Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Catching Up and the First Day of Class

Apologies to all of you both of you who were pining for a weekly update from me and didn't get one last week. Other than slicing off part of my thumb while working at the deli, I didn't think there was much to report. Come on, who among us can honestly say he hasn't mixed up his thumb and a salami before? Maybe that's why I liked to suck my thumb as a kid... hmm.... Anyway, it wasn't as bad as it first looked--it was just a flesh wound that took some skin and part of my nail, but it's so much fun to say to someone, "I slice off part of my thumb the other day."

This last week featured much less bloodshed and a bit more activity. The DSPT had a two-day event on the place of natural law rhetoric in American jurisprudence. If you're not sure exactly what that means, don't worry; the speakers didn't seem to quite know either. While we enjoyed some very controversial comments from Jean Porter of Notre Dame, some piquant observations from Russell Hittinger of Tulsa, and some trenchant thoughts from Lloyd Weinreb of Harvard, none of them explained particularly well what the natural law even is. They made many pleas to the "complexity of the tradition," etc., and said it was largely a framework for guiding further conversation, but didn't say much as to its content. I thought at first that I wasn't smart enough or well-versed enough to follow them, but several others had similar reactions to mine, making me think that it might possibly have been them, not me. Oh well. I suppose I can always read some St. Thomas and get a few answers.

Yesterday was the first day of classes for the semester. (Yes, it does start a bit late, but they make up for it by making the summer breaks shorter.) I described in a previous post the classes I'll be taking. Just one yesterday: Medieval Philosophy. (It's technically called "History of Philosophy: Medieval," but this is shorter.) It's being taught by Fr. Augustine Thompson, OP, who is an historian and a medievalist by trade; so not only is the subject material right up his alley, he owns the alley and the two adjacent buildings. And he gets so animated... it's going to be a great class.

Later today will be the first class meeting for Philosophical Anthropology, taught by Fr. Michael Dodds, OP. If Fr. Michael is true to form, today's class will be a schola brevis, or "short school," a tradition in the Dominican Order in which the first meeting for a class gives some basic introductory material and then adjourns early. That would be nice, since I've got a boatload of reading for my Patristic Spirituality class for Thursday... which I should probably get to now...

No comments:

Post a Comment