Being as Gift: Philosophical Foundations

JPI 553/763

This course elucidates the constitutive elements of a metaphysics of love necessary to undergird John Paul II’s nuptial anthropology. John Paul’s II anthropology, to which his interpretation of Gaudium et Spes 22 and 24 in terms of nuptial mystery witnesses, is rooted in the recognition that being (both God and man) is gift. Through readings of Plato, Aristotle, Dionysius, Aquinas, Hegel, F. Ulrich, Balthasar, and John Paul II, the course revisits main philosophical themes—form, nature, substance, relation, the transcendentals, and causality—in light of an ontology of gift.  In so doing, the course seeks to illustrate the intrinsic relation between theology and philosophy as presented in John Paul II’s Fides et ratio.


Course Texts for Fall 2021

  • Course compendium – available from Cognella
  • Kenneth Schmitz, The Gift: Creation (Marquette University Press, 1982; 1996), ISBN 0874621496. 
  • Martin Heidegger, Basic Writings (Harper, 2008), ISBN 0061627011
  • Dionysius the Areopagite, The Divine Names, any edition of the C.E. Rolt translation.

Associated Faculty

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