Catholic university’s fall course list rife with social justice poppycock

"Agitating for Justice" will have an activism segment and a course formerly called "Do Black Lives Matter to God?" will focus on American Christianity's role in perpetuating racism.

Villanova University has aspiring social justice warriors covered with its fall 2019 course catalog.

The oldest Catholic university in Pennsylvania is offering a number of courses next term focusing on subjects such as how Jesus would approach the Black Lives Matter movement and the racism “imbedded within American Law.”

Students enrolled in “Agitating for Justice,” for instance, will learn how to “agitate Christian theologies” by “re-reading the Jesus tradition for communal liberation.” Participants will learn how “students and people of color, grounded in faith, have mobilized successful campaigns to redistribute power and resources to those who have been denied access,” according to the course description.

At the end of the term, students will use what they’ve learned to “participate in local organizing.” The course schedule specifically mentions opportunities available through Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild (POWER), a faith-based group that advocates for universal healthcare and “climate justice.”

Another course, titled “Do Black Lives Matter to God?" will be rebranded as “Black Theology and Black Power: An Exploration of Race, Justice and Christianity” in fall 2019. The upcoming course will be taught by theology and religious studies professor Dr. Timmy Lucky, who told Campus Reform that the course will “primarily focus on the history of racism and the racial injustices on which the USA has been founded.”

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“I also highlight the role American Christianity has played to perpetuate those historical wrong-doings,” Lucky said. “Finally, I encourage the students to develop a fundamental sensitivity & understanding for the way God views racism & injustice, and the role He expects His church to play in the fight against those ills in the USA.”

According to the course syllabus, the same class will “explore the implications of ‘Racist Ideas’ imbedded within American Law and Policies” and analyze such practices along with theological practices to “drive towards a call for justice and liberation commonly articulated in the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.” Students will address the question “If God is benevolent, just and powerful, how can/does He permit evil persist [sic] in the lives of Black people living in the United States of America?”

“As we study together, we will engage the Bible, religious scholarship and the texts of historical narratives, literature, visual art and films to explore key topics from a Theological perspective (to include: racism, antiracism and humanity),” the syllabus continues. “Ultimately, we will seek to be empowered to integrate a new understanding into our own moral practice, in order [to] live up to the prophetic call to fair and equitable justice for all.”

Villanova students also have the option of taking an English course called “Lives of the Undocumented,” during which they will “examine the lived experiences, conditions, and events of undocumented immigrants as represented by those who were, or who remain without legal documentation in the US.” 

Participants will use various forms of literature as a means to discuss “how the perspective from undocumented immigrants are [sic] crucial to understanding citizenship and belonging in the US.”

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“My hope is that students understand how the present term of the ‘undocumented’ is used currently (we will discuss current news throughout the semester). We will discuss the present against the historical understanding of concepts and procedures such as asylum, refugee, citizenship, and belonging,” Lives of the Undocumented professor Tsering Wangmo Dhompa told Campus Reform.

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