Academic Year: 2015/2016
Christianity and Culture
Semester: 1st
Padre João Maria Félix da Costa Seabra
Padre Hugo Santos
Isabel Maria Leitão Cortes Alçada Cardoso
Course Description:
Lessons should be theoretical and practical and the course will approach Christianity main topics, with
special focus on its relationship with history and the emergence of a new humanity model and,
consequently, a new culture.
Materials used are the appropriate for each session, according to the studied topics.
The subject is divided in two parts. The first includes the presentation of the specific methodological
questions and a summary of the Social Doctrine of the Church, particularly, its relationship with
economic life. The second part includes the main themes related to the sense of God and the modern
man, and the relationship between faith and culture.
Course Content:
Part I
I. Questions of method
II. Social Doctrine of the Church: Introduction (Brief history. General principles. Magisterium
main documents)
III. Economic life and Social Doctrine of the Church.
Part II
I. Knowledge and Mystery: religious sense and reality.
II. Reason and Revelation.
III. Presence and History: The Church as Christ’s continuity in history.
Course Objectives:
The course suggests an approach to the Social Doctrine of the Church, its history, principles and main
Magisterium documents, stressing its relationship with economic life.
On the other hand, the course suggests an existential approach to religion. It is intended to challenge
the student with the fundamental requirements of the human heart: demands for truth, justice, beauty,
happiness, love; demands impossible to remove, longing for an answer. We call this aspect, common to
all men, religious sense and it is identified with the desire of answer to the questions: "Why do I live?
What is the meaning of my life? What is my destiny?". To study this, the student needs to discover a
new concept of reason: an extended reason, not locked within its limits, but opened to infinity, to the
Mystery to whom everything is sent.
The course aims to study the relationship between knowledge and Mystery, reason and Revelation and
Presence and history.
Continuous grading:
Part I – 50% from final mark- mandatory written work: 5 A4 pages (1500-2000 words), which
must be consigned until the 30th November 2015;
Part II – 10% from final mark- 1 A4 page (300-400 words), asked during classes about the
studied themes.
Part II – 40% from final mark- 1 test, with one part (theoretical), multiple-choice questions.
PAPA BENTO XVI, Carta Encíclica «Caritas in Veritate». A Caridade na Verdade (Lisboa: Paulus Editora
L. GIUSSANI, O Sentido Religioso (Lisboa: Verbo 1998).
T. S. ELIOT, Notas para uma Definição de Cultura (Lisboa: Século XXI 1996).
R. STARK, A Vitória da Razão (Lisboa: Tribuna 2007).
T. E. WOODS, JR, O que a Civilização Ocidental Deve à Igreja Católica (Lisboa: Aletheia 2005).
A. REIS RODRIGUES, Doutrina Social da Igreja: Pessoa, Sociedade e Estado (Lisboa: Editora Rei dos
Livros 1991).
A. REIS RODRIGUES, O Homem e a Ordem Social e Política (Cascais: Principia 2003).
A. REIS RODRIGUES, Sobre o Uso da Riqueza. O Destino Universal dos Bens (Cascais: Principia 2005).
CONGREGAÇÃO PARA A DOUTRINA DA FÉ, Liberdade cristã e libertação. Instrução «Libertatis
Conscientiae» (Braga: Editoral A. O. 19873).
CONSELHO PONTIFÍCIO JUSTIÇA E PAZ, Compêndio da Doutrina Social da Igreja (Cascais: Principia 2005).
During the teaching sessions this bibliography will be complemented with other relevant titles,
according to the studied topics.

Christianity and Culture