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The History and Theology of the Papacy Liberal Arts & Cultural Heritage Program Fall 2023 Semester - Rome

Flight Credit Get a Flight Credit worth up to $1,000 when you apply with code* by February 17, 2023

The History and Theology of the Papacy

The History and Theology of the Papacy Course Overview


CEA Partner Institution: CEA/Providence College Center for Theology and Religious Studies
Location: Rome, Italy
Primary Subject Area: Theology
Other Subject Area: Religious Studies, History
Instruction in: English
Course Code: THL360
Course Details: Level 300
Recommended Semester Credits: 3
Contact Hours: 45
Prerequisites: For Providence College sudents, 200 level theology course
Additional Fee: $30.00
Additional Fee Description:This course requires payment of an additional fee to cover active learning components that are above and beyond typical course costs, such as site visits, entrance fees and other expenses.


This course will introduce the student to the history and theology of the papacy. The idea that the bishop of Rome, as the successor of St. Peter, has been given the responsibility and the powers to ensure that the Church as a whole remains united in the faith transmitted by Jesus Christ to the apostles resides at the heart of Catholic ecclesiology. Yet, as important as the Petrine ministry has been for Roman Catholicism, it has, and remains, controversy within Christianity as a whole. The papacy has been an important element in the splits within the Christian faith, both those separating Roman Catholicism from Eastern Orthodoxy as well as from the varieties of Protestantism. Moreover, the papacy has a fascinating history of its own and one that touches upon many vital streams within western and world history. In this course, we shall learn not only about the historical evolution of the papacy, but about some of the individual popes who have shaped that history. Yet, since history is only part of the story, we shall also read theologians on the papacy, both Catholic and not, critics as well as champions. By the end, each student should have a good understanding of the papal past and its future potential.

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