The course will introduce the student to the key concepts and ideas within the academic subject, “Philosophical Theology” broadly construed. The field of philosophical theology emerged in the wake of a dispute between the relationship between reason and faith relative to truth claims about the world and other transcendent phenomena. This course will unfold in the following three phases:
Part 1 will begin by examining truth claims made by Christian philosophers and theologians, especially Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, William of Ockham, and Duns Scotus vis-a-vis articles of faith. We will critically examine the epistemological apparatus of these claims in hopes to shed light on the justification of belief.
Part 2 will move from the scholastic mode of dialectical reasoning to the foundational mode established through the French figure Rene Descartes. This module will carefully examine Descartes' method of thinking and reasoning. We will further relate this “method” of thinking to the foundations of the European Enlightenment.
Part 3 will move into the 20th and 21st Century and examine the rise of “Radical Theology” within the North American and European contemporary context. This section of Radical Theology will offer a historical and contextual overview of the various streams in radical theological thought. The seminar will also address the potentials and possibilities Radical Theology offers those who are interested in redefining faith and community life in the 21st century.