Catholic Studies

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Program Overview

Catholic Studies is an interdisciplinary inquiry into the intellectual tradition, history and culture, both "high" and popular, of the Catholic Christian tradition. While the field of study includes religious questions and theological issues, it primarily follows a "cultural studies" model. In addition to courses on the Catholic Church and issues in Catholic theology, it examines the role of the Catholic tradition in history, literature and the arts, science, and cultural and ethical issues related to many fields of professional practice. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the distinctive contributions of the Catholic Church to religious, cultural intellectual issues throughout the last two thousand years.

The minor in Catholic Studies explores the texts, traditions, themes, teachings, and cultural role of the Catholic Church from its inception to its contemporary expression. Particular attention will be paid to its place in contemporary America. This interdisciplinary program enables students to study the Catholic tradition, its ethos, identity, and mission, as made tangible in history, philosophy, literature, theology, the visual and performing arts, the social and behavioral sciences, and the natural sciences.

Catholic Studies Program at Fairfield University

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Office of Undergraduate Admission

P: (203) 254-4100
F: (203) 254-4199


For a 15-credit minor in Catholic studies, students must:

  • Complete five (5) 3 credit courses
    • One (1) course must be either RLST 1402: Introduction to Catholicism or RLST 2448: Faith and Reason: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition.
    • Four (4) additional Catholic Studies electives, including:
      • At least two (2) additional courses in the Religious Studies Department.
      • At least one (1) course outside of the Religious Studies Department.

Course Offerings

AHST 1120 Medieval Art of Western Europe
AHST 1121 Celtic and Early Irish Art
AHST 1130 Early Renaissance Art in Italy
AHST 1131 High Renaissance and Mannerism in Italy
AHST 2221 Arts of Ireland and the British Isles, 500-1000
AHST 2222 Byzantine Art
BIOL 1096 God and Modern Biology
ENGL 1150 Dante
ENGL 1610 Irish Literature
ENGL 1620 Irish Women Writers
ENGL 2011 Age of Chaucer
ENGL 3011 Chaucer's Canterbury Tales
ENGL 3019 James Joyce
ENGL 3072 All About Eve
HIST 2203 European Society in the Middle Ages
HIST 2205 Anti-Semitism: Medieval to Modern
HIST 2215 Ireland: Middle Ages to the Present
HIST 2288 Colonial Latin America, 1492-1800
ITLN 3289 Dante
PHIL 2220 Philosophy of Religion
PHIL 2221 The Question of Religion
PHIL 2223 The Problem of God
PHIL 2282 Violence and the Sacred
PHIL 3304 Aquinas
POLI 2257 Northern Ireland: Politics of War and Peace
POLI 2331 Introduction to Peace and Justice
RLST 1402 Introduction to Catholicism
RLST 1601 Religion in the United States
RLST 2220 Writings of Paul
RLST 2221 Good News of the Gospels
RLST 2222 Writings of John
RLST 2331 The Problem of God
RLST 2335 Liberation Theology
RLST 2336 Christian Feminist Theology
RLST 2338 Evil
RLST 2339 Last Things: Catholic Belief in Life After Death
RLST 2428 Early Christianity
RLST 2440 The Medieval Church
RLST 2441 Encountering God in Medieval Christian Thought
RLST 2443 The Papacy 3 RLST 2445 The Reformation Era
RLST 2448 Faith and Reason: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition
RLST 2544 Finding God in All Things
RLST 2552 Contemporary Moral Problems
RLST 2555 Catholic Social Teaching
RLST 2557 Christian Spirituality
RLST 2559 Saints and Sinners: Images of Holiness in Contemporary Fiction
RLST 2649 American Catholic Theologians
RLST 2668 American Catholic History

More About Catholic Studies

Life After Fairfield

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Life After Fairfield

Catholic Studies is for students of all creeds who want unite their academic studies and career paths with Catholicism’s rich intellectual, spiritual, moral, and cultural traditions.

Today, there are important Catholic voices in every area of study, from business to biology, mathematics to music, physics to philosophy, and psychology to theology. Whatever your major or career goals, Catholic Studies will give you the opportunity to integrate them with the very best of Catholic thought, morals, and practice.

Learn how Fairfield's Career Services can support your post-graduate goals, and how our tight-knit alumni network can build career and mentoring opportunities that last a lifetime.

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Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

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Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

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As a Jesuit, Catholic university, Fairfield is dedicated to diversity and inclusion; to radical hospitality in service of racial, social, and economic justice.

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The College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University is home to a vibrant community of engaged faculty, dedicated staff, industry professionals, and accomplished scholars devoted to the process of innovation and excited by the prospect of producing knowledge in the service of others. Meet the members of our Catholic Studies program.

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