Saint Augustine of Hippo receiving the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, (cropped) by Philippe de Champaigne, 17th century
The medieval period in Western thought, once viewed disparagingly by scholars as the Dark Ages, has come to be recognized as a time of rich philosophic investigation and lively debate. This broad sweep of time, marked roughly from the fall of the Western Roman empire (ca. 476) to the start of the Renaissance (ca. 1450), encompasses significant Christian, Muslim, and Jewish philosophers. Long before our modern debates regarding the roles of science and religion, a defining issue for these thinkers concerned the distinction between philosophy and theology and the relationship between the two in the life and thought of the believer.
Gregory T. Doolan, associate professor of philosophy at The Catholic University of America, explores the work of notable Christian, Muslim, and Jewish thinkers from the major periods of medieval philosophy. Among the issues examined are the era’s views on the relationship between faith and reason; the nature of the human person; the problem of universals; and the existence and attributes of God.
9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Historical Overview and the Influence of Greek Philosophy
The historical predecessors of medieval philosophy and the philosophical thought of the Middle Ages.
11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Early Medieval Philosophy
An overview of the period’s great thinkers, with special focus on Augustine, Boethius, Anselm, and Abelard.
12:15 to 1:15 p.m. Break
1:15 to 2:30 p.m. Muslim and Jewish Philosophy
The influential rise of the Islamic Empire, with a focus on the thought of Avicenna, Algazali, Averroes, and Moses Maimonides.
2:45 to 4 p.m. Scholasticism and the Decline of Medieval Philosophy
The university system of the high Middle Ages and the thinkers it produced, such as Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, and William of Ockham.
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