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  1. 1. St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
  2. 2. What we’ll do today: <ul><li>Introductions </li></ul><ul><li>II. Introducing St. Thomas Aquinas </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A. Method in Theology </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>B. Method in Thomas Aquinas </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Course Website & Thursday’s Class </li></ul><ul><li>IV. Learning Outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>V. Course Requirements & Grading </li></ul><ul><li>VI. Texts </li></ul><ul><li>VII. Outline of the Semester </li></ul>
  3. 3. Method in Theology 3 x 2 is _____. God is _____. A rose is _____.
  4. 4. Karl Barth (1886-1968) St. Augustine (354-430) “ If you have understood, then what you have understood is not God.” “ Theology means taking rational trouble over the mystery.... If we are unwilling to take the trouble, neither shall we know what we mean when we say that we are dealing with the mystery of God.”
  5. 5. Fr. Herbert McCabe, O.P. (1926-2001) Stanley Hauerwas (1940 - ) Thomas Aquinas is “the most agnostic theologian in the Western Christian tradition.” “ Recognition of truthful speech begins when readers identify the words they encounter as an honest expression of life’s complexities. The theological trick is to show that speaking honestly of the complexities of life requires words that speak of God…. The work of the theologian is word work, or , … ‘working with words in the light of faith.’ .. In fact, faith is nothing more than the words we use to speak of God. And yet the God to whom and about whom we speak defies the words we use. Such defiance seems odd, because the God about whom we speak is, we believe, found decisively in Jesus of Nazareth, the very Word of God. Still, it seems that the nearer God draws to us, the more we discover that we know not what we say when we say ‘God.’”
  6. 6. <ul><li>St. Thomas’s prime theological task becomes one of using all the sophistication of reason and the resources of philosophy in the attempt to know the unknowable God so that what is forever beyond rational reach comes, in its own way, to be familiar—that is, to use reason to know what we cannot know; and then to form a relationship with it! </li></ul>Method in Aquinas
  7. 7. <ul><li>Sr. Madeleva used to cancel classes on Aquinas’s feast day </li></ul><ul><li>Madeleva spoke of Saint Mary’s as “the home in which we honor his Summa.” </li></ul>Saint Mary’s & Saint Thomas