Saturdays—Sept. 22, 29,  Oct. 13, and 20, 2017    (9:30am– 11am)

God and Man in Thomistic Philosophy                                                                                                         Instructor: Dr. Brian Carl

 In Catholic theology, faith seeks deeper understanding of the mysteries revealed by God, often using what we know by natural reason about the world and about ourselves. Philosophical reflection provides an invaluable starting point for theological insight. For example, we profess as Catholics that Jesus Christ is God and man, one divine person with two natures. We can therefore deepen our contemplation of the mystery of the Incarnation by considering what philosophy can tell us about the nature of God and what it can tell us about human nature. This course will provide an overview of some of St. Thomas Aquinas's philosophical views about God and about human beings. Topics discussed will include proof of God's existence, the divine attributes (such as simplicity, goodness, and eternity), what the soul is, the relationship between the soul and the body, and the immortality of the soul.

 Dr. Brian Carl is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the PFIC. He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy at The Catholic University of America, writing on the divine attributes in the philosophical theology of St. Thomas Aquinas.



Systematic Theology

 Saturdays—Jan. 19,  26,  Feb 2 and 9, 2019     (9:30am- 11am))

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Reason and Revelation
Instructor: Rev. Brian Chrzastek

When Jesus quotes the greatest commandment from Deuteronomy, he makes a subtle but significant emendation: “You shall love the Lord your God...with all of your mind” (Mark 12:30).In the West this injunction has seen significant results in the Church’s Christological and Trinitarian teachings.   More basic than such doctrinal formulations is the question of the relation between human reason and divine revelation.  In the Middle Ages this question was addressed in a variety of ways; some of the more prominent formulations have been attributed to Tertullian, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Averroes.  This course will study and compare these basic approaches as an exercise of ‘faith seeking understanding,’ that is, as a means to appreciate the mysteries of revelation more fully.

Father Brian Chrzastek, O.P., is a Dominican priest at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., where he serves as Assistant Student Master and Assistant Professor of Philosophy on the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception. He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy at Loyola University of Chicago (2005).  Since coming to the PFIC, his teaching has specialized in the history of philosophy from ancient to contemporary times.  He has contributed to The Thomist and The Review of Metaphysics.  He regularly serves at various parishes in the Washington and Arlington Dioceses. 

Systematic Theology

Saturdays— March 23,  30 and April  6, 13,  2019

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Theological Anthropology in Augustine’s Confessions
Instructor: Father Andrew Hofer, O.P.,  Associate Professor of Patristics at the PFIC

Among the most important classics in world literature, Saint Augustine of Hippo’s work of Confessions has captured the hearts of so many. People in every age have seen aspects of their own lives narrated through Augustine’s writing about his life in a confession of sinfulness, a confession of praise and thanksgiving, a confession of faith. Students in this course will read through much of the Confessions and focus on particular passages for reflections on the theological meaning of human life as exemplified in the life of Augustine.
Father Andrew Hofer, O.P., earned his Ph.D. in Theology at the University of Notre Dame (2010). He is the author of Christ in the Life and Teaching of Gregory of Nazianzus (Oxford University Press, 2013), editor of Divinization: Becoming Icons of Christ through the Liturgy (Hillenbrand Books, 2013), and co-editor of Thomas Aquinas and the Greek Fathers (Sapientia Press, 2018).