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Welcome to Fundamental Theology




TEACHER: Fr Matthew Bloomer


‘In His goodness and wisdom God chose to reveal Himself and to make known to us the hidden purpose of His will by which through Christ, the Word made flesh, man might in the Holy Spirit have access to the Father and come to share in the divine nature … The obedience of faith is to be given to God who reveals, an obedience by which man commits his whole self freely to God, offering the full submission of intellect and will to God who reveals, and freely assenting to the truth revealed by Him.’ (Dei Verbum, 2, 5)

Building on the subjects Philosophy of Religion and Introduction to Theology, Fundamental Theology is a foundation for the study of dogmatic theology. It is an in-depth study of Revelation and Faith, examining the relationship between reason and faith, by which we adhere to Revelation by which God makes Himself known and shows us the ultimate meaning of reality. We will study the relationship between Sacred Scripture, Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium, concluding with an analysis of the Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum. The second part of the course takes a more apologetic and anthropological approach to the question of belief, looking at the nature of religion, non-Christian religions, agnosticism and atheism, and the possibility of attaining religious truth. We will then look at the credibility of Revelation and whether the Catholic faith can be considered reasonable. We will look at ‘motives of credibility’, particularly with reference to Jesus Christ and the Church.


By the end of this course students should be able to

  1. Appreciate the possibility and value of religious truth
  2. Explain the relationship between Sacred Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium
  3. Identify and explain the key ideas of the Constitution Dei Verbum
  4. Dialogue with Catholics, Protestants and non-believers to explain the nature of faith and its reasonableness
  5. Distinguish faith from superstition and identify practical examples
  6. Demonstrate some ways that faith can illuminate our life and culture.



The course will cover the following topics:

Part 1: Revelation and Faith

  1. Introduction
  2. Divine Revelation and its Contents
  3. The Transmission of Revelation in the Church
  4. Theological Reflection on the Nature of Revelation
  5. The Christian Faith

Part 2: Credibility

  1. General Notions
  2. Religion from the Perspective of Fundamental Theology
  3. Signs and the Credibility of Revelation
  4. Christ and the Church, Signs of Revelation
  5. Grace, Reason and Freedom in Christian Faith

The full program is available here  VIEW

Class notes are available HERE

Excerpts of Magisterial documents to be covered in class:
Dei Verbum   | VIEW
Dei Filius  | VIEW





Essential Reading

Ocariz, Fernando, and Blanco, Arturo, Fundamental Theology, Midwest Theological Forum, Downers Grove, 2011.

Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution on Revelation, Dei Verbum, 1965.  VIEW

Vatican Council I, Dogmatic Constitution Dei Filius, 1870.  VIEW

John Paul II, Enc. Fides et Ratio, 1998. VIEW

Catechism of the Catholic Church, nn. 50-100 and 142-184.  VIEW

Further Reading

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church, Dominus Iesus, 6.8.2000.  VIEW

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Mysterium Ecclesiae, 24.6.1973, nn. 1-5.  VIEW

International Theological Commission, The Interpretation of Dogma, October 1989.  VIEW

International Theological Commission, Christianity and the World Religions, 1997.  VIEW

Interdisciplinary Encyclopedia of Religion and Science, ed. G. Tanzella-Nitti.  VIEW

Aquinas, Thomas, Summa Contra Gentiles, I, 1-10.  VIEW

Aquinas, Thomas, Summa Theologica II-II, qq. 1, 2, 4, 6, 10, 171-174 and 176-178.  VIEW

Escriva, Josemaria, Christ Is Passing By, nn. 127-138 and 175-178.  VIEW

Escriva, Josemaria, Friends of God, nn. 23-38, 160-174, 225-229 and 258-273.  VIEW

Escriva, Josemaria, Conversations, nn. 1-23; 58-62, 73-79 and 113-123.  VIEW