RS 222A: Symbol and Sacrament

Syllabus- Fall 2002
T/TH 8:30-9:45 am
SCI 111


Raymond A. Patterson


JE 148


ex. 2427


Web Page:

Office Hours:


4-5 pm
10-11 am
10-11 am
and by appointment

Course Description

RS 222: Symbol and Sacrament examines the ritual, symbols, and theology of Christian worship. The course will include:


An introduction to the anthropological study of worship and ritual


A consideration of the major Christian sacraments from an anthropological, historical, and theological perspective


An overview of various concepts and practices related to Christian worship


An examination of the diverse forms that Christian worship takes in todayís world


Required Texts:

Students should have access to a Bible. Iíll be using the New American Bible, but other versions are acceptable. The text for the class, available at the bookstore, is:

Martos, Joseph. Doors to the Sacred. Ligouri Press, 2001.

Other readings will be made available on Reserve. In the library system, students should use the library catalog to look up the folder numbers of the reserve readings, which are organized by the title of the article under my name. Please do not mark the Reserve readings when taking notes.

Class Requirements:

Regular attendance is expected of all students. If a student is unable to attend class, he or she should notify the instructor. More than one absence without the instructorís permission will negatively impact the final grade. Frequent absences will result in a failing grade.

Students should be on time for class. Arriving late or leaving during the class period can be disruptive for the class and the instructor. Excessive tardiness will be reflected in a lower grade for class attendance.

Students will be evaluated on the following course work:

Mid-Term Exam


Final Exam


Term Paper (10-12 pages)


Class Participation/Attendance/Papers


Academic Integrity

Students are expected to adhere to the Academic Integrity Policy established by St. Michaelís College and distributed to all students.

Class Schedule


(The instructor reserves the right to change the schedule. Students will be notified in class of any changes.)


Class Schedule

September 3

Class Introduction
Christianity: A review


Anthropology of Ritual

September 5

Encounter with the Divine / Human Behavior and Ritual

Martos, pp. 3-18.
Martos, "Psychology and the Sacraments," pp. 20-48.

September 10

Rites of Passage and Liminality: Victor Turner

Handout on Turner

September 12

Ritual and Society: Mary Douglas
Ritual in a Secular Age

Mitchell reading

September 17

Forms of Christian Worship
Theology of the Sacraments

Martos, pp. 19-51, 60-64, (77-88)

September 19


Martos, pp. 147-169.

September 24



Martos, pp. 169-181, 184-207.

September 26


Martos, pp. 209-217.

October 1


Martos, pp. 218-235 (236-246).

October 3


Martos, pp. 246-257.

October 8


Martos, pp. 258-270.

October 10



October 15

[Columbus Day Holiday]

October 17

Mid-Term Exam

October 22


Martos, pp. 351-395.

October 24

Holy Orders

Martos, pp. 400-460.

October 29


Martos, pp. 275-322.

October 31


Anointing of the Sick

Martos, pp. 325-348.

November 5


Paxton, Christianizing Death, pp. 19-27, 34-46.

Catacombs of Rome

November 7


Memento Mori

November 12

Eastern Orthodox Worship
Protestant Forms of Worship-I

First Visit to an Orthodox Church

November 14

Protestant Forms of Worship-I
Ecstatic/Charismatic Worship

White, "Pentecostal Worship," pp. 192-208.

November 19


Healey, "Inculturation of the Liturgy and Worship in Africa," pp. 412-423.

November 21

Cult of the Saints/Pilgrimage

Carrasco, "Those Who Go on a Sacred Journey," pp. 13-24.
Vidal, "Pilgrimage in the Christian Tradition," pp.25-47.
in Pilgrimage (Concilium 1996)

November 26

AAR Convention

(No class today!)

December 3

Roman Catholic Devotionalism


Taves, Household of Faith, pp. 22-45.

December 5


Killen, "Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament," 44-52.

December 10

Consecration/Religious Orders

Killen, "Reception of Novices into the Order of the Sisters of St. Benedict," 74-86.

December 12

Sacred Time: Liturgy of the Hours/Church Year

St. Benoit du Lac

December 19

Final Exam- 9-11:30 am