The practice of freedom that is finite, realistically libertarian, and relational is vital for the wholesome development of human beings. In promoting this idea, Michael Miller challenges traditional Christian teachings that have hindered the pursuit of freedom by human beings on the basis of their humanity per se. It also provides theological, ethical, and ecclesiological insights to inspire ventures in freedom and guidance to those who are on the path of freedom.
In this paper it is my intention to do the following: first, to make some general observations on the ‘Third Way’ of St Thomas Aquinas as set out in Summa Theologica , Pt. I Quaest. ii Art. 3; secondly, to offer interpretation of, comment on, and present an account of, the first premiss of the ‘Third Way’; and finally to offer a provisional account of what someone who advocates the ‘Third Way’ might be conceived of as doing in the light (...) of the account offered of the first premiss of that ‘Way’. I do not suggest thai the account I offer of the first premiss under consideration or the account of the argument as a whole which I shall offer, is one which St Thomas would have accepted. My claim is only that for reasons to be offered, it is a possible and plausible account I also want to make it clear from the outset that I shall not be discussing the validity of the ‘Third Way’; this is an independent question to my inquiry. (shrink)
Certain scholars wish to acquit St. Thomas Aquinas of the “illicit inference from facts to norms” commonly referred to as the naturalistic fallacy. Seeing in certain passages his awareness of illegitimate ways to derive morality from natural ends, many have come to read Aquinas as agreeing with the view that knowledge of the moral order does not derive from knowledge of human nature and of the natural ends of its parts and powers. This paper aims to expose the deficiencies of (...) this reading as a way of bringing more fully into view the whole thought of Aquinas on the question. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 13.4 : 637–661. (shrink)
This paper will attempt an investigation of hypothetical intelligent extraterrestrial life from the perspective of the philosophy and theology of St. Thomas Aquinas. Section I will feature an overview of St. Thomas's relevant philosophy of human nature and the differences between human and extraterrestrial natures. Section II will, with special attention to St. Thomas's De malo, treat some possibilities regarding the need for salvation in our hypothetical species. Section III will outline relevant aspects of Thomistic soteriology, especially the reasons behind (...) the Incarnation and the role of human nature in Redemption. Section IV will feature a critique of representatives from the two major schools of scholarly thought on this issue, showing that they either disregard the necessity of a human nature for incorporation into the Mystical Body of Christ or deny the magnitude and singular importance of the Incarnation. Section V will sketch some possibilities for the soteriology of extraterrestrial life using the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas as a framework. (shrink)
In May AD 597, 1400 years ago, a young Sicilian monk called Augustine disembarked at Ebbsfleet, in south-east Kent, an event which was to change the development of Christianity and culture in this country for all time. It had taken St. Augustine and his 20 or 30 companions a year to travel from Rome, where they had been specially selected by Pope Gregory the Great to convert Anglo-Saxon Britain and to restore contact with the early Celtic Church. This book tells (...) the story of St. Augustine's journey, his arrival, his seven-year missionary activity in Kent and anticipates the full impact of those vital years on English life. Supported by relevant historical contexts and fascinating documentary evidence, a bibliography, notes and photographs, St. Augustine of Canterbury offers us today a celebratory glimpse of one of our history's most significant moments. (shrink)
Michael Polanyi argues in Personal Knowledge (1958) that conceptual frameworks involved in major scientific controversies are separated by a `logical gap'. Such frameworks, according to Polanyi (1958: 151), are logically disconnected: their protagonists think differently, use different languages and occupy different worlds. Relinquishing one framework and adopting another, Polanyi's scientist undergoes a `conversion' to a new `faith'. Polanyi, in other words, presaged Kuhn and Feyerabend's concept of incommensurability. To what influences was Polanyi subject as he developed his concept of (...) the logical gap? The answer, as unfolded in this article, is twofold: Evans-Pritchard's Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande and the Confessions of St Augustine. (shrink)
Introduction and acknowledgments -- What is happening to us? and why? -- So much information is changing how we think -- Communication, entertainment, and over-stimulation -- Work : how it changes and how it changes us -- New behaviors and changes in manners -- Faster and faster time -- Families, women, and sex -- Making sense of contradictory social trends -- Conclusion.
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Reviewed by:The Trinitarian Christology of St. Thomas Aquinas by Dominic Legge, O.P.Michael GormanThe Trinitarian Christology of St. Thomas Aquinas by Dominic Legge, O.P. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), xvii +261.Dominic Legge's interesting and valuable The Trinitarian Christology of St. Thomas Aquinas provides exactly what its title suggests: an account of how Aquinas's Christology is, at heart, Trinitarian. Although certainly not polemical in tone, the book does have what (...) might be called a polemical purpose: Legge wants to push back against authors who see Aquinas's understanding of the Incarnation as divorced from his understanding of the Trinity. But this negative aim is subordinated to the positive, concomitant aim of showing how, for Aquinas, the Incarnation and the inner life of the Holy Trinity are not two separate topics, best given independent treatment in separate "treatises," but instead intimately related. Christology, for Legge's Aquinas, is "Trinitarian theology clothed in flesh" (237).The book has three main parts. In the first, Legge lays out background material on the Trinitarian missions. Crucial for Legge is to emphasize that, for Aquinas, the missions "extend" the eternal Trinitarian processions into time. Legge strongly opposes any suggestion that, for Aquinas, processions are one thing while missions are another, with any connection between them being at best contingent and accidental. Key points in this section include the following. A mission of a divine person is that person's eternal procession together with a new created effect in a rational creature. This created effect, while caused by the Trinity as a whole, relates the rational creature to the sent person individually, insofar as it causes that rational creature to resemble the Son, by wisdom, or (as the case may be) the Spirit, by charity. Furthermore, such missions not only relate creatures to a divine person but also draw them to that person. All this applies both to the "invisible" missions (invisible because the effect in the creature—e.g., grace in the soul—is not perceivable by the senses) and to the "visible" missions, such as the Son's coming in the flesh.In the second part, Legge shows how this material applies to the mission of the Son. Much of the discussion here is focused on the question of why it was the Son who became incarnate, and not the Father or the Spirit. Legge is at pains to show that, although Aquinas does allow that a different Person could have become incarnate, we utterly fail to understand Aquinas unless we see that, for him, it was most fitting that the Son became incarnate; furthermore, had it been another divine person that became incarnate, salvation would have taken place very differently. Putting things the other way around, the Incarnation as we have it is thoroughly marked [End Page 975] by the fact that the one who became incarnate was the Son—the one who receives everything from the Father and who sends his own Spirit so as to lead us back to the Father.In the third part of the book, Legge turns to the relations between Christ and the mission of the Spirit. This material can be divided into two parts. First, there is the mission of the Spirit to the man Christ himself. Qua man, Christ is sanctified (ch. 5), he has beatific and infused knowledge (ch. 6), and he acts in a theandric (divine and human) way (ch. 7). All of this, for Legge's Aquinas, is true not merely on account of the hypostatic union, but also on account of the gifts of the Holy Spirit to Christ as man, gifts by which Christ is made internally capable of acting in a supernatural way, and gifts by which Christ is led by a Person distinct from himself, namely, his own Spirit. Second, there is the mission of the Spirit to other humans (ch. 8), ultimately aimed at drawing believers back to the Father. In this mission, the Spirit is sent not only from the Father, but from the Son as well. Flagging a development in Aquinas's thought, Legge emphasizes that Aquinas came to hold that the Spirit comes from Christ not... (shrink)
Green Mass is a meditation on—and with—twelfth-century Christian mystic and polymath Saint Hildegard of Bingen. Attending to Hildegard's vegetal vision, which greens theological tradition and imbues plant life with spirit, philosopher Michael Marder uncovers a verdant mode of thinking. The book stages a fresh encounter between present-day and premodern concerns, ecology and theology, philosophy and mysticism, the material and the spiritual, in word and sound. Hildegard's lush notion of viriditas, the vegetal power of creation, is emblematic of her deeply (...) entwined understanding of physical reality and spiritual elevation. From blossoming flora to burning desert, Marder plays with the symphonic multiplicity of meanings in her thought, listening to the resonances between the ardency of holy fire and the aridity of a world aflame. Across Hildegard's cosmos, we hear the anarchic proliferation of her ecological theology, in which both God and greening are circular, without beginning or end. Introduced with a foreword by philosopher Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback and accompanied by cellist Peter Schuback's musical movements, which echo both Hildegard's own compositions and key themes in each chapter of the book, this multifaceted work creates a resonance chamber, in which to discover the living world anew. The original compositions accompanying each chapter are available free for streaming and for download at www.sup.org/greenmass. (shrink)
This chapter contains sections titled: Hugh's overall vision Sources Division of the sciences Biblical interpretation God Creation Providence and evil Human nature and ethics Salvation Spiritual teachings Influence and importance.
Musical prodigies reach exceptionally high levels of achievement before adolescence. Despite longstanding interest and fascination in musical prodigies, little is known about their psychological profile. Here we assess to what extent practice, intelligence, and personality make musical prodigies a distinct category of musician. Nineteen former or current musical prodigies were compared to 35 musicians with either an early or late start but similar amount of musical training, and 16 non-musicians. All completed a Wechsler IQ test, the Big Five Inventory, the (...) Autism Spectrum Quotient, the Barcelona Music Reward Questionnaire, the Dispositional Flow Scale, and a detailed history of their lifetime music practice. None of the psychological traits distinguished musical prodigies from control musicians or non-musicians except their propensity to report flow during practice. The other aspects that differentiated musical prodigies from their peers were the intensity of their practice before adolescence, and the source of their motivation when they began to play. Thus practice, by itself, does not make a prodigy. The results are compatible with multifactorial models of expertise, with prodigies lying at the high end of the continuum. In summary, prodigies are expected to present brain predispositions facilitating their success in learning an instrument, which could be amplified by their early and intense practice happening at a moment when brain plasticity is heightened. (shrink)
Urquhart works in several areas of logic where he has proved important results. Our paper outlines his topological lattice representation and attempts to relate it to other lattice representations. We show that there are different ways to generalize Priestley’s representation of distributive lattices—Urquhart’s being one of them, which tries to keep prime filters in the representation. Along the way, we also mention how semi-lattices and lattices figured into Urquhart’s work.
We offer a reading of Anselm's Ontological Argument inspired by Wittgenstein which focuses on the fact that the “argument” occurs in a prayer addressed to God, making it a strange argument since as a prayer it seems to presuppose its conclusion. We reconstruct the argument as expressive. Within the religious perspective, the issues are to be focused on the right object not to present an argument for the existence of God. While this sort of reading lets us understand much about (...) the argument, it also opens new avenues of criticism, one of which is the problem of worship. (shrink)
Michael Grosso delves into the biography of St. Joseph of Copertino, a Dominican priest known to levitate, to explore the many strange phenomena which surrounded his life and develops potential physical explanations for some of the most astounding manifestations of his religious ecstasy.
Contemporary critics have argued that medieval philosophers have transmitted a concept of divine omnipotence that is self-contradictory. This study of the first Latin treatise on omnipotence places it in its patristic and early medieval context and demonstrates that for Peter Damian divine omnipotence stands beyond contradictiion.
Literacy is, literally, a question not of education but of the letter. More than that, it is the question of the letter in the two senses the word has in English: as a symbol of the alphabet and a piece of correspondence. It is my hypothesis that ecological literacies may learn a great deal from the literalization, or even the hyper-literalization, of the letter and that they may do so by turning to the corpus of twelfth-century Benedictine abbess, polymath, and (...) mystic St. Hildegard of Bingen. After all, Hildegard, who was exquisitely attuned to the vegetal world, which was at the core of her theological and scientific endeavors, corresponded through letters with the leading personalities of her times and also invented a language, called _lingua ignota_ replete with _ignotas litteras_. Who better than her can spell out the senses of ecological literacy? (shrink)