Ecclesiology: Reframing Church

Course Level: Intermediate

Course Summary

Reframing Church is the third course in the VLCFF track Introduction to Ecclesiology and builds on the learning in the first two courses in this track, Reframing Church concentrates on the developments at Vatican II.  Like the preceding courses, Beginnings of the Church and The Pilgrim Church, this course intends both to help the student build his or her knowledge base about the Church but also to acquire skills for thinking about the Church in itself.  All of the major events of Church history either caused or resulted from a change in the Church's self-understanding. There is no "big bang" theory of how the Church came to be!  Although the event of Vatican II startled many inside and outside the Catholic Church, it, too, was a result of social, cultural, and political change in society that demanded fresh responses from the Roman Catholic Church.   As in the previous courses, the image of the Church as a "living organ" (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church) will again focus our attention.  Specific topics such as the Council's teaching on  liturgy, Scripture, hierarchy, laity, and the Church's relationship with the world are examined for their cumulative effect on the Church as a whole. The title of this course, Reframing Church, indicates the essential first step we must take to achieve this understanding: seeing the Church within the frame of assumptions, beliefs, and values underlying the texts.   Although Vatican II dealt with issues we know have been with the Church from the beginning, the Council's framing of the issues casts them in an entirely new light.  Our response to the Council will be more informed to the extent that we understand the frame surrounding the word "Church" after Vatican II.  

Successful completion of this course earns 2.5 CEU's.

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Course Structure and Highlights

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