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University of Creation Spirituality
Doctor of Ministry Degree/Certificate Program

July 2004 Intensive CA
July 26-30 2004

Seminar: The Spirit of Aquinas ©† - # 60033

Instructor: Matthew Fox, Ph.D.

Faculty Bio:  Matthew Fox is the founding president of the University of Creation Spirituality, co-director of the Master of Liberal Arts Program, Naropa University, Oakland, and author of 24 books including, The Reinvention of Work, Original Blessing, One River, Many Wells and A Spirituality Named Compassion. His book, Coming of the Cosmic Christ, first put a name to “deep ecumenism” and his books on work and on evil (Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh) utilized deep ecumenism as a basic methodology. Great creation mystics he has published and interpreted such as Meister Eckhart and Thomas Aquinas also speak to deep ecumenism.

Course Description:   Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274) is one of the intellectual and spiritual giants of the West.  He committed his life to bringing science and faith together, by bringing Aristotle's thought to bear on faith life and working at the University of Paris.  Aristotle was the Greek (and pagan) scientist newly discovered in Aquinas' day via Islam and this commitment on Aquinas' part alienated the guardians of the theological and cultural status quo.  Aquinas was deeply committed to social justice and a cosmological, creation-centered mysticism.  He was a mystic as well as a prophet, condemned three times before canonized a saint.  We will explore his thought and story with special attention paid to his deepening of the four paths of creation spirituality and how his depth of spiritual and intellectual understanding can deepen our own work and thought.

Required Reading:

Matthew Fox, Sheer Joy: Conversations with Thomas Aquinas on Creation Spirituality.  It is recommended that you read this in depth and twice if possible.

Suggested Readings:

Umberto Eco, "The Aesthetics of Thomas Aquinas" (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1988) M. D. Chenu, Toward Understanding St. Thomas (Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1963)

      M. D. Chenu, Faith and Theology (New York: Macmillan, 1968)

      M. D. Chenu, "Body and Body Politic in the Creation Spirituality of Thomas Aquinas," in Matthew Fox, ed., Western Spirituality (Santa Fe: Bear & Co.,1979)

      Josef Pieper, A Guide to Thomas Aquinas (New York: Pantheon Books, 1962)

      Josef Pieper, The Silence of Thomas Aquinas (Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1956)

Pre-Class Writing Assignment:         5 to 8 pages

Take one to five sentences or passages from Aquinas in Sheer Joy from any one of the four paths (stick to one of the paths for this assignment) and use them as a spring board to develop your efforts to bring spirituality to your particular profession or work place.

Post-Class Writing Assignment:        8-15 pages

The focus for the post-paper will be given in class.

©†  Fulfills Mystic requirement

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