"The professor has a passion for literature."
Translation:La profesora tiene pasión por la literatura.
Its just one of those subtle differences between Por and Para. Para is more like when it is an exchange like "This is for you" "esto es para ti". Por is for/by/of something, so it's kinda like his passion is Of literature. Weird, I know. This might help...
You don't need to use an article with verbs like "tener" if it's assumed you're talking about just one.
Tengo gato = I have a cat
Tengo un gato = I have one cat
Soy estudiante = I am a student
why not "pasión de la literatura?" There was a previous example where it was responsable de (responsible for). Is this just something to memorize?
"responsable de" is just a phrase we need to memorize, like pagar itself means "pays for". The verbs and phrase in Spanish, and in many other languages is different from English, so I guess we can only memorize...
[Edit: I just realize pagar is not a good example, as the more correct way to put it is Spanish simply don't say pay for. A more proper example would be how the meaning of pensar changes when followed by different preposition, but I can't remember all the cases right now, perhaps you need to do some Googling... sorry for cannot provide more help.]
Why do we need the article for literatura? Why not just "literatura", not "la literatura"?
I think because here we mean literature in general, all literature, literature as a whole, and that's one of the times when Spanish uses the article and English doesn't.