“Reason and Wisdom in Medieval Christian Thought,” Non-Credit Course

Jan 7, 2013Mar 11, 2013
Gavin House
1220 E 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Informal Dinner: 6:00PM
Lecture: 6:30PM

Intended for University students, faculty, and recent graduates. Others interested in attending, contact

With the recovery of the works of Aristotle in the Latin West, the development of the scholastic method of reasoning, and the creation of the universities, a style of academic philosophy and theology developed in the late medieval period in which the practice of reasoning about Christian revelation was developed independent of spirituality and, often, the search for wisdom. Previously, in the works of the Church Fathers and the great monastic writers, theology was rooted in a spiritual life uniting prayer and the search for understanding.

This course will consider the practice of dialectic reason within philosophy and theology and the potential consequences of scholastic method when loosed from spirituality, the interior life, and a life of wisdom.


Tuesday, January 8:
Shameful Curiosity? Dialectics and Wisdom in the
Thought of Abelard and Bernard of Clairvaux

James DeFrancis, University of Notre Dame

Tuesday, January 15:
Reason in the Service of Faith: Anselm of Canterbury

Willemien Otten, University of Chicago

Tuesday, January 24, 7:00PM
Francis of Assisi: Lost Between Myth and History
Swift Hall, 3rd Floor Lecture Hall, 1025 East 58th Street
Augustine Thompson, O.P., Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley

Tuesday, January 29, 7:00PM
The Capacious Mind of St. Thomas Aquinas

Swift Hall, Common Room, 1025 East 58th Street
Kevin Flannery, S.J., Gregorian University

Tuesday, February 5:
Wisdom in 12th Century Paris: Richard and Hugh of St. Victor

Willemien Otten, University of Chicago

Tuesday, February 12
The Meaning of Wisdom in St. Thomas Aquinas

Bernard McGinn, University of Chicago

Tuesday, February 19:
St. Bonaventure on Reason and Wisdom

Peter Casarella, DePaul University

Tuesday, February 26, 4:30PM
The Careful Rationality of Monotheism: Thomas Aquinas on Analogical Knowledge of God

Swift Hall, Common Room, 1025 East 58th Street
Thomas Joseph White, O.P., Dominican House of Studies

Tuesday, March 5:
The Many Sides of Jean Gerson
Ralph Keen, University of Illinois Chicago

Tuesday, March 12:
Thomas à Kempis‘s The Imitation of Christ in the Christian Spiritual Tradition

Ralph Keen, University of Illinois Chicago