Iona Preparatory School
Religious Studies Department
Religion I: Introduction to Catholicism & the Hebrew Scriptures
Teacher: Mr. Mark King
Semester: Introduction to Catholicism
- The first semester of the freshman year course lays the foundation for the four-year sequence
in Religious Studies. The primary objective of this semester is to introduce
students to the basic tenets of Roman Catholicism. This semester concentrates
on the core beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church and as such, will engage in a survey of both catechetical and non-catechetical
forms of religious education.
- However, following in the spirit of Vatican II, as spelled out in its documents
Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Gadium et Spes: The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern
World, and Nostra Aetate, the Council’s Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, this
course will seek to engage the wider contemporary world, including other religions.
This will begin in the second semester when we look at Hebrew Scripture.
- This course will engage in an academic, critically reflective religious education
that has the further aim of understanding the nature of religion itself and resists an inward looking, sectarian faith that
ignores the reality and value of other religious traditions.
- While the course textbook will be a valuable and essential source of authentic
Catholic teaching and belief, it will be critically engaged and contrasted with other reading sources that will be handed
out throughout the semester.
- It is suggested that to exclusively restrict one’s Catholic identity to Catholic
doctrinal beliefs and not to be open to the wisdom of other religious traditions, is no longer adequate for a religiously
pluralistic, postmodern world.
Encourage critical, reflective thinking on the Catholic tradition and its relevance to your
Develop basic academic skills such as critical reading, outlining, note-taking,
- Help students develop a better
sense of the relationship between their religious beliefs and their sense of social responsibility
- Help students analyze ideas critically and intelligently
- Pastva, Loretta, Called by the Father: The Hebrew Scriptures, Benziger Publishing
- The New American Bible
- Computer disk for journaling
As some often forget, Jesus was a practicing Jew who did not reject Jewish
Scripture and teachings. He simply re-interpreted them. The material offered in the second semester of Religion I will focus on the roots of Christianity through
the study of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament).
- Students will learn about the people, historical events, rituals, cultural
beliefs, and literary genres of a large portion of the Hebrew Scriptures. The
primary intent here is to understand the basis of Salvation History.
As such, students will receive sound education in the basic tools of scriptural analysis.
- The themes of covenant and human frailty will be examined as students are
exposed to Israel’s development
as a nation and a people called by YHWH. These themes, along with the theme of
Exodus, will be regularly applied to the Roman Catholic Church today as it struggles to adapt to new situations
in the 21st century.
· Unit One: The Bible; Purpose and divisions of the Bible;
How to read; The use of metaphor and symbol; Critical approach
· Unit Two: Origins and Stories; Four traditions; Myths and Etiologies; Ancient Hebrew Cosmology;
Story of Creation; Free will and the Fall of Humanity
Unit Three: The Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Moses and Exodus; The Promised Land; The Judges; David
and Solomon; Prophets.