This out-of-print course is an introduction to Thomas Aquinas (1225—1274), his life, his work, the system of his thought—generally called Thomism—and some of his distinctive teachings. It deals also with some of the legacy of Thomism, particularly the neo-Thomism of the later nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the post-modern critique of neo-Thomism and Thomas’s original thought.
The course begins with a narrative of Thomas’s life and inevitably discusses his social, cultural, and institutional context—the latter of which defined him, as has been the case with few philosophers. He was very much the product of the scholastic university, as characterized by the ideals of the Dominican order and the needs of the medieval Church.
The course moves then to a consideration of his massive work and of the various genres in which he wrote. Reactions, positive and negative, to the immense impact made by Aquinas and his huge body of writings in different genres (an enormous output, for a man who was an active teacher and who died at age forty-nine) engage our attention next.
After that, we move to a survey of some of his most distinctive and influential teachings: on God and His Creation (i.e., the entire universe as known to Aquinas’s time); the human creature; ethics, virtues, and vices (including the ever-vexing question of Original Sin); human sexuality and its consequences; and law and the rightful relation of the natural state to the Christian Church. Finally, we discuss Thomas’s ideas about beauty and other aesthetic issues, as revealed in "didactic" religious poetry written by (or at least attributed to) him, including "Adoro te devote" and "Pange, lingua."
About the Professor:
Southern Methodist University
Ph.D., Harvard University
Jeremy Adams is Professor of History at Southern Methodist University, where he has taught for more than 25 years. He began his undergraduate work at Georgetown College in Washington, D.C., and then transferred to Harvard University, where he earned his A.B., A.M., and Ph.D. in history.
Prior to taking his post at SMU, Professor Adams taught medieval European history and served in the interdisciplinary History, Arts, and Letters program at Yale University. He has taught frequently in SMU programs in Europe at Madrid, Toledo, and Paris, as well as at University College, Oxford.
For his teaching and scholarship, Professor Adams received the DeVane Medal from the Phi Beta Kappa Chapter of Yale, the Perrine Prize from the Phi Beta Kappa Chapter of SMU, and the Danforth Foundation’s E. Harris Harbison Award. The student body of SMU has several times honored him as one of the "Outstanding Professors" on campus.
Dr. Adams has published on a wide range of topics, including pre-modern European landscape history. His publications include Patterns of Medieval Society and The "Populus" of Augustine and Jerome: A Study in the Patristic Sense of Community, winner of the National Catholic Book Award for Scholarship in 1972.
NOTE: This is a personal "thank you" to this site, and I hope to be able to upload more materials. Those who can, please help uploading more TTC or TMS stuff to this site. These materials are wonderful for our listening training and to get more vocabulary (besides learning more and more!). Hope you enjoy!
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