Aquinas in Context Fall 2018

Marquette University & Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

Prof. Andrea Robiglio, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

Prof. Richard C. Taylor, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI USA

 

Thomas Aquinas Fall 2014:

Theomorphism or Anthropomorphism? Conceiving God in Aquinas and his Arabic Sources

Prof. Richard C. Taylor, Marquette University, Milwaukee

(email: richard.taylor@hiw.kuleuven.be or Richard.Taylor@Marquette.edu)

Prof. Andrea Robligio, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

(email: Andrea.Robiglio@hiw.kuleuven.be)

Last website update 29 November 2013

Live Classroom Course Meeting Times*:

28 August - 18 September: Thursday 9:00 - 11:00 am U.S. Central Time

25 September - 18 December 9:00-11:00 am US Central Time / 16h-18h European Central Time



Brief Course Description


In recent years the powerful influence of the Arabic tradition on the development of the philosophical reasoning and insightful doctrines of Aquinas has been firmly established in international conference meetings and publications on Aquinas and ‘the Arabs’. In connection with that work, this course will begin with five weeks of a graduate introduction to Aquinas and then become an international collaborative graduate seminar with the subtitle,  “Theomorphism or Anthropomorphism? Conceiving God in Aquinas and his Arabic Sources.” Team taught by professors at Marquette and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, this course will have assigned readings, video lectures, an online discussion board, student presentations (beginning in the sixth week), and weekly live video meetings for two hours of discussion involving students at Marquette and KULeuven as well as other selected international auditors. The content focus will be on issues, proofs, attributes, divine actions and more with particular reference to the initial (and often lasting) reasoning of Aquinas formed in connection with his use of ideas and arguments from the Arabic tradition. The course will close with four weeks of lectures on conceptions of God developed by later thinkers in engagement with the account of Aquinas. The structure of the course will follow the model found at http://academic.mu.edu/taylorr/Aquinas_Fall_2013_MU_KUL/Course_Description.html.

Marquette grading will be based on course participation (50%) and a final professionally prepared course paper of 20-25 pp. (50%).


Aquinas Fall 2018

Thursdays Milwaukee 9-11:40 am, Leuven 16h-18h

Department of Philosophy, Marquette University

&

Institute of Philosophy, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium


Prof. Andrea Robiglio, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

Prof. Richard C. Taylor, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI USA


Aquinas


Topic of the Fall 2018 Course:

“Human and Divine Will”

This course is the sixth international collaboration of Marquette University Professor Richard Taylor and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Professor Andrea Robiglio in teaching on the thought of Thomas Aquinas at MU and KUL. It is a uniquely crafted course focused on different topics in the thought of Aquinas every year. What is particularly distinctive about this course is its demonstration of the deep influence of the Arabic philosophical tradition on the thought of Aquinas. To our knowledge there is no other international team taught course with this focus in the world today.

The Fall 2018 Aquinas class will explore the understandings Human and Divine Will in the thought of Thomas Aquinas. Each of these forms of will involve both moral and metaphysical issues of perennial importance to philosophical thinkers. We will begin detailed investigation of the topic on 27 September when the classes at MU and KUL will meet together for the first time. After careful consideration of key ethical writings of Aristotle on human action and important Stoic advances in the formation of teachings on will and free will as found in St Augustine’s On Free Choice of the Will, we will turn to consider Human and Divine Will in the Arabic philosophical tradition which had powerful influence on the thought of Aquinas. In these thinkers a fascinating debate took place involving the philosopher Ibn Sina / Avicenna, the theologian-philosopher al-Ghazali / Algazel, and the Andalusian religious judge and philosopher Ibn Rushd /Averroes. These discussions influenced Maimonides whose works, along with those of Avicenna, Algazel and Averroes, played important roles in the formation of the metaphysical conception of Divine Will found in Aquinas. On that foundation we will build our careful study of the development of the thought of Aquinas in his Commentary on the Sentences (new unpublished translations will be provided) through to his mature work in his well known Summa theologiae. In addition to books, articles and texts, this course will make use of video recorded lectures on the topics studied.

The Marquette course will begin with its first four weeks with lectures and discussion on Aquinas and his Arabic and Greek sources on (i) natural epistemology, (ii) the nature of the human soul, (iii) God and the metaphysics of being, (iv) philosophy and religion, and (v) proofs of the existence of God. When we meet with the KUL class on 27 September, we will introduce our plans for the rest of the course. Meetings with the KUL class will be via Skype for Business live video conferencing.

  Requirements for MU students include qualitatively strong engagement in classroom discussions and weekly class attendance which constitute 25% of the course grade. A team classroom presentation makes up another 25% of the grade. A final professionally prepared course paper of 20-30 pages makes up the remaining 50% of the grade. Precisely what is required in crafting such a paper will be spelled out in detail with examples in class. In the past some of these well prepared course papers have found their way into major philosophical journals as first professional publications by graduate student authors. It is my custom to work closely with students mentoring their preparation of these papers. Marquette course grading will be determined by Prof Taylor.


A Remark on Method

     In recent years the powerful influence of the Arabic tradition on the development of the philosophical reasoning and insightful teachings of Aquinas has been firmly established in international conference meetings and publications by members of the Aquinas and ‘the Arabs’ International Working Group and other scholars. It has also become abundantly clear that Aquinas is most fully understood through the method of source based contextualism involving the location of the thought of Aquinas in relation to the sources he himself studied in forming his own philosophical and theological doctrines.  This is one of the key approaches that will be followed in these courses.



Désiré-Joseph Cardinal Mercier (1851-1926)

in the garden of the KUL Institute of Philosophy

al-Farabi      Avicenna  Averroes   Aquinas    Bonaventure Augustine