The Mind of God – Aristotle, Pseudo-Dionysius, Thomas Aquinas
Human intellectual history after the High Middle Ages has been a relentless descent from the high ground of Heaven to the rift valley of the underworld – from the Mind of God to the mindlessness of matter – from the light of intelligibility to the murky bleakness of chance. The path to the present has had many high points to many hopes – but the hard won destination unexpectedly leads to a spirit longing for justice, for art free at last, for conclusive evidence – to a spirit imprisoned in an imaginary world, given yet claimed as its very own – a self-imposed world where evidence seeking a conclusion always seems to morph into a conclusion seeking for evidence. Faith exchanged for Evidence – the form of both the same as different in the grip of Imagination – always between intellect and sense, sense and intellect. The human story remains unfulfilled and unfulfillable unless there is a ‘’restoration of all things’’ – a re-acquaintance with the Mind of God – a third path leading out of Tartarus to Olympus making the way stations of justice, art and evidence an experience empowered by excitement and meaning and the promise of achievement gathered not lost. Bonaventure was captivated by the idea of a journey by our soul into the Mind of God. Our three were astonished at God’s completeness – Aristotle at God’s self-relation to all else always existing – Pseudo-Dionysius and Thomas at the teleology of God’s procession and return – at His creative life and pre-existent love – at His timeless enfolding of time. The class will study their astonishment in the hopes of empowering our own.
Thursday, 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.