Course Number: CHH 661
Course Title: Catholic Modernism
Term: Fall 2017

Instructor

Professor: Fr. Gregoire Fluet, Email: gfluet@holyapostles.edu 

Course Description

This course reviews Catholic modernism and addresses the intellectual causes of modernism and its major components. The study includes magisterial statements of Pius X concerning modernism and exposure to the works of several important Catholic modernists.

2. Envisioned Learning Outcomes

  1. The student will demonstrate an ability to locate and define major concepts in, and recall overarching themes of, the several components of Catholic Modernism in order to construct and present the information in a formal and informal manner.
  2. Using the information from the readings, the student will demonstrate a working knowledge (defined as the ability to recall, paraphrase, and interpret) of Church doctrine as opposed to the teaching of Catholic Modernism by applying it in given scenarios.
  3. The student will demonstrate an ability to formulate answers to common questions to prepare him or her to explain authentic Church teaching as presented in magisterial documents as opposed to the teaching of Catholic Modernism.

3. Weekly Schedule

This schedule below is constructed to partially fulfill the Holy Apostles College and Seminary mission statement “to cultivate lay, consecrated and ordained Catholic leaders for the purpose of evangelization.”

To be able to evangelize, a future leader must have a working knowledge of Church doctrine. This course exposes the student to the teachings of Catholic Modernism, which was an attempt to make the Church relevant to the modern world by making her adapt to it. The student will learn about representative Modernist thought and be exposed to several important Catholic Modernists. In this course, the student is required to demonstrate knowledge of Catholic Modernism through eleven weekly postings.

But to be able to evangelize, knowing basic doctrine is not enough. The evangelizer must be able to recall the doctrine and interpret it in a manner applicable to the situation. Rarely will the leader be asked to present formal lessons on Catholic Modernism. More often the situation will be one where the leader needs to explain or support the Church’s articulated doctrine against error or heresy by formulating a correct answer to a question, or contrasting true Church authentic teaching with that of Catholic Modernism. In this course, the student is challenged to develop such answers in a series of two real-life scenario papers and a term paper.

This is how the content of the course is categorized:

  1. The intellectual causes of modernism and its major components,
  2. Concern with Biblical criticism, anti-scholasticism, faith as action vs. belief, and emphasis on historical process,
  3. Magisterial statements concerning Catholic Modernism, including that of Pius X and,
  4. Exposure to the works of several important Catholic modernists.

Week 1: Introduction to Modernism 

This week you will learn about current Catholic thinking about Catholic Modernism. Reading and posting assignments are listed in the Lessons tab.

Week 2:  What is “Modern”?

This week you will learn how the understanding of time and progress have changed, and how that impacted the word “modern”. Reading and posting assignments are listed in the Lessons tab.

Week 3:  The Old Definition of Modernism

This week you learn about the old method of Catholic thinking about Catholic Modernism. Reading and posting assignments are listed in the Lessons tab.

Week 4:  The Writing of Pius X

This week you will learn what Pius X wrote about Modernism. Reading and posting assignments are listed in the Lessons tab.

Week 5:  Science

This week you will learn the Catholic understanding of science. You have no posting assignment this week as your written assignment is due. It is described below.

Week 6:  History

This week you will continue to learn about the change in the understanding of history. Reading and posting assignments are listed in the Lessons tab.

Week 7:  Social Issues

This week you will learn the Catholic understanding of the “social problem.” Reading and posting assignments are listed in the Lessons tab.

Week 8: Biblical Criticism

This week you will learn the Catholic understanding of Biblical criticism. Reading and posting assignments are listed in the Lessons tab.

Week 9: Scholasticism

This week you will learn the Catholic understanding of scholasticism, Reading and posting assignments are listed in the Lessons tab.

Week 10: Knowing God through Reason  

This week you will learn the Catholic understanding of how we know God through reason. Reading and posting assignments are listed in the Lessons tab.

Week 11: Missionary Activity

This week you will learn the Catholic understanding of missionary activity. Reading and posting assignments are listed in the Lessons tab.

Week 12: Alfred Loisy

This week you will learn about the thought of the Catholic Modernist, Alfred Loisy. Reading and posting assignments are listed in the Lessons tab.

Week 13: George Tyrrell

This week you will learn about the thought of the Catholic Modernist, George Tyrrell. Reading and posting assignments are listed in the Lessons tab.

Week 14: Baron Friedrich von Hugel

This week you will learn about the thought of the Catholic Modernist, Baron Friedrich von Hugel. Reading and posting assignments are listed in the Lessons tab.

Week 15: Term Paper

4. COURSE REQUIREMENTS

1. Discussion Postings.

In weeks when a discussion post is required, you must post your summary, questions, and answer by Wednesday, midnight, Eastern Time.

Summary: A summary should be not more than 400 words long, with enough information to enable you to important points and themes in each. Make sure you include important definitions in your summary (e.g., What does Modernism mean? What does scholastic philosophy mean? What does biblical criticism mean?)

Questions and Answer: Continue the post as follows. Select one important statement from the reading. (Note that in weeks where more than one reading is assigned, select one for this portion of the post.) Construct one to three questions from the statement you have selected. Answer the question as if you were speaking to either a sincere Catholic Modernist. Keep in mind your role as a future Catholic evangelist and leader. Remember your audience so that you will formulate questions and answers appropriate to the person you are addressing!

You must address the questions and answers of at least three (3) other students by Saturday, midnight, Eastern Time.

You must post using the following procedure:

  1. Select "add" next to the Discussions header to the right of this page
  2. Use the following convention in Title: First and Last name, Week #
  3. Type in your summary, questions, and answer in Topic (I strongly suggest you  copy/paste this so you will not lose your work. DO NOT attach the work; copy and paste it.) This must be completed by Wednesday, 11:59 PM, Eastern Time.
  4. Save when finished
  5. Read and respond to at least three peers and their posts. This must be completed by Saturday, 11:59 PM, Eastern Time.

The posting part of the course addresses Learning Outcome 1.

Exceptions to post after the midnight due dates will only be granted for serious cases, i.e. serious health/family issues… not for vacations. You must contact your professor for consideration of any exceptions. Thus, if permission is given to post beyond the weekly due date, you cannot receive full credit for the posting of that week.

For ease of reading, you will be adding your own discussion areas to post your summaries. Instructions on how to post your own discussion will be provided for you in each weekly lesson container. Please do not add your summary response as an attachment. I do not comment on postings unless a student has posted an error, an interesting point for further discussion, or a direct question. I do, however, read every post.

Note that 50% of your discussion posting grade is based on your summary, questions and answer and 50% is based on your responses to the questions and answer of three other students.

2. Complete all reading and writing assignments.

Reading assignments are listed in the lessons tab under the appropriate week.

You will have one written homework assignment to email to me at ctoolin@holyapostles.edu during the semester. They will be due on Saturday, 11:59 PM, Eastern Time, of Week 5. You will not have a Discussion Posting assignment those two weeks.

The writing assignment should be double spaced, Times New Roman Font 12, five pages long. In addition to five pages of text, there should be a title page, footnotes and a bibliography of sources you have used in constructing your answer.

If you need an extension on the writing assignment, please request it via email at least one week before the due date. If I do not receive a request, I will reduce the grade of the writing assignment by 1/2 grade each day that it is late. Thus an A writing assignment that is two days late could not receive a grade higher than B+. I am willing to grant extensions for serious reasons, such as health. However, if you need an extension for every writing assignment, you should probably postpone enrolling in distance learning courses until you have more free time."

The written assignment addresses Learning Objective 2.

Week 5: Imagine a Catholic Modernist, one well informed in the teachings of his or her perspective, approaches you and argues that due to a new social appreciation of change, authority and freedom must be understood in an entirely different way than in the past. Using the knowledge you have obtained in reading about Catholic Modernism, develop a well thought out, intelligent, cogent argument articulating the Church’s teaching on this issue. Remember that as a future Catholic evangelist and leader, you must answer arguments politely, defining terms, using themes a person can remember, taking into account the information the other has in his or her possession.

3. Term Paper

You will have a term paper to email to me at ctoolin@holyapostles.edu by Friday, midnight, Eastern Time, of week 15.

The paper should be double spaced, Times New Roman Font 12, at least ten pages long. In addition to at least ten pages of text, there should be a title page, endnotes and a bibliography of sources you have used in constructing your answer.

The term paper addresses Learning Outcome 3.

Imagine you are having dinner with two Catholic friends. One is a fully Catholic person, but is not well acquainted with Catholic teaching on how we can know God through reason. The other is a good person, but a nominal Catholic with Modernist leanings. He interprets Church teaching on how we can know God through reason from a Catholic Modernist perspective. Using the knowledge you have obtained in reading about Catholic Modernism this semester, develop a well thought out, intelligent, cogent argument articulating the Church’s teaching on this matter. Include Thomas Aquinas’ approach in Summa Contra Gentiles. Remember that as a future Catholic evangelist and leader, you must answer arguments politely, defining terms, using themes people can remember, taking into account the information the others have in their possession.

5. TEXT MATERIAL and RESOURCES:

Because this is a graduate level course, a substantial amount of reading is required. This is material that must be mastered if you intend to continue your studies of theology. Accordingly I urge you not only to do the reading, but to do it prayerfully, thoughtfully and slowly. Review the readings when you have some extra time. If possible, do the optional readings too.

To be able to practice any discipline, three things are required. You must know the material, you must be able to see relationships within the material and with other disciplines, and you must be able to communicate both the material and the relationships. Thus mastery of a discipline requires a significant time commitment.

Most of the readings in this course are available on the internet.  

You will need access to a good public or college library that has the latest edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia. Do not use the edition that is available on the Internet that was published in the early 1900s except for the assignment in Week 3!

IMPORTANT NOTE: I have addressed some of the readings, by week, in the Lessons section. Note that I have not addressed all of the reading, but some of the more important points. Do not substitute what I have written for reading the documents on your own!  

6. SUGGESTED READINGS:

Optional Media:

If you would like to listen to optional media for this course, EWTN has an interesting series called G. K. Chesterton, Apostles of Common Sense. It concerns his book, Heretics.
Go to www.ewtn.com and in the audio library, in series, type "modernism".

Modernist Works:

Here is a list of some works by modernists. If you want to read the writings of modernists remember to read them with caution!

Paul Badham. The Contemporary Challenge of Modernist Theology. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1998.

Jonathan Clatworthy (ed.). The New Liberalism: Faith for the Third Millennium. Bristol, U.K.: J.W. Arrowsmith Ltd. 1998.

A. Leslier Lilley. Modernism: A Record and Review. London: Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons, Ltd., 1908.

M.D. Petre. Modernism: Its Failure and Its Fruits. London: T.C. & E.C. Jack, Ltd., 1918.

Bernard M.G. Reardon. Roman Catholic Modernism. London: Adam & Charles Black, 1970.

Alan M.G. Stephenson. The Rise and Decline of English Modernism: The Hulsean Lectures 1979-80. London: SPCK, 1984.

7. GRADING

My grading practice has developed over the last few years. In Populi, you will see grades for Posting Summary, Posting Response, Writing Assignments, and Term Paper depending on the week. When you receive your grades in Populi, you will see each is worth 100 points. Instead of giving a letter grade, all your work will be graded numerically. At the end of the semester the posting grades (composed of 50% being the summary, questions and answer and 50% being responses to the questions and answer of three other students) will be averaged and count for 30% of your final grade; the grades for your two writing assignments will be averaged and count for 33% of your final grade; and the grade for your term paper will count for 37% of your final grade.

8. DISABILITIES ACCOMMODATIONS POLICY

Holy Apostles College & Seminary is committed to the goal of achieving equal educational opportunities and full participation in higher education for persons with disabilities who qualify for admission to the College. Students enrolled in online courses who have documented disabilities requiring special accommodations should contact Bob Mish, the Director of Online Student Affairs, at rmish@holyapostles.edu or 860-632-3015. In all cases, reasonable accommodations will be made to ensure that all students with disabilities have access to course materials in a mode in which they can receive them. Students who have technological limitations (e.g., slow Internet connection speeds in convents) are asked to notify their instructors the first week of class for alternative means of delivery.

9. ACADEMIC HONESTY POLICY

Students at Holy Apostles College & Seminary are expected to practice academic honesty.

Avoiding Plagiarism

In its broadest sense, plagiarism is using someone else's work or ideas, presented or claimed as your own. At this stage in your academic career, you should be fully conscious of what it means to plagiarize. This is an inherently unethical activity because it entails the uncredited use of someone else's expression of ideas for another's personal advancement; that is, it entails the use of a person merely as a means to another persons ends.

Students:

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty:

Because of the nature of this class, academic dishonesty is taken very seriously. Students participating in academic dishonesty may be removed from the course and from the program.

10. ATTENDANCE POLICY

Even though you are not required to be logged in at any precise time or day, you are expected to login several times during each week. Because this class is being taught entirely in a technology-mediated forum, it is important to actively participate each week in the course. In a traditional classroom setting for a 3-credit course, students would be required, per the federal standards, to be in class three 50-minute sessions (or 2.5 hours a week) and prepare for class discussions six 50-minute sessions (or 5 hours) a week. Expect to devote at least nine 50-minute sessions (or 7.5 quality hours) a week to this course. A failure on the students part to actively participate in the life of the course may result in a reduction of the final grade.

11. INCOMPLETE POLICY

An Incomplete is a temporary grade assigned at the discretion of the faculty member. It is typically allowed in situations in which the student has satisfactorily completed major components of the course and has the ability to finish the remaining work without re-enrolling, but has encountered extenuating circumstances, such as illness, that prevent his or her doing so prior to the last day of class.

To request an incomplete, distance-learning students must first download a copy of the Incomplete Request Form. This document is located within the Shared folder of the Files tab in Populi. Secondly, students must fill in any necessary information directly within the PDF document. Lastly, students must send their form to their professor via email for approval. Approvalshould be understood as the professor responding to the students email in favor of granting the Incompletestatus of the student.

Students receiving an Incomplete must submit the missing course work by the end of the sixth week following the semester in which they were enrolled. An incomplete grade (I) automatically turns into the grade of Fif the course work is not completed.

Students who have completed little or no work are ineligible for an incomplete. Students who feel they are in danger of failing the course due to an inability to complete course assignments should withdraw from the course.

A W(Withdrawal) will appear on the students permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the first week of a semester to the end of the third week. A WF(Withdrawal/Fail) will appear on the students permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the third week of a semester and on or before the Friday before the last week of the semester.

12. ABOUT YOUR PROFESSOR

Fr. Gregoire J. Fluet, born in the Province of Quebec in Canada, was ordained to the priesthood in 1982 for the Diocese of Norwich. He has been pastor of two parishes in Eastern Connecticut and presently still assists in various parishes on weekends. Father Fluet has taught at Saint Bernard High School in Uncasville, Connecticut and Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson, Connecticut. Since 2004 he has taught at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell on both the graduate level and undergraduate level.  He presently also offers classes at Goodwin College in East Hartford, Connecticut. Father Fluet is a member of the Board of Governors of Holy Apostles College and Seminary, and offers Spiritual Direction at the Seminary.