San Francisco,
  • trans. by Richard and Clara Winton: 1998, Happiness and Contemplation, St Augustine’s Press, South End, IN,
  • trans. by Paul C. Duggan: 1991, A Brief Reader on the Virtues of the Human Heart, Ignatius Press, San Francisco,
  • trans. by Michael Bullock: 1999, The End of Time: A Meditation on the Philosophy of History, Ignatius Press, San Francisco,
  • trans. by Lothar Krauth: 1991, In Search of the Sacred: Contributions to an Answer, Ignatius Press, San Francisco,
  • trans. by Richard and Clara Winton: 1999, In Tune with the World: A Theory of Festivity, St Augustine’s Press, South End IN,
  • new trans. by Gerald Malsbary: 2001, Leisure: The Basis of Culture, St Augustine’s Press, South End IN,
  • University of Notre Dame Press: 1966, The Four Cardinal Virtues: Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Temperance,
  • trans. by Lothar Krauth: 1990, Only The Lover Sings: Art and Contemplation, Ignatius Press, San Francisco,
  • trans. by Richard and Clara Winton: 2000, Death and Immortality, St Augustine’s Press, South Bend IN,
  • Pinckaers, OP, Servais: 1998, The Pursuit of Happiness – God’s Way: Living the Beatitudes,
  • trans. by Benedict M. Guevin, OSB: 2015, Passions and Virtue, Catholic University of America Press, Washington D.C.,
  • Ratzinger, Joseph: 0, In the Beginning: A Catholic Understanding of Creation and Fall: A Theological Exposition of Genesis 1-3,
  • trans. by Michael Waldstein: 1988, Eschatology: Death and Eternal Life, 2, Catholic University of America Press, Washington D.C.,
  • Rondet, Henri: 1967, The Grace of Christ: A Brief History of the Theology of Grace, Newman Press, Westminster, MD,
  • Schumacher, Bernard: 2003, A Philosophy of Hope: Josef Pieper and the Contemporary Debate on Hope, Fordham University Press, New York,
  • Schmaus, Michael: 1969, Dogma: God and Creation, Sheed and Ward, London,
  • Shults, F. LeRon: 2003, Reforming Theological Anthropology: After a Philosophical Turn to Relationality, Grand Rapils, MI,
  • Sowle Cahill, Lisa: 1996, Sex, Gender and Christian Ethics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,
  • Van Nieuwenhove, Rik and Joseph Wawrykow: 2010, The Theology of Thomas Aquinas, 2, Notre Dame University Press, Notre Dame, IN,
  • Williams, Rowan: 2016, On Augustine, Bloomsbury, London,
Other Resources

55272, Website, Al- Bitar, Sawsan M, 2003, A Critical Analysis of Thomas Aquinas’s Doctrine of the Image of God, Damascus University Journal, http://www.damascusuniversity.edu.sy/mag/human/images/stories/1223.pdf, 55273, Website, Augustine, Saint, 0, Confessions, Oxford World’s Classics, 55274, Website, 0, The Theological Principles Underlying Augustine’s City of God, file:///Users/gabriel/Downloads/5+kasprzak.pdf, 55275, Website, Benedict, 0, The Rule of Saint Benedict, http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/benedict-the-rule-of-st-benedict, 55276, Website, Brown, Montague, 0, Imago Dei in St Thomas, The Saint Anselm Journal, file:///Users/gabriel/Downloads/Brown.pdf, 55277, Website, Fredriksen, Paula, 0, The Confessions as Autobiography, http://www.bu.edu/religion/files/2010/03/Aug-Conf-Vessy.pdf, 55278, Website, International Theological Commission, 0, Communion and Stewardship: Human Persons Created in the Image of God, http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/cti_documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20040723_communion-stewardship_en.html, 55279, Website, Online Library of Liberty, 0, Religion, History, Philosophy, http://oll.libertyfund.org/,
Programme or List of Programmes
BATLEBA in Theology and Lifelong Education

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