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This course is part of the book,
Mahieu, Bieke. Between Rome and Jerusalem. Herod the Great and His Sons in Their Struggle for Recognition: A Chronological Investigation of the Period 40 BC-39 AD, with a Time Setting of New Testament Events. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 208. Leuven: Peeters, 2012.
While the ecumenical movement can be regarded as something that has made great strides to bridge the divides that have existed between Christians, it is undeniable that this movement still meets great opposition from many Christians today. This opposition has come from those within the Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox traditions respectively, and each seem to have their own unique justifications for their unfavorable views of modern ecumenism.
An introduction to the Fathers of the Church, from Ignatius of Antioch to John of Damascus: Writers, doctors, pastors, the Fathers of the Church
This course is a course of literature. It deals with texts. It will make you read and study texts. These texts belong to a tradition: they transmit topics, ideas, methods, throughout a certain continuity, from the end of the Apostolic Age, to the beginning of Middle Ages.
And this course is also a course of theology, as the central subject of the texts we are going to deal with is God and his Revelation in the Scriptures.
The term ‘anthropology’ is derived from two Greek words: ἀνθωπος (anthrōpos) and λογος (logos). The former (anthrōpos) refers to ‘man’ in the generic sense, that is to say, it means ‘human being’; the latter (logos) signifies ‘discourse’ or ‘science. Philosophical anthropology is thus concerned with a philosophical account of the mystery of the human being. Naturally, the history of philosophy has produced a wealth of approaches and an abundance of profound insights concerning the human being. It has also given rise to numerous errors in this regard.
This course will engage the question of how we are to construe the relationship that obtains between body and soul/mind. Rather than adopting a purely historical approach, beginning with Aristotle,
the text begins with an exposition of three different contemporary treatments of this issue before proceeding to expound important aspects of Aristotle’s and St. Thomas Aquinas’s metaphysics of human nature.
This course seeks to introduce students to some attempts at outlining the definition and purpose of philosophy of language. From there students will be taken through some traditional problems of philosophy of language such as theories of meaning, reference and denoting, and how these have been debated. The importance of language as a communicative tool that conveys meaning and intentions as well as our own understanding of the world is obvious. This course will seek to take students through this importance from a philosophical perspective.
Political philosophy is a branch of philosophy that studies essential questions about various political issues, concepts and problems that are important to any human society. Based on concepts such as state, justice, liberty, rights, government and authority, political philosophy can be regarded as the primal ethics applied to a group of people, geared towards the setting up of a political society, the maintenance of a stable society and the best possible way for citizens to act.
This course intends to familiarize the students with the debates and contributions of the main philosophical scholars and theories which have developed through history from the time of Greek Sophists through the XX century. Based on the Aristotelian assumption that man is a by nature a political animal, the course intends to give ultimate answers to questions such as how material goods should be distributed; on what basis people should possess property; what are the justified reasons why some people have more properties than others; why political power has to exist; what kinds of governments are acceptable; what does it determine the correct balance between authority and autonomy; what is the right balance between private and common good; what are the justified limits to my/your freedom.
There are many different definitions of Social Political Philosophy (SPP): the political can be defined as social decision making; philosophy is the most general form of inquiry that is the attempt to say what it is true and why. It is a normative discipline: SPP tries to establish norms, rules and ideal standards, how the social and political life should be. Different from Political science, which is the art of governing people, the discipline and the practice of assuring the “common good” of a certain society. Different from Social Sciences, which are descriptive disciplines which try to know the social facts and to find connections between them.
Part I: Historical contributions on social political thought
The Sophists: philosophy goes public; Plato’s Republic; Aristotle’s Politics; Cicero: Ius Gentium; Patristic era, St. Augustine: “De Civitate Dei”; St. Thomas on Natural law; Marsilio: “Defensor Pacis”; Machiavelli: The Prince; The Protestant reformation, Luther & Calvin political thought; Hobbes, Locke on Social Contract; Rousseau: Human nature and society; Montesquieu: Separation of powers; Tocqueville: Democracy in America; Adam Smith: The Wealth of nations; John Stuart Mill: On Liberty; Marx’s Critique of capitalism; Freud: Civilization and its discontents; Dostoyevsky’s Grand inquisitor; Hitler’s Nazism & Mussolini’s Fascism; Gandhi use of Power
Part II: Contemporary social political issues
Theories of Justice & distribution of property; Rights & Freedom; Natural law and social political philosophy; Justifications of the State, forms of Government ; Environment, Individualism, Multiculturalism, Feminism, Civil movements in a globalized world.
Leo Strauss, History of Political Philosophy, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1990
W.L. Mc Bride, Social and Political Philosophy, Paragon House, New York, 1994
Wolff, An Introduction to Political Philosophy, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1996
Santoni, & J. Sommerville, Social and Political Philosophy, Anchor Books, NY, 1963
Globalization has also demonstrated the grave problems arising from human individualism, such as destruction of the rainforests and the concentration of wealth, food consumption and energy use in a few countries to the detriment of the rest. Francis and Bonaventure were interested in creation not as a matter of curiosity but as the basis of spirituality, as a ladder to God. Can we today find a ladder to God through the Franciscan approach to matter?
In this course we will examine their contribution (together with a reference to Maximus the Theologian) of how today’s challenge for Christians today is to look for the traces of God in the world revealed by modern science, and to see in this world a reflection of the dynamic Trinity held in unity by love instead of putting Christianity faith and science in an adversarial relationship.