Saint John Paul II Institute

Degrees and Certificates

Classes

JPII 3300: Redemptor Hominis - Witness JPII

On the life and thought of John Paul II through a consideration of his autobiographical writings and selections from his works; the convergence of his artistic, philosophical, theological, spiritual and pastoral gifts lead to a study of his first encyclical, Redemptor Hominis.

JPII 3308: Vatican II & Sources of Renewal

This course examines the event, documents, and reception of Vatican Council II as evident through the participation and writings of Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, (Sources of Renewal) and various writings of Pope John Paul II.

JPII 3310: Thomistic Personalism

This course seeks to explicate the philosophical project and method of John Paul II through an explanation of the Thomistic character of his thought and the role of phenomenology in exploring the subjectivity of the person. The focus will be on conscience, Person and Act and Veritatis Splendor (“The Splendor of Truth”).

JPII 3315: Family & Civilization of Love

A close study of Love and responsibility. The notions of Communion of persons, the law of free giving, and the vocation of marriage are a focus for the course. In Evangelium Vitae we study the role of the family in a civilization of love and the threats from a culture of death.

JPII 3325: Divine Mercy & Holy Spirit

A study of the two encyclicals completing the Trinitarian vision of John Paul II, Dives in Misericordia & Dominum et Vivificantem; the meaning of mercy in the OT and NT, define its special characteristics in relation to justice and understand the meaning of the cross in mercy as the work of the Church. The Holy Spirit sustains the Church in its mission. The life and work of St Faustina will be of special interest for this course.

JPII 3330: Social-political Teaching JPII

A study of the social encyclicals of John Paul II; this course explores the dignity of the person in community through work, family, social solidarity, economic development, culminating in the participation in cultural and political life. Human rights, freedom of conscience & right to freedom of religion.

JPII 3335: Mission & New Evangelization

On the Christian engagement with culture and education studies the encyclical Redemptoris Missio (“The Mission of the Redeemer”). It examines the special role of the laity in apostolate to culture and the framework for the training and education of the laity. Also included are Ut unum sint and Christifidelis Laici.

JPII 5300: Redemptor Hominis and the witness of John Paul II

A study of the life and thought of John Paul II through a consideration of his autobiographical writings and very brief selections from his works; the convergence of his artistic, philosophical, theological, spiritual and pastoral gifts will lead to a focus upon his first encyclical, Redemptor Hominis ("The Redeemer of Man"), as hermeneutical key to his project and works.

JPII 5305: Faith and Reason according to John Paul II

This course is an exploration of the encyclical Fides et Ratio (On the Relationship between Faith and Reason). While carefully reading through the entire work, we shall explore two overarching claims made about the relationship between faith and reason: (a) "Each contains the other, and each has its own scope for action." (§17); (b.) "Each without the other is impoverished and enfeebled." (§48). We aim to understand these claims as they pertain to the works of John Paul II and those specific thinkers named as exemplars such as Edith Stein, Etienne Gilson, and Jacaues Maritain.

JPII 5308: Sources of Renewal and Vatican II

This course examines the event, documents, and reception of Vatican Council II as evident through the participation and writings of Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, (Sources of Renewal) and various writings of Pope John Paul II. Using the "hermeneutic of continuity" we seek to discover the sources of renewal in the Eucharist Ecclesia de Eucharistia (“The Church from the Eucharist”) and in Mary as Mother of the Church. Redemptoris Mater (“Mother of the Redeemer").

JPII 5310: Thomistic Personalism

This course seeks to explicate the philosophical project and method of Polish philosopher Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II (1920-2005) through (a) an explanation of the Thomistic character of his thought and the role of phenomenology in exploring the subjectivity of the person. In addition the course covers his critique of modern moral philosophy and underscores his distinctive approach to experience and subjectivity, especially in his understanding of freedom and rights. The focus will be on conscience, as the centerpiece of Person and Act and Veritatis Splendor (''The Splendor of Truth").

JPII 5315: The Family and the Civilization of Love

After a brief review of the principles of theology of the body, this course will do a close study of Love and responsibility. The notions of Communion of persons, the law of free giving, and the vocation of marriage are a focus for the course. In Evangelium Vitae ("The Gospel of Life"), we study the role of the family in a civilization of love and the threats from a culture of death. The letter to Families and Apostolic letter, Familiaris consortio will be consulted as well.

JPII 5325: Divine Mercy and the Work of Holy Spirit

We will study the two encyclicals completing the Trinitarian vision of John Paul II, Dives in Misericordia ("Rich in Mercy") & Dominum et Vivificantem ("Lord and Giver of Life"); we trace the meaning of mercy in the OT and NT, define its special characteristics in relation to justice and understand the meaning of the cross in mercy as the work of the Church. The Holy Spirit sustains the Church in its mission, especially in arousing conscience and conversion. The life and work of St. Faustina will be of special interest for this course.

JPII 5330: Social/political teaching of John Paul II

A study of the social encyclicals of John Paul II Laborem Exercens ("Engaging in Work"); Sollicitudo Rei Socialis ("Solicitude for the Social Condition"; Centesimus Annus ("The Hundredth Year"), this course explores the dignity of the person in community through work, family, social solidarity, economic development, culminating in the participation in cultural and political life. The of human rights will be a special theme, especially freedom of conscience and the right to freedom of religion.

JPII 5335: Mission, Culture and Evangelization

On the Christian engagement with culture and studies the encyclical Redemptoris Missio (“The Mission of the Redeemer”). It examines the special role of the laity in apostolate to culture and the framework for the training and education of the laity. Also included are Ut unum sint and Christifidelis Laici.

JPII 5392: JPII Independent Study

Student research on a selected problem in the field pursued under the guidance of an assigned member of the faculty. Substantial research paper or audio/video production required. Prerequisite: Department Consent.

PLSH 1331: Elementary Polish I

Provide the student with vocabulary, grammar and cultural insight via an introduction Polish language and associated culture.

PLSH 2300: Introduction to Polish Culture

Major characteristics and historical stages of the development of Polish Culture with a special emphasis on Literature, as well as European contexts and question of Polish distinctiveness, both religious and secular.

PLSH 2331: Intermediate Polish I

Continuation of Elementary Polish. The course offers further development of grammatical and communicative skills, as well as standard idiom, in the broader context of Polish culture and everyday life. Development of skills in reading Polish texts.

PLSH 2332: Intermediate Polish II

Continuation of Elementary Polish. The course offers further development of grammatical and communicative skills, as well as standard idiom, in the broader context of Polish culture and everyday life. Development of skills in reading Polish texts.

PLSH 3310: Poland in the 20th Century

The History of 20thCentury Poland, including such topics as nationalism, reestablishment of independence, Poland under totalitarian systems, and the Solidarity Era and return to freer politics and society. Politics will receive considerable attention, as well as cultural, economic and religious history, with some attention to the place of Poland in the wider world.

PLSH 3315: The History of XVI-XIX Century

The course is designed to present students the key aspects of over 300 years of Polish history from the so-called “Golden Age” of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in late XVIc to the partitions of Poland in the XIXc and national uprisings. This fascinating and turbulent period will be described from the political, cultural and social view. The class is a combination of series of lectures and in-class discussions. Students will write two brief essays about two chosen topics from the list.

PLSH 3320: Polish Texans: The History of Texas Polonia

Selected topics to study the past 200 years of history concerning the Polish immigration to Texas, reasons for their departure and their contributions to Texas/US as it relates to economics, religion, politics, and culture.

PLSH 3325: Contemporary Poland

The course is designed to present students the most important facts, events about modern Poland XX/XXI century, including the political situation, Polish business, daily life, tourism, Polish customs and traditions. The class is a combination of series of lectures and in-class discussion. A separate bibliography will be provided for each module. Material will be also provided by instructor. Students will write two presentations about two chosen topics from the list. The participants' knowledge will be checked during the midterm exam (test) in Module 7 and the final exam in module 15 (test).

PLSH 3330: Contemporary Polish Cinema

The course is intended as a review of Polish cinema from 1945 to the present day, as an example of national and European cinema. We will look at the films from both historical and aesthetic perspectives to show the main trends of Polish cinema, such as Socialist realism, Polish film school, cinema of moral concern etc. In this way, we will discuss the work of some of the most important Polish filmmakers (Andrzej Wajda, Andrzej Munk, Roman Polanski, Agnieszka Holland, Krzysztof Kieslowski and others). The classes were conceived as a series of lectures combined with a discussion on selected Polish films. Students will prepare presentations on film directors for each class. The participants' knowledge will be checked during the midterm amd final exam.

PLSH 3335: Contemporary Polish Writers

Using contemporary Polish literature, the course is designed to introduce topics of Polish culture, history, and society for English language readers. Works by Polish writers not only possess high aesthetic values, but also serve as artistic records revealing the major upheavals of Polish history: partitions, lack of independence, communism, the democratic movement. Applying interdisciplinary tools, students will decipher a manifold depiction of Polish culture and society.