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, in literature and the arts, in the history of science, and in 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 will explore 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 will enable 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.