Revelation and the Logic of Experience: Issues in the Meaning of Love
The concept of experience and its relation to Christian revelation, an indispensable term when faith is understood as the encounter between the whole person and God (Dei verbum, 2, 8; Deus caritas est, 1), is the methodological kernel of John Paul II’s anthropology. The seminar thus seeks to explore the adequacy of this term for the understanding of the nature of love and of the human person. The seminar first approaches the structure of human experience in order to uncover its relation with Christian experience. Then, in light of Dei verbum, it elucidates the main elements of the concept of Christian experience as presented in Scripture. The third part of the course examines the objective and subjective dimensions of Christian experience. Since Christian experience springs from the encounter with God, understanding this concept requires examining both the meaning of the spiritual senses, the roles of reason and freedom as man comes to see and adhere to the Incarnate Logos, and the understanding of the person as called to love (Redemptor hominis, 10). Lastly, after having studied the subjective dimension of the concept of experience, the course seeks to elucidate its objective side by approaching the ecclesiological dimension of experience. The main authors treated in this seminar are John Paul II, Origen, J. Mouroux, F. Schleiermacher, selected contemporary feminist theologians, H. U. von Balthasar, and L. Giussani.