Loyola University Maryland

First-Year Programs

Self and Other Course Pairing

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Identity, Community, and Love of “Neighbor”: An Introduction to Theology (TH 201.01S)

This course explores how the identity of a community—and the individuals in it— are shaped through an evolving understanding of their encounter with God and others. Particular attention is paid to the practical implications of how one’s individual and communal identity shapes the way one perceives others (my “neighbor”), both near and far, and how it shapes one’s understanding of moral demands in relation to the other.  Along the way students will be introduced to the storyline of the Bible, including the development of Ancient Israel, the birth of Judaism, and the birth of Christianity out of its Jewish roots, its intersection with Greco-Roman culture, and its development in thought and practice over time.  This historical examination serves as the backdrop for thinking about our own individual and communal identities, and how they might shape our understanding of how we are called to live in our own place(s) and time.

Faculty Biography

As an undergraduate at Swarthmore College, Dr. Claire Mathews McGinnis was an anthropology-sociology major, and a religion minor, where she became deeply interested in religion from an anthropological perspective.  She continued her studies in Christianity (and Judaism) at Yale Divinity School.  Upon receiving a Masters of Divinity, she enrolled in the doctoral program at Yale University, where she received a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament.  She has taught at Loyola for more than twenty years.  Her research interests include the Prophets, biblical narrative, and theological interpretation (how biblical texts can be read in relation to our present concern to love God and our neighbor.)  She is also interested in the interaction of various cultures and classes within the U.S.  A native of Baltimore, she very much enjoys getting students off campus to share with them what is vibrant, fun, and interesting about “Charm City.”

Race, Conquest and Identity in Ancient North Africa (CL292D.01S)

Course Description: This course will introduce students to questions of race, imperialism and cultural/ethnic identity in the ancient world, specifically North Africa both before and after the Roman conquest.  Students will be exposed to global diversity and issues of justice, especially with reference to conquered populations and to questions of assimilation and resistance.  We will read ancient plays, speeches, history, a novel, memoirs and a martyr account in addition to modern textbooks.

Faculty Biography

Prof. Thomas McCreight has been teaching Latin and Greek at all levels and classical literature in translation at Loyola for over twenty years.  His research has focused mostly on Apuleius, a North African orator, writer and intellectual from the second century AD.  He is interested in ancient fiction, rhetoric and magic and in modern appropriations of classical texts, themes and motifs.

Mentor Biography

Rodney Parker is from Wilson, NC and serves as the Director of ALANA Services. He obtained his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University (Go Wolfpack!). Later, he received his Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees from Duke University (Go Blue Devils!). He came to Loyola more than eight years ago and worked with the dynamic Center for Community Service and Justice staff. After the first two and a half years at Loyola, he joined the ALANA team in the Spring 2005. His job responsibilities include providing leadership for the ALANA team. He is currently working on his doctoral degree in Pastoral Counseling. In his spare time, he likes to read, hang out with friends, and listen to all types of music.