Creation: Nature and Life

JPI 666

This course will deal with the philosophical foundations needed for a correct understanding of the phenomenon of life. What is organic life and how can we recognize its presence? In what does its novelty consist with respect to the material world?  How does an organism differ from a machine?  How essential are theology and the doctrine of creation to the adjudication of these questions?  By analyzing these and similar questions, the course will provide the adequate philosophical basis needed for dealing with the ethical problems posed by biotechnology.

Course Texts for Fall 2020

• Leon Kass, Life Liberty and the Defense of Dignity: The Challenge for Bioethics (San Francisco:  Encounter Books, 2002).
• Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, “In the Beginning…”  A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall (Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans, 1995). ISBN # 0-820804106-6. 
• Hans Jonas, The Phenomenon of Life (Evanston, Northwestern University Press, 2001).
• Richard McKeon (ed.), The Basic Works of Aristotle (Modern Library, 2001). ISBN-10: 0375757996; ISBN-13: 978-0375757990.
• E.A. Burtt, The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science (Mineola: Dover, 2003). ISBN 0-486-42551-7.
• Lee Silver, Remaking Eden: How Genetic Engineering and Cloning Will Transform the American Family (New York: Harper Collins, 1997). ISBN 0-0380-123519-1.
• Baldner and Carroll (eds), Aquinas on Creation (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies). ISBN 0888442858. 
• Hans Urs von Balthasar, Theologic I: The Truth of the World (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2000).  ISBN 0-89870-718-8.

Associated Faculty

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