Master of Arts in The Religious Studies with a Concentration Area in Contextual Theology
In establishing a concentration in Contextual Theology for the Master of Arts in Religious Studies, we asserted a simple (though often overlooked) claim in that all theologies are intimately influenced, and have the potential to influence, the socio-cultural and geo-political contexts in which they are immersed.
It is with that in mind that we created this concentration to illuminate and analyze the ways that Christian theologies, including Roman Catholic theologies, are radically shaped by context. This program is directly aligned with the developments in the Roman Catholic Church brought about at the Second Vatican Council that encouraged the proliferation of knowledges and practices not of a “theology of the world in the Church, but a theology of Church in the world.”
While the track in Contextual Theology focuses on Christian theological theories and methods, it does so with special attention paid to the ways that Christian theologies have been, and continue to be, shaped both by the particularities of embodiment, including the prevalent and sometimes oppressive ideologies surrounding them (including race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality) and broader, global systems of power (social and political economies). This concentration also remains aligned with the mission of the university and CSJ Principles, both of which contain an undercurrent for social justice.
Students are expected to immerse themselves within the contexts of our local communities, theorize the connections and global implications of local experiences, and utilize both to shape their scholarship. These practices will be honed within several required courses and, especially, within one course required in both tracks: Religion/Theology and the City of Los Angeles. This course will make intentional connections with a variety of non-profit social justice organizations, including the local chapters of national and global social movements, to analyze the ways that religious commitments may influence the work they do.
Several of the courses in our curriculum can inform and enhance the work completed by graduate students from other programs, such as the Humanities, Psychology, Nursing, and Education.
Call (213) 477-2800 for more information on the all-new Master of Arts in Religious Studies degree programs. Please visit our Graduate Admissions website to learn more about admission.