Theology update for the week of September 21

posted on Saturday, September 20, 2014
by Fr Austin

Dear friends in Christ

The new classes this week began with fresh interest and enthusiasm. I have already been asked if it is okay to attend next week’s class if you missed this week’s—and the answer is yes, it is fine. Newcomers are welcome at any class any time. And generally you need not have done any preparation—the one exception being the monthly “Good Books and Good Talk” seminars, which are limited to those who have done the reading. So feel free to join any of these classes next week:

The Song of Songs. On Sunday (the 21st) and repeated on Thursday (the 25th) I will discuss chapter 7. Each week there are new things to see in these love poems! The Sunday class is at 10am on the fifth floor; the Thursday at 12:40pm on the second; each class is about 40 minutes.

Aquinas on Faith. In our first class, we looked at the “object” of faith, which is God but also includes those things which God has revealed to us to help us move towards him. So faith is not only about God in himself, but about God the Son, Jesus, who was incarnate, crucified, buried, rose from the dead, and will come again. Aquinas also asked why creeds are necessary, and whether they could be longer or shorter than they are, and who has the authority to write a creed. We will review this material on Tuesday while we move on into the “subjective” side of faith, that is to say, what are we humans doing when we make an act of faith? This material is challenging but exciting. We meet on Tuesday, the 23rd, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Andrew Hall.

Ecclesiology and Moral Discernment. This study is reading through the ARC-USA document on morals, which was issued on Easter Tuesday this year. (Yours truly was on the dialogue that wrote it, the Anglican-Roman Catholic USA dialogue.) Our introduction to the text was a chance to review some significant achievements of the ecumenical movement of the last century, and to take stock of where are churches are today. This coming Wednesday, the discussion will be on part two, in which it is claimed that our two churches draw on a common tradition that the goal of the moral life is to grow in holiness. This is unpacked into a set of four claims about Christ, sacraments and scripture, limitation, and church teaching. Join me for this on Wednesday, the 24th, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Andrew Hall.

Looking ahead: The seminar discussion of Purgatorio cantos 18-end will be on Monday, October 6, from 6:15 to 7:45 p.m.

Announcement: The Sunday class will be on T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets in the month of October.


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