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Holy Spirit College

Theological Anthropology


THEO 560:  Theological Anthropology (3.0 credit hours)

Fr. Jeffrey Kirby, STD
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.; class begins January 9 

This is an online class. 

*This course would count as a "core" class for degree students

** Audit code is AuditTA

This course examines the Catholic doctrine of the human person in his or her relation to God, to nature, and to others. The doctrine of creation discussed in THEO 550 is revisited, but with particular emphasis given to understanding the biblical affirmation of the human person created as an imago Dei, “image of God”. Such leads to unique theological considerations of the human body, human genders, human dignity, human culture, and human history as guided by Divine Providence. The course will also treat the revealed doctrine of original sin and the fall of humanity, as well as the redemptive grace of Christ as restoring and elevating fallen human nature. Relevant texts from the Patristic, medieval, modern, and contemporary eras will be examined. (3 credit hours) 







Department: Holy Spirit College/Pontifex University, Theology

Course: THEO 560, 3.0 credit hours

Term: Spring, 2018

Course Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM

Instructor: Fr. Jeffrey Kirby, STD

Instructor Email:


This syllabus provides a general plan for the course. Deviations may be necessary.




Title: Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes

Author: Vatican II Documents (Paul VI)


Title: Encyclical Redemptor Hominis

Author: Pope St. John Paul II


Title: Destined for Liberty: The Human Person in the Philosophy of Karol Wojtyla

Author: Kupczak, J.

Publisher: Catholic University of America Press


Title: In the Beginning: A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall

Author: Ratzinger, Joseph

Publisher: Eerdmans Publishing Company


Title: Person and Being

Author: Clarke, Norris W.

Publisher: Marquette University Press




The course will provide a systematic presentation of the human person from the perspective of Christian revelation. Relying on the truths of the Trinity and the Incarnation, the course will explore what it means to be a person and to flourish in one’s personhood. It will research the origins and developments of the concept of the human person in Christian theology. Additionally, the course will elucidate the contribution of Christian theology to the notion of person in the contemporary cultural fora of philosophy, jurisprudence and art. 






The objectives of the course are:


  • To gain a proper understanding of autonomy and community within the notion of “person” in Trinitarian theology;
  • To know the linguistic and theological developments of the word and concept of “person” in Christian theology;
  • To learn what is meant by the human person as an “image of God”;
  • To understand the Incarnation and its contribution to the Christian comprehension of person;
  • To see Jesus Christ as the fullness of personhood;
  • To understand a theology of grace as the manner in which God shares his life with humanity;
  • To evaluate the influence of the Christian notion of person in the different avenues of contemporary culture.




The grading of the course will consist of:

10% Attendance at Lectures

30% One-Page Papers (as assigned)

20% First Test

20% Second Test

20% Final Exam

Grades will be based on the Student Handbooks of the respective institutions.




Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and will be disciplined according the Student Handbook of the respective institution.




Jan 09: Introduction of Professor; Review of syllabus; The Holy Trinity

Assignment:  Clarke, pp. 1-25

Jan 11: Protology and the Creation Account

Assignment: Ratzinger, In the Beginning (full work); One-Page Paper: 

How did Ratzinger reconcile the creation accounts the evolution?

Jan 16: The “One and the Many” in Trinitarian Theology

Assignment: Clarke, pp. 25-110; 

Jan 18: Creative Enculturation: Panim to Prosopon to Persona

Assignment: Kupczak, xi. – xxiii; One-Page Paper:

How does Clarke reconcile the tension between the One and the Many?

Jan 23: The Human Person (Early Wojtyla)

Assignment: Kupczak, pp. 1-47

Jan 25: Social Application: The flaws in Radical Autonomy and Socialism

Assignment: One-Page Paper:

How is socialism an inherently inhumane system?

Jan 30: The Incarnation as a New Unveiling of Personhood

Assignment: Encyclical Redemptor Humanis (full work)

Feb 01: Early Christological Heresies as Helps in Defining Personhood

Assignment: One-Page Paper:

Using Clarke, explain how the Christological heresies showed us personhood.

Feb 06: First TEST

Feb 08: The Spiritual Soul of the Human Person

Assignment: Kupczak, pp. 48-94

Feb 13: Consciousness and Efficacy 

Assignment: Kupczak, pp. 95-112

Feb 15: Transcendence and Integration

Assignment: Kupczak, pp. 113-141

Feb 20: Review of Wojtyla’s Contribution to the Notion of Person


Feb 22: Social Application: The integrated stance toward emotion and truth.

Assignment: One-Page Paper:

Summarize three major tenets of Wojtyla’s view of the human person.

Feb 27: The Majesty of the Human Body

Assignment: Gaudium et Spes (full work)

Mar 01: The Bodily Form as Artistic Anthropology

Assignment: One-Page Paper:

Describe a work of art and how it illustrates a theology of the body.

Mar 06: Second TEST

Mar 08: The Recovery and Rebellion of the Renaissance

Assignment: Re-read Ratzinger, Fourth Homily and Appendix; One-Page Paper:

What challenge did the Renaissance give to the notion of human personhood?

Mar 13: The Enlightenment/En-darkenment


Assignment: Re-read Clarke, pp. 20-25


Mar 15: New Definitions of Personhood


Assignment: One-Page Paper:


What image of the human person was absolutized by the Enlightenment?


Mar 20: The Eclectic Task of Romanticism


Assignment: Choose a poem or work of art from the romantic period.


Mar 22: Social Application: Hawthorne versus Melville


Assignment: One-Page Paper:


Describe how your art selection displayed the sentiments of Romanticism.


Mar 27 : No Class.


Mar 29: No Class. Happy Triduum!


Apr 03: World War II and the Gas of Nihilism


Apr 05: Postmodernism and the Rebirth of Theology


Assignment: One-Page Paper:


Describe the terms “post-modern” and “ressourcement.” 


Apr 10: Social Application: Architecture and Social Manners


Apr 12: Soviet Communism and John Paul II


Assignment: One-Page Paper


How did Christian anthropology destroy Soviet communism?


Apr 17: The Universal Declaration and Jacques Maritain


Apr 19: Contemporary Views of the Human Person: Consequences and Opportunities


Assignment: One-Page Paper:


What danger does Peter Singer present to human personhood?


Apr 24: The Importance of Gaudium et Spes and the Christian View of the Person


Apr 26: The Contribution of Pope Benedict XVI to the Christian View of the Person


May 01: Exam Review


May 03: Final EXAM





Here is the class outline:

1. Syllabus

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