In the last twenty years or so, we have experienced calamities such as the ecological crisis, a pandemic, wars, migrations, famine, racism, etc. Thus many people are asking, more intensely than before, where our world is heading; hence the urgency of identifying and sharing meanings and values. In this course, students will discover different meanings that Christian thinkers have ascribed to human life, both personal and collective.
We shall examine the views of the following thinkers, some at length, other cursorily:
Second Isaiah, Daniel, St. Luke’s Gospel, and Acts of the Apostles; Oscar Cullmann’s thesis about cyclical time and linear time; Augustine on the two cities; Thomas Aquinas and Bossuet on Providence; Catherine of Siena on the conformity to God’s will; Hobbes and Rousseau: three periods in human history; Hegel and Nietzsche: history as taking place necessarily; Ernst Troeltsch on historical knowledge; John Macmurray’s three kinds of society: mechanical, organic, and interpersonal. Arnold Toynbee’s three stages in the life of civilizations: creative minorities, mimesis (freely performed or imposed), and breakdown; Bernard Lonergan on Toynbee; A few chapters by Louis Roy about the main themes of this course; An analysis of our global world. A few political thinkers among the following: Christopher Dawson, Karl Mannheim, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Paul Ricœur, Jean Ladrière, Charles Taylor, Jürgen Habermas, Fred Lawrence.
Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.