PHIL 252 | History of Western Philosophy II
This course focuses on primary text engagement with key philosophers from Descartes up through Nietzsche, including Pascal, Locke, Leibniz, Hume, Hegel, and Kierkegaard. Our approach will be both retrospective and prospective: we will consider, for example, the Augustinian debts of Descartes and Pascal, but also consider the postmodern inheritance of figures like Hegel and Kierkegaard. Assignments will focus on honing exegetical skills of textual exposition.
(Seminary) 994 | Oliver O'Donovan's Moral Theology
Anglican theologian and ethicist Oliver O’Donovan has produced a corpus of work that has significantly shaped discussions in moral and political over the past decade. While the center of his work is located in moral and political theology, one could say that underlying this is a theology of culture that is indebted to the Augustinian tradition and engaged with the tradition of the Reformers. In ways similar to—yet importantly different from—Nicholas Wolterstorff, O’Donovan offers a kind of chastened affirmation of liberal “reform” and a more tempered critique of “modernity” than what we find in, say, Alasdair MacIntyre or John Milbank. Notably, O’Donovan roots his cultural analysis and theological articulation in a robust engagement with Scripture, breaking down common barriers between systematic, biblical, and moral theology. As such, O’Donovan embodies the shape of a post-Christendom moral and political theology while at the same time resisting what we might call “the Anabaptist temptation” of a Stanley Hauerwas.
This course will engage the O’Donovan’s corpus as a portal to perennial and contemporary questions in theology of culture and moral theology. We will also engage critical readings of O’Donovan’s work. Students will be encouraged to pursue research projects that tackle a specific theme in O’Donovan’s corpus, putting him in conversation with other contemporary thinkers from a range of traditions.