This had to be the second, if not, then at least one of the top five, best thing that happened during the summer. This class sealed and locked my decision to major in theology (along with declaring pre-med). ((In case for those of you not in the know, pre-med is not an actual major — furthermore, pre-meds can declare whatever major they like.)) This class kept me going throughout the summer. It was the coal for my coal engine and the (yet to be produced) hydrogen fuel for my automobile. As motivated as I was during the summer term, imagine how that motivation will encompass the latter three years of my college career. ((I can’t take any more theology courses until I’ve accrued a sophomore standing. Additionally, perhaps I’ll be at Marquette for more than four years? That is doubtful, but I wouldn’t completely throw the idea out with the cat.))
I don’t even know what I want to begin to share. The entire class was phenomenal. Particularly, I probably enjoyed the first half better than the second; even asserting that is a wild claim on my part — I loved the entire class and the contents. It was especially satisfying to have learned in an academic environment about things I had learned and discovered on my own. Drawing from my research paper on the Bible during my senior year, Mr. Oliverio (Mr. O, the professor; more on him later) brought up and taught us topics including the Wellhausen Hypothesis/the Pentateuch, Aquinas’ “Five Ways”, Biblical development, and C.S. Lewis. That seems such a tiny list, and I had to scrape my head for things we learned that I already learned before hand. It was still an awesome class. I incredibly wish I could take another course this fall or spring.
Now Mr. O: I liked him as a professor, and guy. He’s neat. I actually found out during one of my three meetings with him that he attends Metrobrook (I think). Metrobrook is a branch of the church I attend, Elmbrook church. That’s neat in itself. I appreciated him for that fact, but also for the fact that I scored an introductory course with a professor from a more evangelical, but also a definite protestant background. It’s not that I hate Catholics; it’s more that I would have felt more comfortable securing a grip in the basics of Theology from a protestant perspective — something I’m more comfortable with. There is no doubt, though, that I look forward to learning from the Catholic perspective. ((There is also a third level course that surveys the world’s religions. If time allows, I’d like to take that course, but I think the course that would take precedent would be the one regarding Islam. There are so many theology courses I want to take — in fact, I probably wouldn’t mind taking all of them.))
I’m not sure if there is anything else I should elaborate on. Actually, I’m not sure if I know what else I want to elaborate on. The class was in the morning at 8:00. I remember the first few days I woke up around 5:30 AM. That was obviously too early for me, and eventually I slept in until 7:00 as the term carried on. Sometimes I skipped breakfast, but I made it a goal to try and eat and drink something before going to class. Like Fortunate said (paraphrased), “When you study, have little food.”
I’ll finish off with how the readings were; they were awesome. Regardless of their length (save for a few assignments), I devoured every hour spent on the texts. ((I particularly did not enjoy the chapters on sacraments and the Church. It isn’t that I hate those topics. Instead I just feel as if perspectives outside of mine are absurd. I mean that in the nicest and most scholarly way.)) The class allowed me to engage my own Bible more (and even experience my first Catholic mass). ((I’ll make a separate post about that, and I’ll post my paper about it.)) I’m keeping the books I buy for Theology. Knowing that, I want pristine copies. None of this used book stuff. I actually just ordered all of my books today (actually yesterday). That was sort of fun and expensive — more the latter than the former.
Theology rocks. I knew I would love it. I keep reminding myself, though, that I can’t let my relationship with God turn academic. It’s nice that I’m seeing God ((I would have said “Him” here, but then that would be assigning God a gender. We learned about that in class. I’ll just say, it’s not necessarily taboo or bad to call God, “Him”. But to be technically correct and more “liberal”, one should refer to God without any gender specific terms.)) through that perspective, but I can’t make that “lens” the only one I see through.