Irish Rover Course Recommendations for the Fall 2021 semester

BAUG 33100: Work and the Interior Life – Prof. Jeffrey Burks

Professor Burks will offer “Work and the Interior Life,” in which business students have the opportunity to evaluate and articulate their aspirations for their career and interior life, drawing upon the tradition of the Catholic Church and it’s conception of work. Fulfilling the University’s “Catholicism Across the Disciplines Requirement,” students will engage sources from the theological and business discipline. As a long-time president of University Faculty/Staff for Life, Professor Burks is deeply committed to the Catholic mission of the University, and this new course promises to engage that mission well.

HIST 30877: Cities & Suburbs in Postwar America – Fr. Stephen Koeth, C.S.C.

Fr. Stephen Koeth, C.S.C. is a postdoctoral fellow with the Cushwa Center for American Catholicism and beloved priest-in-residence in Stanford, the 2020-21 Hall of the Year. Fr. Koeth’s scholarship and teaching focus on twentieth-century religious, political, and urban history and this course, he will guide students in a thorough consideration of primary and secondary sources and various forms of media so that they might inspect the major themes, changes, and continuities of postwar urban development.

THEO 20264: Theology of Saints and Warfare – Sr. Ann Astell

The histories of sainthood, war, and theology are strangely intertwined. Accounts of violent warfare in the Old Testament led the Manichaeans and the Marcionites to reject the Old Testament and its God and to deny the holiness of Jewish patriarchs (Abraham, Jacob, Moses), prophets, and kings (David). Defending the unity of the Bible as the inspired Word of God, Saint Augustine defended the holiness of Old Testament battle-leaders and laid the foundation for a Just War theory. Many Christian saints became hermits and ascetics after quitting military service, turning battle against the enemy into a discipline of struggle against the devil and his temptations. Some former soldiers adopted military discipline, language, and images in their striving for holiness. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux taught that Christian knighthood and the Crusades could be paths to sainthood, even as he warned against the spiritual dangers of warfare. Saints Joan of Arc and Saint George were warrior saints and are invoked by soldiers. In modern times, reflection on warfare has inspired extraordinary writings by mystically gifted souls who served in war zones. Other saints, martyrs, and mystics have, however, refused military service as idolatrous. The Church’s social teaching constantly proclaims the call to peace and peacemaking, the possibility of conscientious objection, and the criteria for just and unjust war. This course seeks to understand the diversity of saintly decisions and practices and to discern their faithfulness to Christian doctrine.

ROFR 40605: The Priest in French Culture – Fr. Greg Haake

A Holy Cross priest, Fr. Greg is a wise man and holy priest who has an intense love for French and its history, and is eager to share that love with his students. In a moment when the meaning of the priesthood in the Catholic Church and beyond continues to be contested, a study of the French context will yield a deeper understanding of the priest and his role as an embodiment of the Church and its authority. Course taught in English, with materials available both in English and the original French.

THEO 20606: Theology of Marriage – Fr. Paulinus Odozor

This course seeks to introduce participants to the principal elements in the Catholic Tradition on marriage by examining the sources of this tradition in sacred scripture, the work of ancient Christian writers, the official teachings of the Church and recent theological reflection. The method employed in the course is thus historical, scriptural, and thematic. The readings selected for this course are intended to expose students to contemporary discussion in moral theology apropos of these issues, and provide them with the necessary theological tools to critically evaluate a wide variety of ethical positions dealing with marriage in the Catholic tradition.

PHIL 20627: Science and Catholicism – Prof. John O’Callaghan

A renowned scholar of Aquinas, Professor John O’Callaghan will offer an introduction into the relation between science and religion, focusing on how the Catholic Church’s intellectual tradition has faced these issues. The course will engage thinkers from Augustine to Notre Dame’s own Fr. Zahm and topics from Revelation to the Big Bang. Professor O’Callaghan promises interesting lectures that may even make the Angelic Doctor understandable!

POLS 30707: Foundations of Constitutional Order – Prof. Susan Collins

As a leading scholar of Aristotle – and translator of the Nicomachean Ethics! – Professor Collins is an excellent and engaging teacher who promises lively discussion on topics at the bedrock of our own American constitutional system. Enter into debates about the nature of political society and character of our pre-political condition, the status of war and peace, the nature of political authority and law, and the proper ends of political community.

THEO 20830: Islam and Christian Theology – Prof. Gabriel Reyonds

Those looking to engage the traditions of other world religions can do no better than to take a course with this renowned scholar of Isalm and Christianity and enter into an important facet of inter-religious dialogue. Professor Reynolds’ concern for his students’ learning is evident and he is sure to provide a wide breadth of knowledge from a diversity of perspectives, Christian and Islamic. No prior background in Arabic or Isalm is required.

THEO 40823: Religion and Literature – Prof. Cyril O’Regan

This course has as its central context the crisis of discursive authority in the modern period both subsequent and consequent to literature gaining its independence from Christianity and its central focus on the different attitudes literature takes towards Christianity on a spectrum that at one end is unrelentingly critical as anti-humanist and at the other affirming of Christianity rather than literature as the true humanism. The reading list includes Camus, Dante, Joyce, Dostoyevski, and Shelley.

THEO 40101: Introduction to Old Testament – Prof. Gary Anderson

For theology majors, this semester’s Old Testament offering is an opportunity to learn with a legend of biblical proportions. Brave the 8 a.m. slot to dive into the Scriptures with a phenomenal and humorous professor and scholar who is always ready and willing to offer a wealth of knowledge to his students in an engaging lecture format.

THEO 20425: Nuptial Mystery – Prof. Tim O’Malley

Tim O’Malley is a fantastic professor and entertainer, combining fascinating readings on cultural phenomena with the beauty and richness of the Catholic tradition. Students will be challenged to encounter the fullness of the Church’s teaching about marriage and sexuality – and be challenged to ask someone out on a date! Most importantly, any student of O’Malley’s will be invited to learn to love well – both others and God – in a more complete gift of self. With the added bonus of Doctor O’Malley’s love of Dolly Parton, this class is truly a must-take!

PHIL 43188: Neoplatonism – Prof. David Cory (also PHIL 20101)

Many of the deepest ideas about God, the mind, the soul, the nature of embodiment, and beauty spring from the highly influential but understudied school of philosophy often referred to as Neoplatonism. Neoplatonists took themselves to be the philosophical heirs of Plato, but also sought to reconcile Plato’s doctrines with Aristotle’s as well as bring systematicity to Plato’s famously unsystematic dialogues. Neoplatonists were system-builders interested in the connections among connecting metaphysics, ethics, epistemology, philosophical anthropology, and natural theology. The course will explore how neoplatonists approach these philosophical sub-disciplines are shaped in light of their foundational principles such as the priority of unity over multiplicity, the priority of intelligibile (mental) being over material being, the inherent link between beauty and desire, and that all caused things act as images or expressions of that which causes them. Much of the Neoplatonic tradition was explicitly and proudly monotheistic, and partly for this reason, was highly influential in the intellectual development of Judiaism, Christianity, and Islam. In fact, Neoplatonic representatives can be found in each of the major monotheistic religions (and course readings will reflect the diversity of religious traditions in which neoplatonic thought flourished).

POLS 30654: Catholicism and Politics – Prof. Daniel Philpott

“Catholicism and Politics” promises lively debate and informative lecture about important topics for any politically engaged young Catholic in the modern world. How ought Catholics to think about the political order and political issues within it? Professor Philpott’s love for the faith and for his students is sure to be clear for all those who take on the challenge of being a “Council Father” in the course’s culminating mock-Vatican Council!

HIST 30805: US Foreign Policy in the Cold War – Fr. Bill Miscamble, C.S.C.

Rover Advisor Fr. Bill Miscamble offers engaging classroom discussions guaranteed to challenge his students’ perspectives on difficult issues. Dive into a fascinating period of U.S. history and global affairs in lively debate and informative and clear lectures.

THEO 20888: Science, Creation, and Theology – Fr. Terry Ehrman, C.S.C.

This course investigates the Christian understanding of creation and how this doctrine relates to contemporary scientific issues. We will examine the development of the doctrine beginning with Scripture and the Creed and progressing through the early Church period into the Medieval and Scholastic era, focusing on the concepts of creation ex nihilo, creation continua, divine Providence, and divine action in the world. With the rise of the modern era, we will analyze the origin of and principles involved with the purported conflict between science and theology. We will bring the doctrine of creation into dialogue with three contemporary issues in the sciences: cosmology, evolution, and ecology. Integral to this course will be the relationship and response of humankind to God and to creation. This course will have a special appeal to students interested in the intersection of science and theology.

THEO 40201: Christian Theological Traditions I – Prof. John Cavadini

No student should leave Notre Dame without taking a class with Professor John Cavadini, and “Trads I” offers theology majors and minors an opportunity to explore over a millenia of theological tradition with this fantastic and entertaining professor. Professor Cavadini will guide you through the early Church Fathers all the way out of Dante’s Inferno, explaining how mystery can never be reduced to myth or history and how God “bent down” in the Incarnation. Students may just find themselves receiving a course-themed t-shirt.

ECON 40850: Economics of Innovation – Prof. Kirk Doran

Professor Kirk Doran is an accomplished economist and illustrates complex concepts with simple, humorous examples. He is a thoughtful professor who holds extensive office hours, takes time to get to know his students, and genuinely cares about their success in his class. An advisor for the Rover, Prof. Doran is a committed Catholic and understands his profession as extending beyond the classroom and into a wider community of formation.

BAUG 20150: Business Law, Contracts, and Agency – Prof. Laura Hollis

Rover Advisor Prof. Hollis’s classes are always super engaging, and get you thinking about business in a different way. Her background and experience in law open up new interests for students who may never have considered the subject before, and her teaching style is very interactive. Both fun and challenging and a requirement for all BA students, this class is great for students looking for a real opportunity for intellectual and personal growth.

FIN 40470/THEO 40641: Corporate Governance and Catholic Social Teaching – Dean Martijn Cremers

Rover Faculty Advisor Dean Cremers is a real treasure for ND, ensuring that studying business does not require missing out on Catholic formation. In this course, finance majors will get an important sense of how their field is linked to the social teaching of the Church. If you’re tired of having finance be perceived as a greedy money-grabbing field, jump into this class and learn how it can be a great force for good.

POLS 30665: Constitutionalism, Law and Politics II – Prof. Vincent Munoz

Students interested in the Constitutional Studies minor or considering a career in the law will benefit greatly from Professor Muñoz’ introductory course, engaging topics from the Founding era through the New Deal. While challenging, the class promises lively discussion and thought-provoking lectures with many opportunities for engaging with prominent speakers of great renown.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of all courses and professors who support and further the Catholic mission of the University of Notre Dame. This is a list compiled by the Irish Rover with individual recommendations from our staff. For a more complete list of professors, please refer to, a project of the Sycamore Trust.