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Sample Readings

THD842 Readings in Christian Spirituality, 2 -  Franciscan Spirituality


This course introduces the students to the Writings of Francis and Clare, the major biographies of Francis, as well as the works of other significant Franciscan men and women.  In addition, the course will examine some contemporary interpretations of the Franciscan charism and its expression today.  (3 credits)


1. Students will gain an in-depth knowledge of a specific topic related to their general field of study through a critical reading of core texts, the development of an annotated bibliography, communication with the professor, and a major research paper.

2. Students will demonstrate their critical understanding of at least two core texts assigned by the professor by writing a book review suitable for publication in a professional journal.

3. Students will demonstrate their research skills by providing an annotated bibliography from a literature search on the course topic.

4. Students will demonstrate their ability to organize their research in a coherent manner by submitting a research proposal that includes a thesis summary, preliminary outline, and tentative bibliography.

5. Students will demonstrate their analytic and critical reading skills by writing a research paper on a topic approved by the professor.

Core Texts:

Regis Armstrong, OFMCap. (ed.), The Francis Trilogy, NY: New City Press, 2004.
Dawn Nothwehr, OSF, The Franciscan View of the Human Person, St. Bonaventure, NY: The Franciscan Institute, 2005.
Ilia Delio, OSF, A Franciscan View of Creation, St. Bonaventure, NY: The Franciscan Institute, 2003.
Calogeas, McKelvie, et al, An Unencumbered Heart, Tribute to Clare, St. Bonaventure NY: The Franciscan Institute, 2004.
Rotzetter, et al, Gospel Living, Francis of Assisi, St. Bonaventure, NY: The Franciscan Institute, 1994.


Book Review: Gospel Living, Francis of Assisi  10%
Book Review: An Unencumbered Heart 10%
Annotated Bibliography – current literature topic; 15 entries  20%
Research Proposal 10%
Research Paper – minimum 20 pages 50%

Essential Topics:

Life of Francis of Assisi, I & II Celano
Life and Spirit of Clare of Assisi
Understanding Self in the Franciscan Tradition
Understanding the World from a Franciscan Perspective
Understanding God in the Franciscan Tradition
Franciscan Perspectives on Prayer


4.0 A Demonstration of a superior level of competency
3.67 A- Demonstration of a very good level of competency
3.33 B+ Demonstration of a good level of competency
3.0 B Demonstration of satisfactory, average level of competency
2.67  B- Demonstration of a less than average level of competency
2.0  C Demonstration of competence below that expected of graduate work
0.0 F Failure to demonstrate even a marginal level of competency
  I Indicates work not completed within the trimester period
  W Indicates an authorized withdrawal from a course

Francis Berna, OFM, Ph.D.

Francis Berna, Ph.D.

Theology and Ministry Graduate Studies
1900 West Olney Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19141 USA
Phone: 215.951.1346
Fax: 215.951.1665

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