The Doctrine of Salvation in Jesus Christ

Course Description

Pope Benedict XVI began his encyclical God Is Love (2006) with these moving words: “‘God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him’ (1 John 4:16). These words from the First Letter of John express with remarkable clarity the heart of the Christian faith: the Christian image of God and the resulting image of mankind and its destiny.” The pope has immediately added that “I wish in my first Encyclical to speak of the love which God lavishes upon us and which we in turn must share with others” (#1).

The sacred message that God is love undergirds the Church’s teachings on God’s intention “to redeem” or “to save” creation. As the pope has mentioned in his encyclical, the God of the Bible is intent on bringing about our redemption, our freedom from sin and death. Or to put it another way, God wills our salvation, our healing for eternal life. Again, to quote Benedict XVI: “The one God in whom Israel believes . . . loves with a personal love” (#9). In other words, God knows us by name and wants us to attain the fullness of life forever. Each of this course’s lectures or units explores a major topic within the Church’s teachings on redemption or salvation.

Course Content

Unit 1

  1. The Theme of Salvation in the Old Testament

Unit 2

  1. Jesus’ Teachings on Salvation

Unit 3

  1. The New Testament’s Images of Jesus Christ as Savior

Unit 4

  1. The Christian Tradition’s “Theories” of Jesus Christ as Savior

Unit 5

  1. Vatican II’s Teachings on Salvation in Jesus Christ

Course Format

  • Created by Notre Dame Professor.
  • Six weeks in duration, with one week for orientation.
  • Typically 15-20 students in each course.
  • Material delivered by video player.
  • All lecture text available online in course.
  • Supplemental readings are provided to encourage further exploration of topic, internet links provided for all readings.
  • Written assignments (150-200 words) required.
  • Facilitator moderated chat sessions with students in course.

Required Texts

  • All course materials are available online in the course.

Participation Requirements

  • View or read the lecture for each unit.
  • Read assigned texts; keep notes, questions, and comments for class discussion.
  • Participate in the class discussion using the Forums area: post at least 2 comments, questions, or responses per unit.
  • Write 150-200 words in response to the assignment in each unit.
  • Participate in at least 3 scheduled chat sessions throughout the course.
  • Complete the course evaluation.

Time Expectations

4 to 6 hours per week, depending on your learning style and schedule.

Course Certificate

A certificate of completion awarding 25 contact hours will be sent upon completion of all course requirements.

Meet the Developer

Dr. Robert A. Krieg

Dr. Robert A. Krieg

Dr. Krieg specializes in contemporary Christology and German Catholic theology. He recently completed Catholic Theologians in Nazi Germany(2004) and has edited an anthology entitled Romano Guardini: Spiritual Writings (2005). He has written three other books: Story-Shaped Christology (1988), Karl Adam: Catholicism in German Culture, (1992), andRomano Guardini: A Precursor of Vatican II (1997). He edited Romano Guardini: Proclaiming the Sacred in a Modern World (1995). His articles have appeared in AmericaCommonwealThe Heythrop JournalThe Irish Theological QuarterlyThe Journal of Religious ThoughtTheologische Quartalschrift, Theological Studies, and Worship. He serves on the editorial board of Theological Studies. He has taught at the University of Notre Dame since 1977, and in 1997 received the Madden Award for “excellence in teaching” first-year undergraduate students. He is a fellow of the University’s Nanovic Institute for European Studies. He was awarded a fellowship from the Henry Luce III Foundation for the 2001-2002 academic year.

B.A., Stonehill College, 1969; Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, 1976