God, the Giver of Life
Following John Paul II’s reflection Evangelium vitae and the Holy Spirit (Dominum et vivificantem), this seminar explores the understanding of “life” as disclosed in Christian revelation. Through an examination of the third hypostasis, the “person-gift” and of his role in God’s work of salvation, the first part of the seminar deals with the nature of Triune divine life as revealed in Christ. It thus approaches the issue regarding the criteria for adequate speech about God and hence studies the relation between Christology and Pneumatology and the limits and place of human language in any discourse on God. These questions are examined through the most important texts of the early Greek and Latin tradition on the person of the Holy Spirit and through the work of some Eastern and Western theologians. The Holy Spirit, rightly called by Irenaeus communicatio Christi, gives to man that divine life which in Christ has revealed itself to be a communion of love. The second part of the seminar therefore explores the form of this communication, in particular with regard to the nature of the Church, the sacrament of marriage, and the life of prayer. The course deals with major works of the following authors: Basil the Great, Gregory Nazianzen, Pseudo-Dionysius, St. Augustine, John Paul II, H. U. von Balthasar, Y. Congar, S. Bulgakov, Symeon the New Theologian, A. Scola, and M. Ouellet.
Course Texts for Spring 2016
- Hans Urs von Balthasar, Does Jesus Know Us? Do We Know Him? (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1986). ISBN: 089870023X
- Hans Urs von Balthasar, Theo-drama. vol 4: The Action (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1994). ISBN: 0898704715
- Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion. ISBN 9780802881663
- Johann Adam Möhler, Symbolism: Exposition of the Doctrinal Differences Between Catholics and Protestants as Evidenced by their Symbolic Writings. ISBN: 9780824516659
- Joseph Ratzinger, Daughter of Zion (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1983). ISBN: 0898700264
- Anselm, The Major Works, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008). ISBN: 019954008X
- Scotus, Four Questions on Mary. ISBN: 1576591689
- Louis Bouyer, Seat of Wisdom: An Essay on the Place of the Virgin Mary in Christian Theology (New York: Pantheon Books, 1962).
- Segius Bulgakov, The Burning Bush: On the Orthodox Veneration of the Mother of God (Grand Rapids, Mi: Eerdmans, 2009). ISBN: 9780802845740
- Compendium of readings (available through University Readers)