Villanova University Course Integrates Christianity with Social Justice

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At least one course at Villanova University, a private Catholic university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, integrates Christianity with social justice ideology. The course, entitled “Agitating for Justice,” wonders how Christian theologies “agitate societies, supporting public action for social and political change?” Here is what the Villanova course catalog says about the course:

In movement-building work, to agitate is to hold individuals and institutions accountable to our highest values and noblest aspirations. How can we agitate Christian theologies, re-reading the Jesus tradition for communal liberation? How can Christian theologies agitate society, supporting public action for social and political change? The phrase “faith-rooted” describes a style of organizing and action work that is shaped and guided in every way by faith principles and practices. In this course, through readings, lectures, case studies, guest speakers, and written reflections, and a group project, we will explore faith-rooted community organizing as a response to social injustice, throughout history and today. In particular, we’ll examine 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. Students will ultimately use their analysis of Christian theologies and faith-rooted frameworks, methods, practices, and outcomes to participate in local organizing, including possibilities with POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild) and VIA (Villanova Interfaith Activism).