ICS Calendar Title: Nature, Supernature and Miracle in the Thought of Thomas Aquinas

ICS Course Code: ICS 120406/220406 F14 ; ICH3156 HF L01l1 / ICH6156HF L0101

Instructor: Dr. Robert (Bob) Sweetman

Term and Year: Tuesdays, 9:30am-12:30 pm, Fall 2014

Last Updated: July 15, 2014


1. Course Description

2. Reading Schedule

3. Course Learning Goals

4. Description and Weighting of Elements to be Evaluated

5. Required Readings

6. Some Recommended Readings

1. Course Description

This seminar examines Thomas Aquinas’s distinction between nature and the supernatural from the perspective of key texts in his Summa Theologiae and its most important parallels. It does so in order to address the phenomenon of miracles and the role they play in his philosophical and theological construction.

2. Reading Schedule

Class 1: Lecture = Thomas Aquinas’ Treatment of “Miracles:” A Metonym of His

        Attempted Synthesis of Greek Wisdom and Divine Revelation (Sacra Doctrina).

Class 2: Discussion of Commentarium in Metaphysicam 5, lesson and commentary 1-7:

        The Technical Shape of Aquinas’ Scholastic Discourse 1.

Class 3: Discussion of Commentarium in Metaphysicam 5, lesson and commentary 8-14:

        The Technical Shape of Aquinas’ Scholastic Discourse 2.

Class 4: Discussion of Commentarium in Metaphysicam 5, lesson and commentary 15-22:

        The Technical Shape of Aquinas’ Scholastic Discourse 3.

Class 5: Discussion of ST 1.1.1-5: The Scientificity of Sacra Doctrina.

Class 6: Discussion of ST 1.1.6-10: The Revelatory Character of Sacra Doctrina

Class 7: Discussion of ST 1.94.1, 1.95.1-4: Nature and Supernature as Original


Class 8: Discussion of ST 1.105.6-8; 1.106.3: Miracle and Providence--God’s Power to

        Change Humans and Angels.

Class 9: Discussion of ST 1.110.4; 1.114.4: Miracle and Providence--Angelic/Demonic

        Power to Change Humans.

Class 10: Discussion of ST 1-2.113.9-10; 2-2.178.1-2: Miracle and Grace--Justification

        and Sanctification.

Class 11: Discussion of ST 3.43.1-4: Miracles and Christ--General.

Class 12: Discussion of ST 3.44.1-4; 3.76.8: Miracles and Christ--Biblical and Eucharistic


Class 13: Lecture = Assessment of Thomas Aquinas’ Project

3. Course Learning Goals

a. Critical understanding of the key role that the ontological category "miracle" plays in illumining the primordial organizing distinction between nature and the supernatural in the philosophical theology of Thomas Aquinas.

b. Ability to think creatively and constructively across the perspectives that emerge when Thomas Aquinas is viewed either veritically in terms of the thought traditions he took up and developed in his own work and when he is viewed in terms of the peculiar concerns and contexts of his own culture and time.

c. Knowledge of leading debates in the history and historiography of the thirteenth-century scholastic thought as they come to expression with respect to the opera of Thomas Aquinas.

4. Description and Weighting of Elements to be Evaluated

a. Total reading: 1250 pages total, classroom reading and research for paper.

b. In seminar leadership: Each participant is required to write and hand in a weekly reflection on the reading for the week of 300-600 words providing a reading of the passages for the week that leads to one or two questions and a reflection upon the philosophical or theological importance of the question for the participant.  In addition, each participant is required to prepare one formal seminar in which a more in-depth analysis of the readings for the day (1200-1500 words) will be used to prime classroom discussion of those readings (seminar leaders will be expected to read loci paralleli in Aquinas’ corpus as well as secondary attempts to understand Thomas’ treatment of the themes brought up in the readings for the seminar.

c. Description of course paper:  Each participant is to write a research paper on a topic mutually agreed upon with the course instructor.  The paper can be centred on Thomas Aquinas and nature, Thomas Aquinas and the supernatural, Thomas Aquinas and miracle, Thomas Aquinas and some topic one is able to connect to the course theme broadly construed.  Alternatively one can take the themes of the course and use them as a way of centring research into the thought of another thinker, subject to the approval of the course instructor.

d. Description and weighting of elements to be evaluated:

5. Required Readings

Commentarium in Metaphysicam 5

ST 1.1.1-5

ST 1.1.6-10

ST 1.94.1, 1.95.1-4

ST 1.105.6-8; 1.106.3

ST 1.110.4; 1.114.4

ST 1-2.113.9-10; 2-2.178:1-2

ST 3.43.1-4

ST 3.44.1-4; 3.76.8

6. Some Recommended Readings

Aertsen, Jan. Nature and Creature: Thomas Aquinas's Way of Thought.  Leiden: Brill, 1988. [ROBA: B765 .T54 A4513 1988]

Albert and Thomas: Selected Writings. Trans., ed., and intro. S. Tugwell. New York: Paulist Press, 1988. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BX2349 .A575 1988 ; SMC: BX2349 .A575 1988]

Boyle, Leonard E.  Facing History: A Different Thomas Aquinas.  Louvain-la-Neuve: TEAMS, 2000. [ROBA: B765 .T5 B695 2000]

Chenu, Marie-Dominique.  Toward Understanding Saint Thomas.  Chicago, 1964. [ROBA: B765 .T54 C513]

Corbin, M.   Le chemin de la theologie chez Thomas d'Aquin.  Paris, 1974. [ROBA: BX4700 .T6 C67]

Elders, Leo.  Autour de saint Thomas d'Aquin: Recueil d'etudes sur sa pensee philosophique et theologique. 2 vols.  Paris-Bruges, 1987. [SMC: B765 .T54 E36 1987 t.1-2]

Gilson, Etienne.  Thomism. Introduction to the Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas.  Toronto: PIMS Publications, 2002. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B765 .T54 G513 2002 ; ROBA: B765 .T54 G513 2002]

Hibbs, Thomas S. Dialectic and Narrative in Aquinas: An Interpretation of the Summa Contra Gentiles.  Notre Dame IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1995. [ROBA: BX1749 .T45 H53 1995X]

Jenkins, John I. Knowledge and Faith in Thomas Aquinas.  Cambridge: Cambridge, 1997. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B765 .T54 J46 1997 ; ROBA: B765 .T54 J46 1997X]

Jordan, Mark D.  Rewritten Theology: Aquinas After His Readers.  Oxford: Blackwell's, 2006. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BX4700 .T6 J67 2006  ; ROBA: BX4700 .T6 J67 2005]

Kerr, Fergus. After Aquinas: Versions of Thomism.  Oxford: Blackwell's, 2002. [ROBA: B839 .K47 2002]

Kretzmann, Norman.  Metaphysics of Theism: Aquinas's Natural Theology in Summa Contra Gentiles I. Oxford: Clarendon, 1997. [ROBA: BX1749 .T7 K74 1997X]

Kretzmann, Norman.  Metaphysics of Creation: Aquinas's Natural Theology in Summa Contra Gentiles II.  New York: Oxford, 1999. [ROBA: BX1749 .T45 K74 1999]

Levering, Matthew  Scripture and Metaphysics: Aquinas and the Renewal of Trinitarian Theology.  Oxford: Blackwell's, 2004. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT111.3 L49 2004 ; SMC: BT111.3 .L49 2004]

Mulchahey, Michele.  "First the Bow is Bent in Study . . .:"  Dominican Education Before 1350.  Toronto: PIMS Publications, 1998. [SMC: BX3504 .Z5 M84 1998]

Narcisse, Gilbert.  Les raisons de Dieu: Argument de convenance et esthetique theologique selon saint Thomas d'Aquin et Hans Urs von Balthasar.  Fribourg: Editions Universitaires, 1997. [ROBA: B765 .T54 N37 1997]

O'Meara, Thomas F.  Thomas Aquinas Theologian.  Notre Dame IN: Universtity of Notre Dame Press, 1997. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BX4700 .T6 O44 1997 ; ROBA: BX4700 .T6 O44 1997X]

Pesch, Otto Hermann.  Thomas von Aquin: Grenze und Groesse mittelalterlicher Theologie--Eine Einfuehrung.  Mainz: Matthias-Gruenewald, 1988. [ROBA: BX4700 .T6 P38 1988]

Te Velde, Rudi.  Participation and Substantiality in Thomas Aquinas.  Leiden: Brill, 1995. [ROBA: B765 .T54 V4513 1995]

Thomas Aquinas.  SCG 3.98-99; De Pot. 6.1; CT 136;Sent.; In II Thess. 2 lect. 2;

SCG 3.101; De Pot. 6.2; SCG 3.101; SCG 3.102-103; De Pot. 6.3-4; In Joan. 10 lect. 5

Sent.; In Matt. 24; In II Thess. 2 lect. 2; De Pot. 6.5; Sent.;; ad2;

In Joan. 14 lect. 3; Sent. ad2; ad1; SCG 3.154; De Pot. 6.4, 6.9 ad1

In Matt. 7; In I Cor. 12 lect. 2; In II Thess. 2 lect. 2; De Pot. 6.5, 6.9 ad5; De ratione fidei 7

Sent.; ad3; In Joan. 2 lect. 1; In Joan. 2 lect. 1; 15 lect. 5; Sent.;

SCG 1.6, 4.55; Quodl. 2.1 ad4; In Joan. 5 lect. 6; 15 lect. 5; In Matt. 27; Sent.;

De sacramento altaris 11.

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