Theology

Doctrinal Tuesdays

Fall 2014: What is Faith? (Some Answers from Aquinas)

There are many questions that Christians rightly ask themselves about faith. For instance, does faith have an object, and if so, what is it? That is to say, is the object of faith God himself, or rather something like a definition of God (that he is one Being in three Persons, say)? Or is faith an attitude of our mind, or a movement of our heart, or a habit of our being? Or is it all of these?

In Thomas Aquinas’s Summa theologiae, the second part of the second part takes up the seven “virtues” or “excellences” of the Christian. And Aquinas starts his discussion at the top: not with temperance, courage, justice, or prudent wisdom, nor with hope and love, but with faith. Why does he do that? Is faith greater than hope and love? Do we need faith in order to be temperate and courageous and just and wise?

Over several weeks, Father Austin will guide us into Aquinas’s discussion through a close reading of short selections from this part of the Summa theologiae: II-II, qq. 1-7. No advance reading will be expected, nor is a particular translation required. An old translation of the first question is available free on the web here. The New Blackfriars edition, while expensive, has good notes. You can see it on amazon.

The class meets on these Tuesdays from 6:30 to 7:30pm in Andrew Hall:

Beginning January 2015: Christian Doctrine Class

The Rector's Christian Doctrine Class is offered every January - May and will begin anew in January 2015. The class is especially designed for those who want to be confirmed or received into the Episcopal Church. But it is also for anyone who is interested in learning more about Christ and about the doctrine and traditions of the church, as we've received them.

This class, of course, is not the only way to learn about Christ and his Church. We encourage you to worship with us, study and pray with us, and make yourself known to us. Our doors are open 365 days a year (at least one Mass is offered every day) and you can contact us anytime if you are interested in learning more.

Dates for the Rector's Christian Doctrine Class are listed below. Details regarding weekly topics and texts to be purchased for the class will be made available shortly. Confirmation will be at 11am on Sunday, May 10, 2015. All classes run from 6:30 to 7:30pm in Andrew Hall.