Synopsis of Courses

The Department of Theology of the St. Mary's Malankara seminary is affiliated to the Faculty of Theology of Pontificia Universitas Urbaniana, Rome. The Quadrennial Theology Course offered by this Seminary is open to students who have a recognised Basic Course  in Systematic Philosophy. At the end of the course the Degree of B.Th. is awarded to the students who fulfill all the requirements. Marks are awarded according to the pattern of the Pontifical Urbanian University and hence 60% is considered as passmark. Only those who have secured an overall 70% marks at the end of Third Year will be considered for the Degree Examination. Others who successfully complete the course may receive a Diploma in Theological Studies. The medium of instruction is English. The Theology Course is a 180 credit system. One credit consists of classes  of 15 periods  of 45 minutes each.


I. Sacred Scripture         

Introduction to Biblical Studies                                 4 Credits

Kuttiyani Sebastian (General),Chempakassery Philip (NT)              The course has two parts. The first part with two credits is aimed at bringing the students into a living and fruitful understanding of the “authentic doctrine on divine revelation and how it is handed on” in the background of the teaching of Dei Verbum and other relevant teachings of the magisterium. Bible is understood as the Word of God in the words of humans, in the light of a detailed exposition of the doctrines of Inspiration and Canonicity. A detailed introduction to the historical, geographical, linguistic and cultural elements behind the formation of the canonical literature and glimpses into the backgrounds of the Pseudepigrapha will be given. History of the textual transmission and the different versions of the Bible will also be introduced. Particular attention will be given to different approaches to Biblical exegesis.

            In the second part of the course (2 credits), the formation of the NT is studied in detail. The tradition that comes from Jesus,  the oral transmission of this tradition, the writing down of this tradition, and the formation of the four Gospels are studied. Special importance is given to the synoptic problem which looks into the similarity and difference among the three synoptic Gospels and the solution proposed by modern scholars. This course also deals with the differences between the synoptic tradition and the Johannine tradition. An introductory notion is given about the life of Paul and about his missionary journey and letters written to the Churches. The different literary genres in the NT, namely gospel genre, history genre, epistolary genre and apocalyptic genre are introduced. 

Bibliography:  Arnold, B. T. and B. E. Beyer, Encountering the Old Testament: A Christian Survey (2nd edition. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2008); Dillard, R. and T. Longman III., An Introduction to the Old Testament (2nd edition. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006); Drane, J., Introducing the Old Testament, (Oxford: Lion Hudson, 2011).

Pontifical Biblical Commission, Interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Rome: 1993; Metzger, Bruce M., The New Testament: its Background, Growth and Content (Nashville: Abingdon, 1965); Kummel, W.G., Introduction to the New Testament, (Nashville: Abingdon, 1975).

New Testament Greek          2 Credits

Thomas Mannoor

         The objective of this course is to provide the student with a basic understanding of New Testament Greek grammar, and to build a foundation for further study of the Greek New Testament.  The content of the course includes the main features of accidence, grammar and syntax; the alphabet, pronunciation, punctuation; the Greek case system; the Greek verb (tense, aspect, voice, mood); the participle; basic syntax (word order, emphasis, prepositional constructions, purpose and result clauses); parsing. It also familiarizes them with several Greek expressions which are important for biblical and theological studies.

Bibliography: Martin R. A., An Introduction to New Testament Greek (Bangalore: TPI, 1989); Aland B., K. Aland, et al (eds.), The Greek New Testament. 4th ed., (Stuttgart: UBS, 1994); Swetnam J., An Introduction to the Study of New Testament Greek. Part One: Morphology. Volume I: Lessons; Volume II: Key, Lists, Paradigms, Indices (Second, revised edition, Roma: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 1998).

Biblical Hebrew                                           2 Credits

Thomas Mannoor

The objective of this course is to provide the student with a basic proficiency in reading and writing Biblical Hebrew. Students will be introduced to the basic vocabulary, grammar and syntax of ancient biblical Hebrew and helps them to build a foundation for further study of the language.  The content of the course includes the main features of grammar and syntax; the alphabet, pronunciation, punctuation; the plural formation of Hebrew nouns; the Hebrew verbs (conjugations and the participle); basic syntax (word order, emphasis, prepositional constructions) and parsing. It also familiarizes them with several Hebrew expressions which are important for biblical and theological studies.

Bibliography: Lambdin T. O., Introduction to Biblical Hebrew (New York: Chas. Scribner’s Sons; London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1971).

The Pentateuch                                                                                                             3 Credits

Valiyakunnumpurath Cyriac

The Pentateuch is a mine of spiritual treasures. This course provides a general view of the Pentateuch and its place in the O.T. Canon. It also discusses the history of pentateuchal studies and different theories regarding its composition. The major themes such as: the world and man as creatures of God, the relationship between the sexes, marriage and family, he meaning of sin, the solution to the disaster of sin through the covenant and the covenantal obligations - the Decalogue are introduced.

Bibliography: J-L. Ska, Introduction to the Reading of the Pentateuch (Wiona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2006); Brueggemann W., Genesis (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1982);  Chempakassery P., The Pentateuch: An Introduction (Trivandrum: M.S Publications, 2002).

The Historical Books of the O.T.                         3 Credits

Chempakassery Philip

It is a course of three credits in which six books ( Joshua, Judges, 1, 2 Samuel and 1, 2 Kings) known as former prophets which give the primary history of the people of Israel and six books (1, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah and 1, 2 Maccabees)which give the secondary history of this people are studied mainly from the perspective of history so that this course mayfunction as a historical background for the study of the OT in general. Though history is the main concern of this course, the deuteronomistic theology reflected in the first six books, the establishment of the monarchy as a divine institution, the transition from the Sinaitic covenant to the Davidic Covenant, the division of the country into two kingdoms, the end of the Northern kingdom, the end of Davidic dynasty with the destruction of the Southern Kingdom and Babylonian exile are also treated in the first part. The Chronicler’s particular theology, the midrashic literary form of the two books of Chronicles, the history of the people after their return from exile and the reconstruction of the temple and city of Jerusalem are also treated in the second part of the course. The later history of the people under the leadership of the Macceabean family , the literary genre of the two books of Maccabees and how history moves from the Davidic dynasty looking forward to the establishment of the eternal Kingdom of David in the promised Son of David are also treated in this course.

Bibliography: Chisholm R. B., Interpreting the Historical Books: An Exegetical Handbook (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2006); Hamilton V. P., Handbook on the Historical Books. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001).

Literary Prophets                                              3 Credits

Chempakassery Philip

         This is a three- credit course which treats the three major prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel) and 12 minor Prophets of the OT. The course has three parts . In the first part an introduction is given to Prophetism in Israel, its relationship with and uniqueness from similar phenomenon in other religions and the place of prophets in the political and religious life of Israel are treated in detail. In the second part the contributions of the three major Prophets and their influence in the national and religious life of the people are elaborated. In the third part, the minor Prophets are studied. In this course how Prophetism, especially in the later period look forward to the Messiah is particularly studied.

Bibliography: Bullock, C. H., An Introduction to the Old Testament Prophetic Books (Chicago: Moody, 1986); Blenkinsopp, J.A. History of Prophecy in Israel (Revised ed., Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1996); Vawter, B., “Introduction to Prophetic Literature”, Jerome BiblicalCommentary (1968) pp. 223-237.

Wisdom Literature                                            2 Credits

Thekkekara Davis

This course gives an introduction to the poetic and wisdom literature of the Old Testament; it further explores the OT Wisdom literature in its ancient Near Eastern context.  This course is a literary and theological study of the Wisdom Literature in the Old Testament (Job, Proverbs, Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach/Ecclesiasticus) with special focus on the place of Wisdom in Old Testament theology, reading and interpretive strategies, wisdom genres, and theological message of each book.

Bibliography: Alter, R., The Wisdom Books: Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes: a Translation with Commentary (NY: W.W. Norton, 2010); Brown, W. P., Character in Crisis: A Fresh Approach to the Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996); Weeks, S., An Introduction to the Study of Wisdom Literature (NY: T&T Clark, 2010).

The Book of Psalms                                          2 Credits

Olickal Mathew

This course introduces the Book of Psalms from historico-cultural, theological and liturgical perspectives. Main themes presented are: general features of this book; history of composition; division into five books; Psalms and their relation to David; the different numbering of Psalms in MT and LXX; kinds of Psalms; Messianic and Christological interpretation of the Psalms; liturgical and spiritual use with special reference to the liturgy of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church.

Bibliography: Mays, J. L., Psalms (Louiseville: John Knox Press, 1994); Cox, D., The Psalms in the Life of Gods’ People (Middlegree: St. Paul  Publications, 1984); Pleins, D. J., The Psalms: Songs of Tragedy, Hope and Justice (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1993).

Gospel of Mark                                                 2 Credits

Chempakassery Philip

            The Gospel according to Mark is the first written gospel which isspecially important as the first creation in the gospel genre of the Jesus traditions and which functions as the main sources for Mathew and Luke, the other two synoptic gospels. John Mark, Son of Mary of Jerusalem, the disciple of Peter and the co-traveller in Paul’s first mission journey is considered to be the author of the second gospel. He was a Jewish Christian who lived in Rome and wrote the gospel to the Roman Christians who were subjected to severe persecution during the time of emperor Nero, to strengthen them in their faith. He presents Jesus as the persecuted servant of Yahweh who was killed by men and raised to new life by God. As Jesus is the persecuted end- time Messiah, his disciples also have to accept persecution not as a punishment but as reward for their incorporation into the Christ mystery.

Bibliography: Chempakassery Philip, Markose: Suviseshakanum Daivasastranjanum (Mark: The Evangelist and Theologian) (Trivandrum: M.S Publications, 2010); Moloney, F. J., The Gospel of Mark: A Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2002).

Gospel of Matthew                                          2 Credits

Achandy Johnson

In the course on the Gospel of Matthew, we will introduce the students to the issues in current study of the Gospel. This course will introduce you to the background to Matthew’s Gospel and the rise of these new hermeneutical methods. The Gospel of Matthew is a course designed to engage in an exegetical study of the first book of the New Testament. Students will learn Matthew’s unique presentation of Jesus as the royal Messiah through an exegetical analysis of the various narratives and the five major discourses. We will discuss the overall structure and narrative of the Gospel, and the theology of Matthew as part of this course.

Bibliography: Dale, A., Studies in Matthew: Interpretation Past and Present (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2005); Davies, W.D. – Allison, D.C. Jr., A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel according to Saint Matthew, I. Matthew 1–7. II. Matthew 8–18. III. Matthew 19–28 (ICC: Edinburgh 1988, 1991, 1997);  Luz, U., Matthew 1–7: A Commentary  (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1989); Matthew 8–20 (Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001); Matthew 21–28(Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005).

Luke - Acts                                                    3 Credits

Chempakassery Philip

            The Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles together form the largest document in the NT. The gospel tells how Jesus the universal liberator was born, as the son of the Virgin Mary and how he preached the gospel of liberation and realized liberation through his death and resurrection. The Acts of the Apostles continues this message and tells how this gospel was entrusted to the disciples of Jesus who spread it through Jerusalem all Judea and Galilee. Finally inaugurated by Peter the chief of the apostles and through the instrumentality of Paul who was specially called by the risen Lord, the gospel recorded Rome, the end of the earth. Luke being the author of both the volumes, a continuous theology is stretched through these writings. While the gospel begins and ends in Jerusalem, the Acts begins where the gospel ends and brings it to the end of the earth, the city of Rome through the preaching of Paul, the apostle of the gentiles.

Bibliography: Fitzmyer, J.A., The Gospel According to Luke, I-II (AB 28, 28A; New York: 1970, 1985);  Neyrey, J., The Passion According to Luke: A Redaction Study of Luke’s Soteriology (New York: 1985); Nolland, J., Luke, I-III (WBC 35A-C; Dallas: 1989-2000).

Gospel of John                                               2 Credits

Puthenkandathil Eldho

This course is devised to give a detailed analysis of the text and the principle themes of the Gospel of John and a general introduction to the Johannine writings. First, a number of important introductory questions will be dealt with, and it will be followed by the study of selected texts from the Johannine Gospel. A careful exegesis of the text will be given to make the students familiar with the Johannine understanding and presentation of the Christian message. There will be a commitment to rigorous exegesis of the text to discover ‘what the author really meant’ and what were his main concerns, and this will involve the fullest possible use of linguistic, literary, historical, archaeological and other data bearing on that author’s environment.

Bibliography: Beasley-Murray, G.R., John (WBC 36. Waco: Word Books, 1987); Schnackenburg, R., The Gospel According to St. John (3 vols. HTCNT. London: Burns & Oates, 1968, 1980, 1982);  Maniparampil, J., Reading the Fourth Gospel (Bangalore: Claretian Publications, 2004).

Proto-Pauline Letters                                        3 Credits

Nalpathilchira Joseph

Proto-Pauline letters or homologoumena (homologoumenôs, undeniable, certain): seven letters which were undeniably written by Paul himself: Rom, 1 and 2 Cor, Gal, Phil, 1 Thess, Phlm. These seven letters are also called authentic Pauline letters.  In this course we introduce the students to a short history of the life and the missionary and literary activities of Paul. This is followed by an exegetical survey of these seven letters of the Pauline tradition using Historical, Rhetorical, Semantic and Narrative Analysis and exposition of the major Pauline Theological Themes. This course is designed to enlarge the students’ understanding of Paul, of scholarship on Paul, and the Proto-Pauline epistles.

Bibliography: Betz, H. D., Paul, in ABD 5 (1992) 186-201; Kim, S., The Origin of Paul’s Gospel (WUNT, II/4) (Tübingen: Mohr, 1981, 1984); Kruse, C.G., Paul, the Law and Justification (Leicester: 1996); Longenecker,
R. N., (ed.)The Road from Damascus, The Impact of Paul’s Conversion on His Life, Thought, and Ministry(Grand Rapids MI:  Eerdmans, 1997 (esp. the contribution by Bruce Corley).

Deutero-Pauline Letters                                    1 Credit

Cyril Anand OIC

This course is designed to give the students a glimpse on the literary, historical and pastoral context in which the so called Pastoral Epistles and other letters of attributed Pauline authorship were written. Content and articulation of the pastoral letters, the pastoral problems of the Early Church, the organization of the Church is Sub-apostolic Pauline communities, and the general climate of faith will be discussed. The letter form is borrowed from the first century Greco-Roman world, which has long and instructive history in Greco-Roman and Semitic cultures. The distinct characteristics of these letters will also be dealt with. Thecourse envisages a brief exegesis of select passages as well.

Bibliography: Porter, S. E., “Pauline Authorship and the Pastoral Epistles: Implications for Canon,” Bulletin for Biblical Research 5 (1995), 105-123; Mounce, W. D., The Pastoral Epistles. Word Biblical Commentary. (Waco: Word Inc., 2000); Sampley, J. P., and G. Krodel eds., Deutero-Pauline Letters (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1993).

Johannine Letters                                             1 Credit

Chempakassery Philip

            Among the Catholic Epistles, three (1,2,3 John) are traditionally attributed to John. They show a special interest  in the theology of the fourth gospel. These three letters, though do not show evidence that all are written by the same author, are similar in their theological atmosphere. The first letter particularly shows close theological affinity with the fourth gospel, though it is not strong enough to say the same is the author of the gospel and of the first letter. The relationship among the three letters is that the first letter was written first and the second letter was written to take serious action against the opponents of the Johannine Church and the third was written  some time in between the two.

Bibliography: Grayston, K., The Johannine Epistles. New Century Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co./London, 1984); Painter, John. 1, 2, and 3 John. (Sacra Pagina, 18. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2002).

The Letter to the Hebrews                                  1 Credit

Poovathumtharayil Joseph

            Christology is the center of the book of Hebrews, which is made up of two pillars. The first one is the idea that Jesus is God's son the second pillar is the view that Jesus is a high priest who once for all sacrificed himself (Heb 9:26) and who always lives to make intercession (7:25) sacerdotal Christology is the specific characteristics of Hebrews.  This short course on Hebrews aims to give an exegetical exposition of the book of Hebrews. After a few lessons on literary genre, author, title, audience, date and place of writing, the context, literary techniques etc. special attention is given to the message and theology of Hebrews and structure of the book. After these introductory classes the whole book isexegetically and theologically analyzed.

Bibliography : 1) Brown, Raymond, The Message of Hebrews, The Bible Speaks Today (Downers Grove, 1982); 2) Bruce, F.F., The Epistle to the Hebrews, New International Commentary (Grand Rapids, 1990); 3) Vanhoye, A., Our Priest is Christ, The Doctrine of Epistle to the Hebrews (Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1977); 4) Ellingworth, P., The Epistle to the Hebrews. A Commentary on the Greek text, New International Greek Testament Commentaries (Grand rapids, Michigan, 1991)

Non-Johannine Catholic Epistles                              1 Credit

Poovathumtharayil Joseph

        Since there is another course on Johannie letters, this course introduces the other four Catholic Epistles viz James, 1&2 Peter, and Jude. The essence of the message of James is that the only real faith is that which shows itself in good deeds. First Peter has been described as ‘epistle of courage’ because Peter writes to prepare Christians for suffering in imitation of Christ. Second Peter is written to remind his hearer of the truth of the Word of God, to warn them against false teachers, and arouse them to wait Christ’s return by living a holy life. Jude urges the Christians to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. This course aims to provide an adequate knowledge about the authorship, context, message and theology of these four letters and commentary on some selected passages.

Bibliography : Keating, Daniel, First and Second Peter, Jude, Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture (Baker academic, Michgan, 2011); 2) Mc Donnell, R., Catholic Epistles and Hebrews (Michael Glazier, Wilmington, 1971); 3) Chester, A. and R.P Martin, Catholic Epistles
(University Press, 1994).

Book of Revelation                                            2 Credits

Poovathumatharayil Joseph

      This course on Revelation aims to offer the students an interpretation of Revelation that is faithful to the text, enlightened by both contemporary scholarship and traditional interpretation, in harmony with whole of Scripture and Christian doctrine, and relevant for the Church today. After an introduction regarding the nature of apocalyptic writing, literary genre, authorship, audience, historical background etc. a special attention is given to the structure and plot of revelation, message of revelation, symbols used in the book of Revelation. A thorough reading of the book is done in the class to give an exegesis of all the chapters giving special attention to the difficult passages.

Bibliography : Williamson, Peter S., Revelation, Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture (Baker Academic, Michigan, 2015); 2) Aune, D.E., Revelation 1-5, Word Biblical Commentary (Nashville, Thomas Nelson. 1998); 3) Aune, D.E., Revelation 6-16, Word Biblical Commentary (Nashville, Thomas Nelson. 1998); 4) Aune, D.E., Revelation 17-22, Word Biblical Commentary (Nashville, Thomas Nelson. 1998); 5) Charles R.H., A Critical & Exegetical Commentary on the Revelation of St. John, Vols. I&II, The International Critical Commentary (Edinburgh, 1977).

Introduction to Peshitta                                                1 Credit

Poovathumtharayil Joseph                                                                                              Since Malankara Catholic Church is a sui juris Church in the Syriac tradition it is essential for her future priests to have some acquaintance with Syriac Biblical world. For all the Churches of Syriac tradition the authoritative form of the Bible is the Syriac translation known as the Peshitta. This short course on Peshitta aims to provide an opportunity for the students to taste the sweetness of Syriac tradition. In the introductory session, after a few introductory remarks on Syriac Bible in general, special attention is given to introduce different important Bible translations like Septuagint, Vulgate, Targum etc. After this introductory session special attempt is made to introduce Syriac versions other than Peshitta. The next session concentrates Particularly on Peshitta and here we try to cover the subjects like history of Peshitta, manuscripts of Peshitta, important commentaries, significance of Syriac version, use of Peshitta in liturgy, Spirituality and Indian tradition etc.

Bibliography : Brock, Sebastian, The Bible in the Syriac Tradition (SEERI, Kottayam, 1989); 2) Voobus, A., in “Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible”, Suppl.Vol” (Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1985) 848-854; 3) Uppani, Mathew (trans), “Vishuddha Grandham:Peshitta” in Peshitta Bible (Deepika Book House, Kottayam,1997)

II. Systematic Theology

Introduction to Theology                                    2 Credits

Karimpil Jolly Philip

         This course will examine various traditional understanding of theology and basic characteristics of Theology. It will be shown that theology is a critical reflection of one’s faith praxis in the light of God’s word. This will be followed by a study of the sources of theology and the methods of doing theology. The nature, the function and the divisions of theology will also be discussed. Finally an introductory notion about every branch of theology will be given and the inter-relatedness between the various courses will be explained. 

Bibliography: Bevans, S.B., An Introduction to Theology in Global Perspective (New York: Orbis, 2011); Pathil, K. and Veliath D., An Introduction to Theology (Bangalore: TPI, 2003).

Foundations of Theologizing in the SMCC                  1 Credit

Kadavil Mathai OIC

         The course intends to look at the foundation of Malankara theology which is developed from the background of Semitic Orient, Indian Orient, and Eastern and cultural context. It begins with a study on the theological developments in the Syriac Orient, Indian Orient and Greek Eastern. Evolution of theology in the Oriental and Eastern tradition shall also be explored. The course will also review Catholic documents on oriental/eastern Churches. The course shall also deal with the Ivanian foundations of Malankara theology and its further development from time to time. Some of the prominent theological writings that emerged in the context of reunion and later development of the Church shall also be discussed in the course.


Bibliography: Ronald Roberson, The Eastern Christian Churches (Bangalore: TPI, 2004); Paulos Mar Gregorios, Introducing the Orthodox Churches (Kottayam: Mar Gregorios Foundation, 1999); Xavier Koodapuzha, Oriental Churches an Introduction (Kottayam: OIRSI, 1996); Aidan Nichols, Light from the East: Authors and Themes in Orthodox Theology (London: Sheed & Ward, 1995).

Theology of Revelation and Faith                            2 Credits

Charivuparampil Sijo James

         Revelation as meeting of God’s self-gift and human quest. The understanding of Revelation in Sacred Scripture; Patristic and Scholastic traditions on Revelation. A survey of the Theology of Revelation up to the Modern Period. The Church’s teaching on Revelation especially the document of Vatican: Dei Verbum; The historical character of Revelation; Transmission of Revelation; Revelation as Word, Testimony and Encounter; Revelation and Creation; Christ as the Fullness of Revelation.

Faith as a response to God who reveals. Scriptural understanding of Faith. Nature and Structure of Faith. Act of Faith. Faith and reason. Faith and Salvation.    

Bibliography: De Lubac, H., The Sources of Revelation (New York, 1968); Dulles, A.: Models of Revelation (New York 1983); Puthenangady, P. – Saldanha, J. – Arockiadoss, P., Revelation and Faith (Bangalore: TPI, 2013).

The Triune God                                                3 Credits

Parappally Jacob MSFS

This course opens with a brief exposition on the belief in One God. The truth of the existence of God; Man is able to know God through the light of reason; the different religions and their spiritual and religious experiences concerning the existence of God. God and his self-manifestation through the history of salvation. Arguments against atheism.

The O.T. preparation for the revelation of God as Triune; the N.T. teachings on the Holy Trinity: in St. Paul, the synoptic gospels, the gospel of John, the book of Revelation; the pre-Nicean heresies against the Trinitarian understanding of God; the Greek and Latin terms for expressing unity and plurality in God; the councils of Nicea and Constantinople I.; the Cappadocian Fathers’ doctrine on the Holy Trinity; St. Augustine’s De Trinitate; St. Thomas Aquinas on the Trinity. The modern theologians and their attempts to make Trinitarian doctrine relevant to the present time.

Bibliography: Kasper, W., The God of Jesus Christ (Meinz: 1982); LaCugna, C., God for Us – The Trinity and Christian Life (New York: 1992); Ladaria, L., True and Living God (Rome: 2009).

Christology and Soteriology                              4 Credits

Karimpil Jolly Philip       

         This course is a historical and systematic study of the person, nature and work of Jesus Christ as object and foundation of Christian faith. We will examine Biblical Christologies in the first part of the course. The teachings and deeds of Christ, and the Christological titles in the New Testament will be studied. The second part focuses on Historical Christologies. The major heresies, the Christological Councils and their contexts, formulation of classical dogma etc. will be investigated. The third part concentrates on some contemporary trends in Christology. The fourth part will explore the humanity of Jesus. And in the final part we will inquire into the great mystery of redemption and focus on the why and how of salvation. The question of the uniqueness of Christ and universality of salvation in Jesus Christ in the pluri-religious context of India will also be discussed.     

Bibliography :  Ratzinger, J., Introduction to Christianity (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004); Kereszty, R., Jesus Christ. Fundamentals of Christology (New York: Alba, 2002); Athappilly, S., Christology Today: Mystery and History of Jesus Christ (Bangalore: Dharmaram, 2007); Parappally, J., The Meaning of Jesus Christ (Bangalore: TPI, 2016).

Pneumatology and Theology of Grace                       3 Credits

His Excellency Vincent Mar Paulos

Grace as self-communication of God; Old Testament, New Testament and Patristic teachings on grace; The doctrinal controversy - Justification, Divinization; the Holy Spirit as the immediate principle of the life of grace; Spirit in the Bible; Doctrinal development of Pneumatology; Spirit in the life of a believer; Experiencing Spirit today; Special Themes on Pneumatology - these are the main topics dealt with in this course.

Bibliography: Congar, Y., I Believe in the Holy Spirit (Three Volumes) (New York: Crossroad Herder, 1999); Bulgakov, S., The Comforter (Grand Rapids, MI:  2004); Burgess, Stanley M., The Holy Spirit: Eastern Christian Tradition (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1989).

Ecclesiology                                                   3 Credits

Kadavil Mathai OIC

            Study of the Church is fundamental to Christian living. We shallbegin our study looking into the self-understanding of the Church in the Bible, of the Apostles and of the patristic times. Its evolution into an institutional nature beginning from the medieval period and its development in the First Vatican Council shall also be given due care. The ecclesial vision of the second Vatican Council especially Church as people of God, Church as communion of local and individual Churches, role of Bishops, Priests, Religious and laity in the Church, ecumenical understanding of Churches shall be focused.

         We shall also focus on the distinctive understanding of ecclesiology in the Oriental and Eastern Churches. Special care shall be given on the ecclesial understanding of the Syriac tradition and Indian Oriental Church of St Thomas Christians. Here we shall also focus on the shifts in the understanding of the Church through the interventions of various colonial powers in the life of St Thomas Christians. Ivanian understanding of Church and its further development in the Malankara Catholic Church shall also be addressed in the course.

Biblography: Avery Dulles, Models of the Church (New York: Image books, 1987); Tillard J. M. R., Church of Churches:The Ecclesiology of Communion (Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1992); Leeuwen Gerwin, Searching for an Indian Ecclesiology (Bangalore: ATC 1984).

Introduction to Vatican II                                      1 Credit

His Beatitude Baselios Cardinal Cleemis

This course attempts to introduce an overview of the Second Vatican Council; its greatest contributions; its 16 Documents and the important content of each document, historical background of convoking the council as a council of aggiornamento; important issues and problems; challenges of the modern world and concerns of the Council; the role of the Church in the modern world; Council’s new image of the Church; Decree on the Eastern Churches and its influence in each sui iuris Church; impact and influence of the council in the modern world etc.

Bibliography: Kloppenburg, B., The Ecclesiology of Vatican II (Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, 1974); Ratzinger, J., Theological Highlights of Vatican II (New York: Paulist Press, 1966); Tillard, J.M.R., Church of Churches – The Ecclesiology of Communion, (Collegeville, Minnesota: Michael Glazier, 1992).

Ecumenism                                                     2 Credits

Puthenveedu Louis

The purpose of this course is to inculcate in the students a spirit of ecumenism, enlightened by the official teaching of the Church and a clear awareness of the historical situation of the Church, especially of the Syro-Malankara Church. The course progresses through a study of the decree Unitatis Redintegratio, the history of Catholic attempts at Ecumenism before, during and after the Council of Vatican II, the progress in mutual understanding among Catholics and non-Catholics and the joint declarations of doctrines which were earlier subjects of controversy. The on-going dialogues with the Syrian Christian factions in Kerala will be given due importance.

Biblography: Madey, J., Ecumenism, Ecumenical Movement and Eastern Churches (Kottayam: OIRSI, 1987); Chediath, G., Ecumenism (Malayalam) (Kottayam: OIRSI, 1987); Wainwright, G., The Ecumenical Moment, Crisis and Opportunity for the Church, (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1983).

Mariology                                                       1 Credit

Poovathumtharayil Joseph

         The aim of this course is to explain the role and place of Mary in the salvation history based Scripture, Patristic teachings, Liturgy, magisterium and theology. In the introductory session after a few remarks on Mariology, it concentrates mainly on Mariology in relation to other branches of theology. The whole course is divided in to four chapters. Chapter one deals with biblical foundations of Mariology, whereas chapter two gives the patristic foundations of Mariology with a special view to Syrian Fathers like St. Ephrem and Jacob of Serugh. Chapter three concentrates mainly on four Marian Dogmas.  Chapter four discusses the faith explanation of Syro-Malankara Catholic about the place and role of Mary in the salvation history and in this chapter special attention is given to the West Syrian Liturgy and teachings of Archbishop Mar Ivanios on Mary.

Bibliography :  1) Kottackal Joseph, Behold Your Mother (OIRSI, Kottayam, 1990); 2) Brown, Raymond E. (ed.), Mary in the New Testament (Paulist Press, New York, 1978); 3) Dannelly, D., (ed.), Mary, Woman of Nazareth; Biblical and Theological Perspectives (Paulist Press, New York, 1989), 4) Podipara, Placid J., Mariology of the East (OIRSI, Kottayam, 1980); 5) Puthuparampil, James O.I.C, MariologicalThought of Mar Jacob of Serugh (SEERI, Kottayam, 2005).

Theological Anthropology                                     2 Credits

Kundukulam Vincent

This course tries to understand the Church’s teachings on human person’s creation (in Christ); human person as imago Dei; original sin; predestination, justification, and the existence and nature of evil.  Human existence in its spiritual and bodily dimensions, and duties and obligations ensuing from this twofold nature shall be discussed.  The course will also examine the theory of evolution and creationism from the biblico-theological perspective. An attempt is made to reconcile the theories of evolution and faith in creation based on the Church Magisterium.

Bibliography: Schmaus, M., Dogma Vol 2 God and Creation (London: Sheed and Ward, 1969); Pannenberg, Anthropology in Theological Perspective, (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1985); Panakal, J., Original Sin: Recent Trends (Alwaye: Pontifical Institute  Publications, 1996).

Introduction to the Theology of Sacraments                2 Credits

Olickal Jacob

As an introduction to sacramental theology, the course discusses what is common to the Church’s seven sacraments from a doctrinal point of view. Taking its point of departure from certain theological pre-suppositions, Introduction to Sacramental Theology aims at outlining the general features of the sacraments. Adhering to the teaching of Sacred Scripture, to the Apostolic Traditions and to the consensus of the Fathers, we profess that the Sacraments of the New Law were instituted by Christ and handed over to the Church. The role of the Holy Spirit, the epicletic dimension, is a major aspect in the oriental approach to the sacraments.

Bibliography: D’Lima, E. and Urumpackal, T. P. (eds.), Sacraments in General (Banglore: Indian Theological Series, 2005); Rahner, K., The Church and the Sacraments (New York: Herder and Herder, 1963); Vorgrimler, H., Sacramental Theology (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press,1992).

Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation                     2 Credits

Kadavil Mathai OIC

The course intends to study the sacrament of initiation seen in the Holy Bible and its evolution in the apostolic tradition. It will be followed with its evolution from patristic tradition till today. We shall also see how the sacrament of initiation as one sacrament is later developed into three separate sacraments and see how it is celebrated differently in the Oriental/Eastern and Catholic Churches. In a special way, we shall look into the understanding of the sacrament of initiation as new creation and our initiation into the mystical body of Christ and its continuation through our life in the Church. Due care shall also be given on the study of initiation from an ecumenical and interreligious perspectives.

Bibliography: Puthenangadi Paul, Baptism and Confirmation - Indian theological series (Banglore: TPI, 2006); Kenen Osborne, The Christian Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation & Eucharist (New York: Paulist Press, 1987);  Killian McDonnel, The Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan: The Trinitarian and Cosmic Order of Salvation (Collegeville MN: The Liturgical Press, 1996).

Theology of the Eucharist                                    3 Credits

Kadavil Mathai OIC

         The course aims to study and understand the theology of Eucharist, the source and summit of Christian life (LG11). We begin our study looking at the Biblical understanding of Eucharist as prefigured in the Old Testament with special focus on the celebration of the Passover. It will be followed with the New Testament understanding of Eucharistic theology in particular the institution narratives and the Pauline theology of Eucharist. We shall also see the evolution of the understanding of Eucharist from the Apostolic times, passing through the writings of the Fathers, medieval discussions on the Eucharistic presence, critique of the reformation theology, and Catholic teachings on Eucharistic theology. Due attention shall also be given to the Oriental/Eastern understanding of Eucharistic theology, sacramental-sacrificial-memorial aspect of Eucharistic theology, ecclesial and eschatological dimensions of Eucharist, ecumenical discussions on the question of Eucharistic theology and some of the contemporary issues discussed on Eucharist.

Bibliography: Philip Chempakassery, A Theology of the Eucharist(Trivandrum: MS Publications, 2002); Joachim Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words of Jesus (London: SCM Press Ltd, 1966); Louis Bouyer, Eucharist: Theology and Spirituality of the Eucharistic Prayer (London: University of notre Dame Press, 1968); Kevin W Irwin, Models of the Eucharist (New Jersey: Paulist Press, 2005).

Theology of the Sacrament of Matrimony                 1 Credit

Charivuparampil Sijo James

This is a biblical and theological treatise on the sacrament of marriage. The course progresses through the following topics: the creation accounts in the book of Genesis; Jewish antecedents of Christian marriage; nature and essential goods of marriage; marriage as a covenant and sacrament; marital symbolism and spousal images in the Bible; Old Testament idea of marriage; image of spousal union in the New Testament; marriage in the teachings of Jesus Christ; marriage in Pauline teaching; One Flesh Image of Marriage; Marriage as magnum sacramentum; unity and indissolubility of marriage. The course also envisages a brief presentation of theological insights on marriage as inherent in the liturgy: conjugal symbolism of Christ and the Church in the Malankara Liturgy of Marriage - Christ the Bridegroom married the Church on the cross; Christ’s Blood as the dowry to the Church; Christ’s Body and Blood as the ring to the Church; Church as the Bride of Christ; ecclesiological dimension of the Malankara liturgy of marriage; Christian marriage and family as an image and reflection of the Trinitarian Community; sacramental marriage as an ecclesial act with ecclesial consequences and on ecclesial End; Christian marriage as a vocation.

Bibliography: Aerath, C., Liturgy and Ethos: a Study Based on the Malankara Liturgy of Marriage (Rome: Mar Thoma Yogam Publications,1995); Kasper, W., Theology of Christian Marriage (New York: Seabury Press, 1980); Lawler, M. G., Marriage and Sacrament: A Theology of Christian Marriage (Collegeville, MI: The Liturgical Press, 1993).

Theology of Sacred Orders                                  2 Credits

Kottayil Cherian John

The sacraments of Christian Initiation ground the common Christian vocation of all the believers. The Church as the mystical body of Christ has a share in the very nature and function of Christ. The whole peopleof God have a priestly character. Apart from this common sharing, however, there exists a specific sharing in the priesthood of Christ, called ministerial priesthood. It includes three degrees such as episcopate, presbyterate and diaconate. It is through this sacrament of Orders that the mission of Christ continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time. It is a sacrament of apostolic ministry. Incorporation into the sacrament of Holy Orders takes place through the sacred rite called Ordination. Taking into account the specific nature and mission of the Malankara Church, its liturgy of priesthood, definition and structure gain momentum. Placing and understanding the sacrament of Orders in an ecumenical perspective makes it all the more relevant to the present.

Bibliography: John Paul II, Pastores Dabo Vobis (Rome: 1994); Galot, J., The Theology of the Priesthood (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1986); Rausch, T. P., Priesthood Today: An Appraisal (New York: Paulist Press, 1992).

Theology of Anointing of the Sick                         1 Credit

Charivuparampil Sijo James

This course deals with the sacramentality of the sacrament of the Anointing of the sick and the pastoral issues connected with this sacrament. Care of the sick; preparation of the patient for the sacrament, the valid conferring of the sacrament etc. are treated here.

Bibliography: Triacca, A., (ed.), Temple of the Holy Spirt: Sickness and Death of the Christian in the Liturgy (New York: Pueblo, 1983); Knauber, A., Pastoral Theology of the Anointing of the Sick (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press,1975).

Eschatology                                                 2 Credits

Karimpil Jolly Philip

            This course attempts to reflect upon Christian hope that is founded in the promises of God made through Jesus Christ. The course will focus on the Christian hope of man regarding the consummation of God’s plan of redemption. The Christo-centric character of eschatology will be elucidated. The doctrine of ‘last things’ – death, judgment, heaven, hell and purgatory - will be studied as understood in Scripture and the historical unfolding of the tradition, that centers on and drawsits rationale from the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Bibliography: Ratzinger, J., Eschatology. Death and Eternal Life (Washington DC: Catholic University of America, 1988); Pozo, C., The Theology of the Beyond (Madrid: BAC, 2009); Francis, J.B., Come Lord Jesus Come (Bangalore: St. Peter’s, 2002).O’ Callaghan, P., Christ Our Hope (Washington DC: Catholic University of America, 2011).


III. Moral Theology

Fundamental Moral Theology                             2 Credits  

Kanayankal Saji CST

The course is meant to introduce basic concepts in Moral Theology. The meaning of Moral Theology and its methodology; Vatican II’s invitation to base Moral Theology on the Scripture; Moral Theology and other branches of theology, especially the branches of theological anthropology and Psychology; History and evolution of moral theology; Morality of human acts; determining factors; objects; circumstances; motive; the principle of double effect; theories of morality - deontology; rigorism; laxism; probabilism; utilitarianism; consequentialism; probabiliorism; equiprobabiliorism. The formation of the Christian conscience; kinds of conscience; conscience and church authority. Fundamental opinion; virtues and concrete moral acting. Morality and natural law; the importance of natural law in the process of humanization; moral values and norms; The importance of natural law in historical interpretation; the need for caution; relativism, subjectivity; moral absolutes; situation ethics. The course also focuses on a detailed understanding about the concept of sin.

Bibliography: Caffarra, C., Living in Christ. Fundamental Principles of Catholic Moral Theology (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1987); Curran, C.E. and Mc Cormick, R.A, Moral Theology No.7, Natural Law and Theology (New York:  Paulist Press, 1984); Kanniyakonil, S. (ed.), Ethical Perspectives of the Eastern Churches (Changnacherry: HIRS, 2004).

Commandments                                               2 Credits

Augustine Chennatt

A detailed study of the first four commandments, on duties towards God and towards parents and elders. The first three commands reveal od-man relationship is discussed with special emphasis on Monotheism and Trinitarian faith. Virtues are discussed and special attention is given to the virtue of religion. Acts and tendencies against these prime commitments will be dealt with, keeping an eye on the current Indian situation of Multi-religious polity with dangers of syncretism, superstition and scandal. The fourth commandment is discussed with its OT background and the obligation towards parents and those in authority is discussed with special emphasis on the growing tendency in the Indian society to ignore and even to bully the sick parents.

Bibliography: Lowery, D. L., Following Christ. A Hand book of Catholic Moral Teaching (Missouri: Ligouri Publications, 1982); Woods, W. J., Walking with Faith. New Perspective on the sources and shaping of Catholic Moral Life (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1965).

Bio-Ethics                                                         2 Credits

Kanniyakonil Scaria

         This course focuses on a comprehensive and current interpretation of the fifth commandment, on the sanctity of human life and sins against it. It is designed in such a way as to equip students to fight against the culture of death prevailing in our times, with arguments drawn from faith, reason, conscience and law. The traditional Catholic teaching on the sanctity of human life will be enunciated with its biblical and patristic bases. Relatively modern controversies surrounding contraception, abortion etc. along with contemporary issues regarding stem-cell research, transplants, artificial feeding and euthanasia will be given detailed attention. Practical and everyday issues like care of the sick and aged, ethical issues related to medical care, and spiritual care of those nearing death also will be given due importance.

Bibliography: Beckwith, F.J., and N.L. Geisler, Matters of Life and Death: Calm Answers to Tough Questions about Abortion and Euthanasia (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House,1991; Kanniyakonil, S.,The Fundamentals of Bioethics: Legal Perspectives and Ethical Approaches (Kottayam: OIRSI, 2007); Thomasma, D.C., Human Life in the Balance(Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1990).

Ethics of Human Sexuality                                  2 Credits

Padipurackal John

Starting from a biblical and theological evaluation of human sexuality and its purpose, this course progresses into a dynamic and comprehensive understanding of the virtue of chastity in both conjugal and celibate dimensions. It will propose to place the sexual behavior within the context of a well-enunciated theology of the body. Psychological and pastoral perspectives on aberrant and deviant sexual behavior will be discussed in its various manifestations together with its implication for an ethical life. A positive, theological and spiritual appreciation of the conjugal intimacy and implications of conjugal fidelity will be presented. The ideas of responsible parenthood and contemporary challenges also are part of the course. The virtue of chastity in its celibate dimension, its importance for meaningful consecrated and priestly life and problems faced by celibates in contemporary world will form the final part of the course.

Bibliography: Kippley, J. F., Birth control and Marriage Covenant (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1976); Selling, J., ed. Embracing Sexuality: Authority and Experience in the Catholic Church (Burlington VT: Ashgate, 2001); Podimattam, F., Love, Sexuality and God-Experience in Marriage (Delhi: Media House, 1994).

Theology of Justice                                         3 Credits

Padipurackal John

This is a course on the seventh, eighth and ninth commandments. The biblical notion of justice is given. Justice and its four fold division are discussed; Origin of rights and human rights; principles regarding restitution and prescription. Liberation theology and the Vatican documents on it are analyzed. The various papal documents on social justice are discussed. Revolution and violence, the Catholic principle “end does not justify the means”, the relationship between charity and justice, the obligation towards maintaining peace in the society etc. come under this course.

Bibliography: Curran, C. E., and R. A. McCormick, Moral TheologyNo.5. Official Catholic SocialTeaching (New York: Paulist Press, 1986); McCarthy, D.G., and Moraczewski, A. (eds.), Moral Responsibility in Prolonging Life Decision (St. Louis: Pope John Centre, 1981); Srampickal, T. – Chirayil, J., To Act Justly and Deal Honestly (Trissur: Marymatha Publications, 2008).

Sacrament of Penance / Reconciliation                      3 Credits

Ukken Varghese

This course approaches the sacrament of penance from the view-points of Sacramental Theology, Moral Theology and ecclesiastical discipline. Starting from the Biblical Foundation of the ministry of reconciliation and the Early Christian practice of penance, a dogmatico-historical review of the penitential discipline and theology of penance is given. Systematic reflection on the sacramental and ecclesiastical dimensions of penance and the different approaches in the East and the West regarding this sacrament will be explained. Practical and canonical issues in the actual administration of the Sacrament will be discussed in detail. Incorporating aspects from theological understanding of sin and reconciliation, moral and spiritual precepts of Catholic life, and canonical discipline, a comprehensive and practical understanding of the sacrament and its administration is presented.

Bibliography: Coffey, D., The Sacrament of Reconciliation, Lex Orandi (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2001); Kidder, A.S., Making Confession, Hearing Confession: A History of the Cure of Souls (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2010); Osborne, K.B., Reconciliation and Justification: The Sacrament and Its Theology (New York: Paulist Press, 1990).


IV. Liturgy and Spirituality

Introduction to Liturgical Theology                         2 Credits

Valivilayil Bernard

This course deals with introductory notions about the liturgy; Sacrosanctum concilium on Sacred Liturgy; important elements of liturgy; nature of Christian worship and liturgy; relation between Liturgy with Religion, Revelation, Scripture, Church, and Dogma; liturgy in the Bible; sacrifice in O.T. &  N.T.; the mystery of Christ and the nature of the Church signified in the liturgical life of the Church; place of Christ in liturgy; priestly character of Christ; Christ as liturgical mystery; saving action of Christ in liturgy; worship in and through Christ; role of Holy Spirit in the liturgy; Holy Spirit in the worship of the Church, theological dimensions of liturgy; purpose and properties of liturgy; functions of liturgy and worship; heavenly liturgy and earthly liturgy; liturgy and paschal mystery; symbolic and sign character of liturgy; ecclesial dimension of liturgy - Liturgy as manifestation of the Church; structure and laws of liturgical celebration; liturgical assembly; liturgical spirituality; West Syrian/Antiochean/Malankara Liturgy important characteristics; Syriac Music - various forms of the Syriac hymns; Bethgasa – Okto Echoes; Fathers of the Church who tried for Syriac Music etc.

Bibliography:  Adam,  A., Foundations of Liturgy: An Introduction to is History and  Practice (Collegeville MT: The Liturgical Press, 1983); Kakkanatt, A., Christological Catechesis of the Liturgy – A Study on the Great Feasts of our Lord in the Malankara Church (Rome: Mar Thoma Yogam, 1996); Martimort, A. G., Principles of the Liturgy – An Introduction to the Liturgy, [The Church at Prayer, vol. 1], (Collegevile MT: The Liturgical Press,1983); Mattam, A. D., Inculturation of the Liturgy in the Indian Context (Kottayam: OIRSI, 1991).

Liturgical Year                                                 2 Credits

Malayattil Joseph

The purpose of this course is mainly to understand the theology of the liturgical prayers and hymns of various feasts in the Malankara liturgy. The course deals with the theological principles of liturgy and worship; liturgical year; Sacrosanctum concilium on the liturgical year; Antiochean/Malankara Liturgical Year; Divine office; theological meaning of various hours (Yamas); theological themes of seven liturgical hours and days; mystery of  the time; Daily cycle; order and structure of the liturgy of Hours; weekly cycle, Sunday celebration; Yearly cycle; seven seasons of the liturgical year and their theological background; Great Feasts of our Lord (Maranaya) and their theological significance; theology of fasting and penance in the Malankara tradition etc.

Bibliography: Schmemann,  A., Introduction to Liturgical Theology(Crestwood NY: St. Vladimir’s seminary Press, 2003); Vagaggini, C., Theological Dimensions of the Liturgy: A General Treatise on the Theology of Liturgy (Collegeville MT:The Liturgical Press, 1976); Varghese, B., West Syrian Liturgical Theology (Aldershot: Ashgate Publication, 2004)

Rubrics                                                         4 Credits

Thadathil Kuriakose (Holy Qurbono), Malayattil Joseph

         This course aims to study the history, evolution and the structure of the Church’s liturgical rites. The students will be introduced to the theory and practice of dignified liturgical celebration. Practical lessons will be given on the celebration of the sacraments and the major feasts. Contemporary liturgical practice will be evaluated in its historical, cultural and theological context. And the guidelines for the performance of the liturgical rites will be set out on the basis of the revised book of rituals (tukasa, 2014).

Bibliography: Text book. Synodal Commission for Liturgy, Visudha Susrushakalude Anushtanakramam: Tukasa (Trivandrum: 2014).

Oriental Lituriges                                               1 Credit

Thadathil Kuriakose

A brief introduction into the history, general features, particularities and families and traditions within oriental liturgies. Particular attention will be paid to the history and evolution within the family of West Syrian Liturgy, shared by the Syro-Malankara Church.

Bibliography: John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Orientale Lumen (1995); Roberson, R., The Eastern Christian Churches. A Brief Survey, (Bangalore: 2004); Pallath, P. (ed.), Catholic Eastern Churches. Heritage and Identity (Rome: 1994)

Spiritual Theology                                             1 Credit

Kadavil Mathai OIC

            This course will provide an overview of the important developments in the history of spirituality in the Catholic Church. After seeing some important tenets of Biblical spirituality, the course will focus more on the different schools of spirituality in the Catholic tradition. It will also see different religious piety, ways of meditation, importance of spiritualdirection, eco-spirituality, liturgical spirituality etc., Spirituality of the East in particular the spirituality of Syriac tradition and St Thomas Christian tradition shall also be addressed. The main focus of the course is to help the student to explore implications for one’s own spiritual life.

Bibliography: Grispino Joseph A, Foundations of Biblical Spirituality (new York: St Paul’s Publication, 1965); Thomas Spidlik, The Spirituality of Christian East (Michigan: Cistercian Publication, 1986); Amalorpavadass, Indian Christian Spirituality (Bangalore: NBCLC, 1982); James Aerthayil, The Spiritual Heritage of Saint Thomas Christians (Bangalore: Dharmaram Publications, 1982); Sebastian Brock, Studies in Syriac Spirituality (Bangalore: Dharmaram Publicationns, 2008).

Monastic Spirituality                                           1 Credit

Ardra Kaduvinal SIC

In the Christian understanding monastic life is an invitation to an intense following of the person and the teachings of Jesus Christ as reflected in the Gospel. The Eastern monastic spirituality consists in the radical living of the Evangelical counsels through a close imitation of Christ and after him the Apostles and the early Christian communities.  Its prominent features consist of perfect renunciation which is expressed through life of detachment, poverty, simplicity, virginity, obedience, practice of asceticism, life of incessant prayer, fraternal life in community, missionary and different forms of communal and social activities. Hence through this course we aim at exploring the genesis of Monasticism, the genius/prominent features of the monastic spirituality and its possible relevance for those living beyond the boundaries of the monastery.


V. Canon Law

Introduction to Canon Law                                       1 Credit

Thannickakuzhy Varghese

The Course, on Introduction to Canon Law is given in four parts; (i) a general understanding of law, (ii) study of the Canon Law, (iii) introduction to the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, and (iv) the titles and structure of the CCEO.  In the first part we treat elaborately the term “law” and its terminological meaning and richness philosophicaldimensions, theological dimensions, law as related to covenant, divisions of laws, and finally a definition of law. The second part is a description of Canon Law, canonical traditions in the East and the West, scope of Canon Law, its purpose and functions, New Testament foundations, codification of laws in ancient times and the sources of law. The third part is on the codification of the Eastern Church laws of the Indian Church, attempts for the common code for the Eastern Churches, the code commission, and guidelines for the revision and promulgation of CCEO. The last (fourth) part elucidates the title, structure, characteristic features, and the binding force of CCEO.

Bibliography: [Texts Common to all subjects under this Section]:  Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.Latin – English Edition (CCEO) (Washington D.C: Canon Law Society of America, 1992. Reprint, Kottayam OIRSI, 1992); The Code of Canon Law in English Translation(London: Canon Law Society Trust, 1983)

Coriden, J., An Introduction to Canon Law, (New York: Paulist Press, 2004); Pospishil, V. J., Eastern Catholic Church Law (Revised and Augmented Edition, New York: Saint Maron Publications, 1996);  Nedungatt, G., (Ed), A Guide to the Eastern Code, as Kanonika 10, Rome: PIO, 2002); Bharanikulangara, K., Particular Law of the Eastern Catholic Churches (New York: 1996).

General Norms                                                 2 Credits

Thannickakuzhy Varghese

CIC 1983, Book 1 starts with the title General Norms whereas in the Eastern Code of Canon Law there is no such a title.  Though the title is not specified in CCEO the aforementioned norms have been treated under different topics and titles.  In order to provide a comprehensive vision of the subject we have organized it systematically. The Schema of the Course General Norms comprises the following themes: General Introduction, Preliminary Canons (CCEO cc. 1-6), Persons and Juridic Acts (cc. 909-935), Offices (cc. 936-978), The Power of Governance (cc. 979-995), Recourse against Decrees (cc. 996-1006), Law, Custom and Administrative Acts (cc. 1488-1539), and Prescription and Computation of Time (cc. 1540-1546).

Bibliography: Bharanikulangara, K., Particular Law of the Eastern CatholicChurches (New York: 1996);  Gaid, Y. L., The Eastern Code, Text and Resources (as Kanonika 13, Rome: PIO, 2006); Nedungatt, G., The Spirit of the Eastern Code (Rome: PIO, 1993).

Syro-Malankara Catholic Particular Law                      1 Credit

Thannickakuzhy Varghese

The codification and promulgation (in 2012) of the Code of Particular Canons of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church (CPCSMCC) was indeed a great step forward for the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church in realizing her full potential as a sui juris Major Archiepiscopal Church.  This course is intended to give the students a close glimpse into the history of the codification of the CPCSMCC and provide them with the sufficient juridical and cultural background in order to interpret and understand the Code in the correct way. Major juridical themes of the CPCSMCC will be introduced and those areas of the Code that have a more practical bearing on the pastoral life of priests will be given detailed attention.

Bibliography:  Text: The Code of Particular Canons of the Syro Malankara Catholic Church (Trivandrum: 2012).

People of God                                             2 Credits

Kuzhinapurath Thomas

Here the canons regarding the different status of the people of God are discussed, the position of the hierarchy in the Church, their duties to the people of God, the duty of the people of God to give the hierarchy due respect as shepherds of the people of God etc. are discussed here.

Bibliography: Dyer, G., (ed), A Pastoral Guide to Canon Law (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1977); Pallath, P., The Synod of Bishops of Catholic Oriental Churches (Rome: 1994); Faris, J.D., Eastern Catholic Churches: Constitution and Governance (New York: 1992).

Temporal Goods and Sanctions                            2 Credits

Anila Christy DM

The Church is an institution established by our Lord Jesus Christ in order to attain a spiritual and supernatural end. But these ends have to be attained in this material world, in a society of human beings through appropriate means available in this world.  These temporal means could be temporal possessions, pecuniary income, real and personal property, legal claims, and the freedom to acquire, possess, administer and alienate them for the purpose of the Church.  Fundamentally, this is an innate, native, and sovereign right of the Church, granted to her by God, and respected by secular society. In order to maintain its legality the Church has constituted norms and regulations. The Schema of the Course comprises the elaboration of the following themes: General Introduction, The Acquisition of Temporal Goods, The Administration of Ecclesiastical Goods, Contracts and Alienation, and Pious Wills and Pious Associations.              

Bibliography: Woestman, W., Ecclesiastical Sanctions and Penal Process (Bangalore, TPI, 2000); Mathew, S., The Principle of Subsidiarity in the Church and in Canon Law (Marthandam: 2011); Nedungatt, G., Laity and Church Temporalities, Appraisal of a Tradition (Banglore: 2000).

Clerics                                                      1 Credit                    

Kuttiyil John

            The clerical category is a juridical category in canon law which refers to deacons, presbyters and bishops as sacred ministers or clerics. One becomes part of clerics through ordination to diaconate. This course on "clerics" makes a textual analysis of Title X (De clericis) of CCEO which deals with the formation of clerics (cc. 328-356), Ascription of clerics to an Eparchy (cc. 357-366), Rights and obligations of clerics (cc. 367-393), Loss of clerical state (cc. 394-398) with a special reference to Title V (Clerics) of the Code of Particular Canons of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church (CPCSMCC).

Bibliography: Nedungatt, George, "Clerics (cc. 323-398)", in id, ed.,
A Guide to the Eastern Code (Kanonika 10), Rome, PIO, 2002, 255-328;  Woestman, William H., The Sacrament of Orders and the Clerical State, Ottawa, Faculty of Canon Law Saint Paul University, 2006.

Marriage Laws                                             2 Credits

Thannickakuzhy Varghese

The course analyses the theological and juridical elements of marriage as a divine institution basing on canons 776-866 of CCEO. Marriage, as an intimate partnership of the whole life, is established by the creator and it is rooted in the irrevocable personal consent of the partners. As a sacrament, unity and indissolubility are its essential properties. Pastoral care that precedes marriage should include preparation of the spouses, prenuptial investigation regarding the freestate of the spouses, baptism and confirmation of the spouses etc.

Diriment impediments affect the validity of marriage. Specific matrimonial impediments and the competent authority to grant dispensation are discussed. Matrimonial consent which is an act of the will is the constitutive element of marriage. A defective consent renders a marriage invalid. Absence of the canonical form makes a marriage invalid. An invalid marriage can be convalidated either through simple convalidation or radical sanation. Dissolution of a marriage bond is possible by applying the Pauline Privilege (1 Cor 7:12-15) or Privilege of Faith. In the case of an adulterous partner, the innocent spouse can lawfully separate but the conjugal life is to be restored when the reason for separation ceases. The Indian Divorce (amendment) Act 2001 and the Marriage Laws (amendment) Act 2001 are also discussed.

Bibliography: De Bekker, E., Parish Priests and Marriage Cases (Bangalore: TPI, 1980); Posphishil V., Eastern Catholic Marriage Law according to the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, Saint Maron Publications, Brooklyn NY, 1991.

VI. Church History & Patristics

Patrology (Greek and Latin)                               4 Credits

Kuzhuppil Thomas, Valliyattu Joseph

This course is given in two parts: The first part (2 Credits) deals with the Pre-Nicean Christian Literature. Basic notions of Patrology such as the criteria for calling a person a Father of the Church and the division into Latin and Greek Fathers are discussed. Emergence of Christian Literature in the subapostolic period and the importance of the testimony of the Apostolic Fathers are briefly exposed. The Fathers’ approach to the Bible, Christian identity and defense against heresy, the apologetical writings and the emergence of the first major theologians of the Church are the main themes introduced in the first part, with Ignatius, Justin, Irenius, Origen, Hippolytus and Tertullian being the important writers introduced.

The emergence of major Trinitarian heresies and the Fathers’ role in the definition of Christian faith in the first four Ecumenical Councils is the major theme in the second part (2 Credits) of the course dealing with Post-Nicean developments. The emergence of monastic literature and life style, the first Christian hagiographies and the emergence ofnew themes in Christian writings are introduced briefly. The contributions of Augustin and Ambrose from the West and those of Athanasius, Cyril, the Great Cappadocians, John Damascene and Maximus the Confessor are discussed in detail.

Bibliography: Kuzhuppil, T., Sabhapithakkanmar (Malayalam, The Fathers of the Church, Kunnoth:2012); Chediath, G., Aadima Sabha Pithakkanmar (Early Church Fathers, Malayalam, Kottayam: OIRSI, 1993);  Quasten, J. Patrology, 4 Vols. (Texas: Christian Classics, 2005; Reprint from 1956).

Syriac Patrology                                            2 Credits

Kuzhuppil Thomas

This course deals with the Theology, life and works of Fathers of Syriac Churches. This course also deals with the important influence of Syriac Tradition, Culutre, Language and Literature, specific characteristics and prominent theological themes. It highlights the Syriac Theology which is closely associated with Syriac Fathers and the poetic theology of Ephrem, the contributions of Aphraates, Jacob of Sarug etc.

Bibliography: Kalathramannil, J., Suriyani Sabhapithakkanmar, (Syriac Fathers), Udayagiri : Seminary Publications, 1992; Di Berardino, A. (ed.), Patrology. The Eastern Fathers from the Council of Chalcedon (451) to John of Damascus (750) (Cambridge: James Clark and Co Ltd, 2006)

Church History (General)                                         4 Credits

Valliyattu Joseph (Ancient & Medieval), Thonipara Francis (Modern & Contemp)

This course in two parts gives a glimpse into the history of the Universal Church. The emergence of Christianity and its major institutions, its initial spread and structural developments under the Roman period, the major doctrinal controversies and the history of the first major councils are discussed in detail. The evolution of the Medieval Church, its institutions and organization, territorial expansion and diversification are also introduced. The impacts of Renaissance and Reformation, the latter Ecumenical Councils convoked by the Western Church, the missionary expansion under the great Religious Orders and reconsolidation of Catholicism, redefinition of Catholic life under the Councils of Vatican and the Church’s efforts to come into terms with theexigencies of the modern, democratic world are some important themes discussed.

Bibliography: Padinjarekutt, I., Christianity Through the Centuries (Bombay: St. Paul Society, 2005);   Koodupuzha, X., Thirusabhacharithram (The History of the Church - Mal) (Nallathanny: MTS Dayra Publications, 2005)

History of the Indian Christianity                                 2 Credits

Valliyattu Joseph

This course provides a glimpse into the significant epochs in the history of Indian Christianity, with major focus on the Church in Kerala. The ancient Indian Churches of St. Thomas, the arrival of Thomas in India, the Thomas traditions in the Church, the earliest contacts with the Church of East, the arrival of the Portuguese and the attempts at Latinization, the division in the Church and the fall of one section from Catholic faith, the emergence and consolidation of the Syro-Malabar hierarchy, the attempts at reunion from the separated group, the successful attempt of Mar Ivanios, the further division in the non-Catholic faction are the major topics introduced in relation to the Church in Kerala. The work of foreign missionaries, the North Indian mission expansion, the work of Anglicans and other Protestant groups, the Church in Tamilnadu; the Church among the tribal groups etc. are also discussed.

Bibliography: Koodapuzha, X., Bharata Sabhacharitram (Indian Church History — Mal),  (Kottayam: OIRSI, 1980): G. Chediath, Mar Thoma Sleehayude Indian Sabha (The Indian hurch of Mar Thomas the Aposole - Mal), Kottayam, Oriental Institute of Religious Studies, 1988); Mundadan et al., History of Christianity in India (Six Volumes, Bengalore: Church History Association of India, 1982-).


History of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Chruch            1 Credit

Valliyattu Joseph

This is a course of study on the Malankara Catholic Church to which the vast majority of our students are members. In this course the historical background of the reunion into the Catholic Church of Mar Ivanios, the metropolitan of the Malankara Syrian Jacobite Church isdiscussed in detail. The ecclesiology of Mar Ivanios which led him to re-union and its never-fading relevance and importance are highlighted. The history of the Christian community which followed the example of Mar Ivanios is studied. The growth of this community in stages to become a sui iuris church of Major Archiepiscopal rank also is discussed.     

Bibliography: Chediath, G., The Malankara Catholic Church (Kottayam: Bethany Sisters’ Generalate, 2003);  Malancharuvil, Cyril; The Syro-Malankara Church (Trivandrum: St. Joseph's Press, 1997).

Mar Ivanios, the Prophet of Reunion                       1 Credit

Valliyattu Joseph

This course is a detailed introduction into the life, work and charismata of Archbishop Mar Ivanios, the Father of the Reunion Movement in Malankara. Along with the suggestions as to how to use history as a source of theologizing, the students are invited to  look deeper into the convictions, visions and ideals of the great Aboona, describing him as a ‘man bent on unity’, much in the model of  St. Ignatius of Antioch.

Bibliography: Inchakkalody, T., Archbishop Mar Ivanios (Mal) (Kottayam: Bethany Publications, 2012 reprint from 1960); Gibbons, M., Archbishop Mar Ivanios: Apostle of Church Union (Kottayam: Bethany Publications, 2002 reprint from 1962); Valiayavilayil, A., ed., The Theological Vision of Mar Ivanios (Pune: Bethany Vijnana Peet, 2004).

VII. Pastoral Courses

Pastoral Theology                                           2 Credits

Puthenveedu Louis

         Pastoral theology as the science of the care of souls; The notion of pastoral theology; The need of this branch of theology and its history; The present importance of this branch of sacred science; sources for pastoral theology, especially the insights given by Vatican II; the content of pastoral theology as including everything connected with the ministry of caring for the souls.

Bibliography: Stang, W., Pastoral Theology (New York: 1996); Snock, A., Confession and Pastoral Psychology (West-Minster: 1961);  Mankuzhikary M., Ajapalana Dharmam (Mal) (Kottayam: St ThomasPublications, 1999).

Catechetics                                                2 Credits

Kackanatt Antony

         Catechetics as a new branch of pastoral theology; History of Catechetical instruction In the Church; Adult catechumenate and Catechism in the time of the Fathers; Medieval Catechetics;  the Reformation period;  renewal in Vatican II; The Recent trends – Christian Education as basically formative, initiation into new life; The witness of the community, the influence of the family. Holy Spirit as the chief Interior Teacher. Challenges of the inter-cultural context of India. Possibilities of a Particular Catechetical programme for the Syro-Malankara Church.

Bibliography: General Directory for Catechesis, (Rome 1997); Jungmann, The Good News. Yesterday and Today (New York: 1962) Hofinger, J. (ed), Teaching All Nations (New York: 1961).

Missiology                                                   2 Credits

Mekkarikathu Prabeesh George

         The assertion of the Second Vatican Council “Church is mission by her very nature” lays a fundamental obligation to preach the Good News and to work for the establishment of the Kingdom of God on Earth. The Couse on Theology of Mission aims at a deeper understanding of the missionary obligation of the Church and its implication in the pluri-context of Indian Church.  It gives a theological understanding of the concept of mission and evangelization, meaning, scope and importance of Missiology, and historical consciousness of the theology of mission. The course primarily deals with the Biblical foundation of mission, magisterial teaching on mission, the relationship between communion and mission, missionary obligation of the churches sui iuris, the relationship between liturgy and mission, inculturation and inter-religious dialogue and the relationship between pastoral work and missionary activities. Considering the Malankara context, the missionary vision of Archbishop Mar Ivanios and missionary significance of the Re-union Movement will be dealt.


Bibliography: John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio (1990), John Paul II, Ecclesia in Asia (1999), Paul VI, Evengelii Nuntiandi (1975), BOSCH David J., Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission (Bangalore: 2006), MATTAM, Abraham, The Church of St. Thomas Christians: Missionary Enterprises Before the Sixteenth Century (Kottayam: 2004), NAMITHA, A New Paradigm for Evangelization in the Third Millennium (Bangalore: 2000), STAMOLIS, James J., Eastern Orthodox Mission Theology Today (Eugene: 2001).

Theology of Religions and Inter-religious Dialogue        2 Credits

Kundukulam Vincent                                                                                      This course is devised to equip the students to live their pastoral lives with equilibrium and consistency to the mind of the Church in the pluri-religious context of India. A detailed analysis of inclusive and exclusive attitudes within the O.T. and the N.T. with regard to salvation, and the classical and modern Catholic approaches to the question of salvation of those outside the Church is presented. Various possibilities of approaches within the Theology of Religions – Theocentrism, Christocentrism, Ecclesiocentrism, Soteriocentrism etc.- are analyzed. A contemporary Catholic approach is sought to build through the study of magisterial documents from Nostra Aetate to Dominus Iesus.

Bibliography: Cassidy, E., Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue (New York: Paulist Press, 2005); Dinoia, J. A., The Diversity of Religions (Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 1992).

Homiletics                                                    2 Credits Puthenveedu Louis                        This course is devised to give the students theoretical and practical preparation in proclaiming the Gospel. The communicative dimensions of preaching and the need for a listener centered approach will be emphasized. Centrality of the Word of God and need for spiritual preparation, preaching as a charism, and the need to think with the Church etc. are other important points. Practical guidance in both preparing and presenting the homily also will be given due importance.

Bibliography: Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (Rome: 2014); Wilson, P.S., A Concise History of Preaching (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1992); Shea, J., Following Love into Mystery (Collegeville MN: Liturgical Press, 2010).