HT606 Medieval Seminar

Course Description

An introduction to, analysis and survey of the development of doctrine in the Western church in the the early, high, and late medieval periods. We consider several theologians in their context and pay close attention to some of the great texts from each period. Readings are drawn from Boethius, Anselm, Bernard, Abelard, Lombard, Joachim of Fiore, Aquinas, Ockham, and Bradwardine.  Spring. 2 Credits.

The Student Learning Outcome for the Historical Theology Program: The student demonstrates understanding of the main eras of church history, the significant issues and leaders/theologians of each.

NB: CH602 is a pre-requisite for this course unless waived by the instructor.

Class conflict petitions will not be approved for this course.

Course Requirements:

(1) Attend all classes, complete all readings, participate in class discussion, lead discussions, submit reaction papers, and present a research paper. Absence is permitted only with reasonable notice and explanation.

There are 26 class hours. Each student shall lead class sessions by introducing an assigned writer and text. The introduction should provide a discussion of the biography of the writer, a brief account of the setting of the writer and text, an introduction to the structure/organization of the text, and the a brief survey of the most important secondary literature. After the schedule is established it will be posted on Populi.

Those students who do not lead the session must submit a one-page reaction paper. It need not be highly structured but it must document interaction with the assigned reading.

(2) Research Paper (50%). Limit 3000 words (approximately 9 pages). Each student shall present and defend his or her completed paper to the seminar. The last 4–5 hours of class will be devoted to the reading and discussion of papers. After reading the paper to the seminar, the student shall revise and re-submit it to the instructor for a final mark. The final paper is by 10:00 a.m. on the last day of classes.

Requirements: Each student shall supply a copy of his or her paper to eachmember of the seminar 24 hours in advance of the meeting of class so that themembers of the seminar will have time to read it.

Penalties: Students who do not meet the class time deadline shall be marked down 1/2 grade. An essay shall be marked down a full grade for every day it is late for either the seminar or the final deadline.

Required Readings:

Gottschalk and a Medieval Predestination Controversy: Texts Translated from the Latin, Medieval Philosophical Texts in Translation, trans. Victor Genke and Francis X. Gumerlock (Milwaukee, WI: Marquette University Press, 2010), 69–96, 107–55. ISBN: 0-87462-253-0

Anselm Cur Deus Homo (PDF on Populi).

Peter Abelard, Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, The Fathers of the Church Mediaeval Continuation, trans. Steven R. Cartwright (Washington DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2011), 111–24; 131–38; 149–87; 194–205; 209–28; 249–64; 288–304.

Bernard of Clairvaux, On Grace and Free Choice, trans. Daniel O’ Donovan. Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications 1988, 51–111.

Peter Lombard, The Sentences. trans Giulio Silano, 4 vol. (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2007–10):

  • Book 1, Dist. 1–14)
  • Book 2, Dist. 1–12
  • Book 3, Dist. 16–22, 25–27
  • Book 4, Dist. 1–12, 14, 23, 26, 43

Aquinas, Summa Theologiae:

  • 1a, Questions 1–10, 14–25, 75–83, 95–97;
  • 1a2ae, Questions 1–3, 21, 49–53, 55–58, 61–63, 88, 106–114;
  • 2a2ae, Questions 1–7, 17–18, 23–25, 164–165;
  • 3a, Questions 1–5, 7–20, 24, 41–50, 60–63, 65–66, 68–69, 72–77, 79–80, 84, 86, 89.

Scotus, God and the Moral Law (populi)

Ockham, Predestination, God’s Foreknowledge, and Future Contingents (Populi)

Recommended Reading

Dorothy Sayers, “Lost Tools of Learning

G. R. Evans, ed. The Medieval Theologians (Oxford: Blackwells, 2001).

——A Brief History of Heresy (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2003).

Marcia L. Colish, Medieval Foundations of the Western Intellectual Tradition 400-1400, Yale Intellectual History of the West (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1998).

Sabina Flanagan, Hildegard of Bingen, a Visionary Life, (Routledge, London, 1989).

Hildegard von Bingen,The letters of Hildegard of Bingen, trans. Joseph L. Baird, Radd K. Ehrman. (New York : Oxford University Press, 1994).

Assertion of Intellectual Property Rights

The instructor holds the copyright to all course lectures and original course materials. This copyright extends to student notes and summaries that substantially reflect the lectures or original course materials. Course lectures and materials are made available for the personal use of students only and may not be recorded or otherwise distributed (including the publication of student notes or summaries on social media) in any way for commercial or non-commercial purposes without the express written permission of the instructor.

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