ICS Calendar Title: Spiritual Exercise as Christian Philosophy from Augustine to Bonaventure

ICS Course Code: ICS 220402 W16

Instructor: Dr. Robert Sweetman

Term and Year: Tuesdays, 9:30am-12:30pm, Winter 2016

Last Updated: September 30, 2015

1. Course Description

2. Reading Schedule

3. Course Learning Objectives

4. Description and Weighting of Elements to be Evaluated

5. Required Readings

6. Some Recommended Readings

1. Course Description

This seminar examines the notion of spiritual exercise as it evolved in Hellenic and Hellenistic philosophy to understand the emergence of ‘Christian philosophy’ as a cultural project within the Augustinian tradition of theology and spirituality, a tradition that begins in Augustine’s own writings and can be said to find its medieval high point in the work of St. Bonaventure.

2. Reading Schedule

Introduction: The Conceptual Tools.

 

Class 1: Ancient Philosophy as Medicine of the Soul and the Corruption of the ‘Social Archive or Imaginary’—Martha Nussbaum, “Therapeutic Arguments” in The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics, 13-47.

 

Class 2: Hellenistic Philosophy and the ‘Spiritual Exercise’—Pierre Hadot, “Spiritual Exercises” in Philosophy as a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault, 81-125.

Class 3: Hellenistic Philosophical Therapy and Christian Understanding—Pierre Hadot, “Ancient Spiritual Exercises and ‘Christian Philosophy’” in Philosophy as a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault, 126-144; Robert Sweetman, “Getting in Line” in Delineations: Spiritual Exercise and The Imagination of Integral Christian Scholarship. 22-48.

 

Augustine

 

Class 4: Anamnesis as Spiritual Exercise—Plato’s Meno. 80a-86c and Confessions, X

 

Class 5: Time/Eternity as Spiritual Exercise—Confessions. XI

 

Class 6: Creation as Spiritual Exercise—Plato’s Timaeus. 27c-42e and Confessions. XII.

 

Class 7: Re-creation as Spiritual Exercise—Confessions. XIII.

 

Intermezzo

 

Class 8: Invention and the Refinement of Spiritual Exercise--Mary Carruthers, “Cognitive Images, Meditations and Ornament” in The Craft of Thought: Meditation, Rhetoric and the Making of Images, 400-1200, 116-170.

 

Anselm

 

Class 9: Grammar as Spiritual Exercise—On Truth

 

Class 10: Anamnesis as Spiritual Exercise—Proslogion

 

Bonaventure

 

Class 11: Image as Contemplative Spiritual Exercise—Itinerarium mentis ad deum. Prol.-4.

 

Class 12: Image as Contemplative Spiritual Exercise—Itinerarium mentis ad deum. 5-7.

 

Class 13: Image as Philosophical Spiritual Exercise—De reductione artium ad theologiam; Robert Sweetman, “Lining Up the Faces of Integrality” in Delineations: Re-imagining the Adventure of Integral Christian Scholarship, 29-42.

 

3. Course Learning Objectives

  1. Critical understanding of the philosophical and theological issues surrounding spiritual exercise as a discursive practice as illustrated by major medieval thinkers.
  2. Ability to think creatively and constructively about the philosophical and theological concepts and arguments developed by Augustine, Anselm and Bonaventure respectively.
  3. Knowledge of an understanding of the history of Augustinian thought as it emerges and develops from the late patristic, through the early and into the high Middle Ages.

4. Description and Weighting of Elements to be Evaluated

a)  Total reading (# of pages):   1250  

In-seminar leadership: Participants in this seminar will be asked to prepare for weekly seminars by studying classroom readings with care to as to formulate two critical questions or theses complete with textual justification (300-500 words) which will be handed in after every class. In the second place, each participant will be asked to take leadership of one seminar in the course of the semester, i.e., to introduce the reading to the seminar as a whole with a view to providing a primary frame (1200-1800 words) for the seminar discussion to follow.         

b)  Description of course project:  Participants will be asked to produced a course essay of 15-25 pages (15-20 M.A. level, 20-25 Ph.D. level) on a topic mutually agreeable to participant and instructor.  Normally, this essay will be due six weeks after the last class of the seminar.  A thesis topic and bibliography will be due by reading break.                                          

c)  Description and weighting of elements to be evaluated:

           i.      Class participation: ICS 30%; TST 30%

          ii.      Seminar Presentations: ICS 10%; TST 20%

         iii.      Research Project/Paper: ICS 60%; TST 50%

5. Required Readings

  1. Martha Nussbaum, “Therapeutic Arguments” in The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics, 13-47 [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B505 .N87 1994]
  2. Pierre Hadot, “Spiritual Exercises” in Philosophy as a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault, 81-125 [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B105 .S66 H3313 1995]
  3. Pierre Hadot, “Ancient Spiritual Exercises and ‘Christian Philosophy’” in Philosophy as a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault, 126-144 [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B105 .S66 H3313 1995]
  4. Robert Sweetman, “Getting in Line” in Delineations: Spiritual Exercise and The Imagination of Integral Christian Scholarship. 22-48 [Forthcoming]
  5. Plato Meno. 80a-86c [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B358 .C3 1997]
  6. Plato Timaeus. 27c-42e [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B358 .C3 1997]
  7. Augustine Confessions X-XIII [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BR65 .A6 E5 1997]
  8. Mary Carruthers, “Cognitive Images, Meditations and Ornament” in The Craft of Thought: Meditation, Rhetoric and the Making of Images, 400-1200, 116-170 [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BL627 .C87 2000]
  9. Anselm On Truth [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B765 .A82 E54 2007]
  10. Anselm Proslogian [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B765 .A82 E54 2007]
  11. Bonaventure Itinerarium mentis ad deum [St. Michaels College, Kelly Library: B765 .B71 1938 ; translation: https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/library_article/666/Journey_of_the_Mind_into_God_St_Bonaventure.html]
  12. Bonaventure De reductione artium ad theologiam [St. Michaels College, Kelly Library: B765 .B71 1938 ; http://www.franciscan-archive.org/bonaventura/]

6. Some Recommended Readings

Anselm

Augustine

Bonaventure

Students with diverse learning styles and needs are welcome in this course. In particular, if you have a disability/health consideration that may require accommodations, please feel free to approach me and/or Student Services as soon as possible.


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