2023-2024 Course Development Grant Recipients
|Course Title and Description
Lost Women of the Catholic Imagination (running under Theo 278: Religion and Gender)
Many of the authentic voices of women within the Catholic Intellectual Tradition are lost to us, yet Late Ancient Christianity is filled with fictional stories of women in the roles of superheroes, martyrs, mothers, saints, philosophers, and as ordinary figures. Why might a male author choose to veil his theological message behind the guise of a feminine character? In this course, we will ask precisely that question as we interrogate the gendered assumptions within these texts of imaginary women. What avenues are opened or closed by these stories and their constructed voices? What assumptions are these authors making about gender, and what power does the text gain or lose with those assumptions? While the content of the course is primarily historical, we will also explore whether similar assumptions and rhetorical power exist in the Catholic Theological Imagination today relating to gender, religion, and power.
Ethics, Modernity, and Catholicism
This course aims to provide students with an understanding of ethics and modernity from a broadly Catholic perspective, with a focus on the work of Alasdair MacIntyre, one of the most important and influential Catholic philosophers of the 20th Century. One of the central texts of this course is MacIntyre's more recent work, Ethics in the Conflict of Modernity, which offers a critique of both contemporary ethics and central elements of modernity by drawing on the Aristotelian-Thomistic moral tradition. We will also read MacIntyre's, God, Philosophy, Universities: A Selective History of the Catholic Philosophical Tradition through which we will gain knowledge of seminal thinkers in the Catholic tradition such as St. Augustine, St. Anselm, and St. Edith Stein. Alongside these two books we will also explore some important Church documents such as Rerum Novarum, Aeterni Patris and Fides Et Ratio which will also help students gain a deeper understanding of the way that the Catholic tradition conceives of the relationship between faith and reason, as well as the ultimate ends of human life.