Thursday, October 17, 2002

From a grad student at Catholic University of America

Suggestions for the revision of the [CUA] Theology MA comprehensive exam at the Catholic
University of America, to make it slightly more relevant and challenging than is currently the case:

1. Summarize Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologia in three succinct sentences. You may use your Bible.

2. St. Martin of Tours, Pope Clement VII and Karl Barth were not contemporaries. Had they known each other, how might the history of the Reformation have turned out differently?

3. Define a moral system that satisfies Liberals, Conservatives, Moderates, and the entire population of Ancient Rome, ca. 3 BCE.

4. Memorize the Bible. Recite it in tongues.

5. Do moral theologians have a sense of humor? Illustrate.

6. What would it mean to be eternal, co-eternal, and non-existent all at once?

7. St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine of Hippo decide to rob a bank. The note to the teller is 1,200 pages long, not counting footnotes, complete with a promise of damnation if the teller does not accept immediate Baptism. In the middle of the heist, they engage in an extended debate as to whether or not the money really exists. Are they committing a mortal or a venial sin?

8. Speculate on what the current status of salvation history might have been if Abraham had just stayed in Ur.

9. How many different ways can you spell Schillibeeckx?

10. Why is Simon Stylites important in the history of Eccentric Spirituality?

11. Has the Church always taught anything? Be specific.

12. Compare the discernment process of Ignatius with that of Sherlock Holmes.

13. Does Karl Rahner believe in verbs?

14. Chart the progress of a mystic climbing Dante's Mount of Purgation from the inside.

15. If the headquarters of the Church are in Rome, where are its hind quarters. Illustrate.

16. Which of the following do not belong in a given group:

a. Rahner, Kung, Howdy Doody, Dulles, Schillebeeckx?
b. Ecclesiology, Christology, Mariology, Phrenololgy, Eschatology?
c. Esther, Madonna, Ruth, Judith, Sarah?
d. bishop, cardinal, priest, deacon, cowboy?
e. John XXIII, Malcolm X, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II?

17. In light of Protestant theology of the 60's, discuss post-modernist architecture of contemporary Church design. If God is indeed dead, have they buried him standing?


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