Loyola University Maryland


The Visionary Course Pairing

Theology Matters (TH 201D)

This course explores the basic story of Christianity as told in scripture and the various ways that Christians have lived out this story across the centuries. The course examines how the Christian story influences life today, and how life today influences our telling of that story. Students of any and all religious locations will explore questions at the heart of the human story: Who is God? What is evil? Why is there suffering? What is justice in the Christian tradition? Christian theologians have wrestled with these questions for two millennia. The course will expose you to their responses, but more importantly will challenge you to consider your own position. Throughout the course you will be considering how your responses to these, and other, questions influence your conception of "the good life" and the virtues needed to achieve human flourishing.

Faculty biography

Dr. Jill Snodgrass is a Professor of Theology and a pastoral and practical theologian. She joined the Loyola faculty in 2011. Her research focuses on spiritual care and counseling with traditionally marginalized populations and her interdisciplinary approach to theology privileges the Ignatian value of a "faith that does justice."

Encountering the Past (HS 100)

Rather than approaching history as a list of dates, names, and historical events, this introductory course instead explores how historians have defined and practiced their craft, approached key themes in their scholarship, and deployed a vast array of evidence in support of historical interpretations. In other words, we will study how historians make their histories. In doing so, we will approach the discipline as a contested landscape full of debate and conflict where ideas do battle. Unlike many other disciplines, history has no set canon, nor does it have a narrowly defined set of practices or theoretical approaches. This course sets out to introduce students to some of the methods used by historians, while bearing in mind that historical knowledge is provisional and complex. Along the way, students will develop the skills necessary for understanding and producing histories, which include the critical evaluation of sources and the ability to write cogently and persuasively about events in the past. Finally, this course also asks students to think about why the study of history is important to our lives today.   We will engage these topics and questions by exploring myths and realities related to the Middle East. In the Western media, the Middle East is often depicted as a hot desert inhabited by Muslim Arabs where women are oppressed, violence is endemic, and anti-Western views are dominant. In reality, the Middle East is an ethnically diverse region of the world and the birthplace of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as well as home to one of the world's oldest civilizations. Members of different faith groups and ethnicities have coexisted and cooperated with one another as well as having come into conflict. We will explore how distorted views  and images regarding the Middle East took hold and became popularized though literature, media, film, art and other mediums. We will also examine how the native peoples of the Middle East addressed Western representations of the Orient in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries at the height of European imperialism.  

Faculty biography

Dr. Bahar Jalali teaches the history of the Middle East and also specializes in Gender Studies.

Mentor biography

Pat Cassidy (he/him) is the Associate Director for Programs in the Center for Community, Service, and Justice (CCSJ) as well as the moderator of The LGBTQ+ Experience and Loyola's Sewing Club. A Connecticut native, Pat has lived in Baltimore since 2010 after finishing two years of post-graduate service with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Belize. In his free time, Pat enjoys being active outdoors, exploring new coffee shops and restaurants throughout the city, and road-tripping anywhere and everywhere. 

Virtual Advisor

HS 100 satisfies the History core requirement for all students. TH 201D satisfies the Theology core requirement and the Diversity core requirement for all students.

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Advising and Support

Evergreens: Your personal guides to life at Loyola

Loyola student leaders support and guide students through their first-year experience.

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