The Task of Christian Metaphysics: Divine and Human Freedom

JPI 982

This course will explore what it means to say that God is free, and what human freedom means in relation to God’s will, through a study of principal texts representing the classical understanding as it was taken up and transformed within Christian revelation, and eventually overturned in the late medieval/early modern period.  This exploration will take its bearings above all from a metaphysical understanding of the good.  Some of the authors that will be considered are Plotinus, Augustine, Dionysius, Maximus the Confessor, Aquinas, and Scotus.

Course Texts for Spring 2017

  • Compendium of readings (available through University Readers)
  • Plotinus, Ennead Volume VII: Ennead VI.6-9 (Harvard University Press, 1988)
  • Augustine, The City of God (Penguin Classics, 2003)
  • Maximus the Confessor, Disputations with Pyrrhus (St. Tikhon’s Monastery Press, 2014)
  • John Duns Scotus, On the Will and Morality, ed. Allan Wolter (CUA Press, 1997)

*The Aquinas texts for the course are all available online and do not need to be purchased beforehand


Associated Faculty

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