Gruppo Archeologico Romano

Participate!   ---   Contact Ms. Anna Taggiasco, Gruppo Archeologico English Program, 06-39737703, for full program and fee schedule.

Faith and Reason in the Search for God, Spring 2002

Background material keyed to topics to be covered in this course of the English Programme of the GAR

Francesca Brownsbeger      Fridays 10 AM      February 1 through April 19, 2002
All Meetings are at GAR Headquarters, Via Degli Scipioni, 30/a

Book Recommendation: Pilgrimage: A Chronicle of Christianity Through the Churches of Rome,  by June Hager, provides much useful information on Churches included in the Rome Through the Centuries itinerary.  It is Available in some local bookstores and through and Pilgrimage Pilgrimage

Internet sites that may be of use to course participants:
A Starting Point -- Guide to Philosophy (Suber)

16th --18th century Philosophers
Apologetics Page
Arguments for and against the Existence of God
Augustine of Hippo
Basic Atheist Arguments
A Dictionary of Theology
The Development of the Canon of the New Testament - Writings
Early Christian Writings: New Testament, Apocrypha, Gnostics, Church Fathers
The Ecole Initiative: Early Church Documents
Episteme Links
Existence of God
Guide to Resources in Theology
Hippias Search
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Ism Book
Links to Philosophy Websites
Medieval Sourcebook: Ibn Rushd
Modern Western Philosophy -- Gallery
Modern Western Philosophy in Theological Perspective
Modern Western Theology -- Dictionary of Themes and Persons
Modern Western Theology--Religious thinkers and Figures
Noesis Search texts
The Non-Believer's Page
Patristic Literature Index
Philosophers --
Philosophy of Religion Resources
Philosophy Around the Web
Philosophy in Cyberspace
Philosophy Encyclopedia -- Stanford
Philosophy and Theology links -- scroll down
Philosophy Research Base
Philosophy - Resources for Students - Graduate School - Research
Philosophy texts
Philosophy -- Voice of the Shuttle
Roman Philosophical Resources
Sixteenth-Eighteenth century Philosophers
Stephen Hawking, The Big Bang, and God
Theology Resources, by School of Theology Major Areas
Theology Resources: Systematic Theology
Thomas Instituut Homepage (Thomas Aquinas)
University of Chicago Philosophy Project


Did you hear about the agnostic, dyslexic insomniac?
He stayed up all night wondering if there really was a dog.

Did you hear about the Thomistic, dyslexic insomniac?
He stayed up all right reasoning that there really was a dog.

Did you hear about the Lutheran, dyslexic insomniac?
He stayed up all night believing there really was a dog.

Did you hear about the dyslexic, agnostic schizophrenic?
He was in two minds as to whether there really was a dog.

Did you hear about the dyslexic, agnostic, insomniac, amnesiac?
He forgot that he once lay awake nights wondering if there really were a dog.


Links Keyed to specific presentations:

February 1:  Sacred Scripture:  Old Testament "Wisdom Literature" and Pauline letters:  Relationship between revalation and natural human Knowledge

M.P.:  GAR, Via degli Scipione, 30/A (All following lectures at the same meeting place)

Biblical Literature
Definition of Wisdom Lit
The Wisdom Literature of the Bible - Catholic Bible Study
Sapiential literature
Wisdom Books -- Catholic Bishops Conference
Lady Wisdom, Wisdom Personified
Hebrew Wisdom Literature/homepage
Bible Gateway
The Unbound Bible
Pauline Epistles
Pauline Epistles -- Concise New Testament Survey
Non-Pauline Epistles -- Concise New Testament Survey
Deutero-Pauline and Pastoral Epistles
THE PAULINE EPISTLES -- Edwin Johnson (1894)
Epistles -- a skeptic's view
February 8:  Patristic writings Eastern and Western Church Fathers in debate over the role of reason
Early Church Fathers from CCEL --Christian Classics Ethereal Library (Calvin College)
The Fathers of the Church -- New Advent (Catholic)
Guide to Early Church Documents -- UPenn
Fathers of the Church --

Feruary 15:  Augustine:  synthesis of faith and reason
St. Augustine links a big set of links on Augustine and his works, and

From the previous lecture -- all include links and info onAugustine:

Early Church Fathers from CCEL --Christian Classics Ethereal Library (Calvin College)
The Fathers of the Church -- New Advent (Catholic)
Guide to Early Church Documents -- UPenn
Fathers of the Church --
February 22:  Anselm and Aquinas:  unity of faith and reason
Anselm on the Existence of God -- Medieval Sourcebook
Ontological argument for the existence of God: from Anselm to Godel
Philosophers' Criticisms of Anselm's Ontological Argument for the Being of God
Ontology - Descriptive and Formal
Anselm and Gaunilo
Guanilo's Reply to Anselm
Anselm's Reply to Guanilo
Guanilo's objections and Anslem's response
Aquinas on the Existence of God -- Medieval Sourcebook
Aquinas and Big Bang Cosmology -- William Carroll (Maritain Center)
Aquinas -- Björn's Guide To Philosophy
Aquinas -- Catholic Encyclopedia
Aquinas in English -- including most available on-line translations
Aquinas on God's Existence --
Aquinas - precis (IEP)
Aquinas Refutations
Aquinas -- short bio and numerous links (Stephen Loughlin, DeSales U)
Aquinas Translation Project
Aquinas links
G.K.Chesterton on Aquinas
Quantum Mechanics and Realistic View of Nature -- Milos Lokajicek (Maritain Center)
Summa Contra Gentiles: Of God and His Creatures -- Jacques Maritain Center
The Summa Theologica -- hyperlinked, full text
Thomism -- Jacques Maritain Center
Thomistic Philosophy --
John Duns Scotus
God as First Principle -- John Duns Scotus
Ockham and the Dialogus
Ockham & Nominalism -- Death of Universals
St. Bede the Venerable
Bede's Library - Reasonable apologetics
Bede: Internet Sites

March 1:  Reformation: effects of Church division on belief and critical thought
Reformation: Luther's Main Doctrines
The Proofs for the existence of God by Dr. Jon Zens written for Dr. Van Til
Hobbes's alleged atheism
Opinion: Protestant Principle, Catholic Substance

March 8:  One extreme:  Reason alone -- Modernism and Positivism
Modernism -- defined
Modernism (Catholc and Protestant)
Logical Positivism [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]
Comte and Positivism
Auguste Comte et le positivisme/and Positivism
Auguste Comte English homepage
Philosophical theism -- Origins
Theism, Atheism, and Rationality | Rational Theism
Theism -- panreligious
The Ontological Argument
Kant: Religion with the Limits of Reason Alone
Kant's Critique of Pure Reason (Translation by Norman Kemp Smith)
Kant: Summary of Critique of Pure Reason
God in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason
Hume, Kant, and Rational Theism
Descartes' Meditations Home Page

March 15:  The other extreme:  Faith alone -- Jansenism and Biblicalism
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Jansenius and Jansenism
Lefebvrism: Jansenism revisited?  (and End of Lefebvre Schism)
Calvinism and Jansenism
The Psychology of Biblicism (from Humanist)

March 22:  Pluralism, nothing certain -- faith and reason are both obsolete
Monism [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]
Dualism [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]
Pluralism [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]

April 12:  Call for unity:  John II, John Henry Newman, Wolfhart Pannemberg, Paul Tillich try to rescue the relationship between faith and reason
The Prudence of John Henry Newman
J.A.Froude on Newman
Pannenberg -- Formation of a philosophical Theologian
Pannenberg -- synopsis of April 200 lectures
Tillich, Paul Johannes -- bio gist
Paul Tillich -- Theism Rewritten for an Age of Science
PAUL TILLICH -- Evansville
Tilich: Bio and Systematic Theology 1, 2, 3

April 19:  Synthesis and discussion

The Doctrine of the Feline Sedentation...

How Christianity would deal with "the cat sat on the mat" if it appeared in the Bible:
Liberal theologians would point out that such a passage did not of course mean that a cat literally sat on a mat. Also, cat and mat had different meanings in those days from today, and anyway, the text should be interpreted according to the customs and practices of the period.

This would lead to an immediate backlash from the Evangelicals. They would make it an essential condition of faith that a real physical, living cat, being a domestic pet of the Felix Domesticus species, and having a whiskered head and furry body, four legs and a tail, did physically place its whole body on a floor covering, designed for that purpose, which is on the floor but not of the floor. The expression "on the floor but not of the floor" would be explained in a separate tract.

Meanwhile, the Catholics would have developed the Festival of the Sedentation of the Blessed Cat.  This would teach that the cat was white (and male) and that it majestically reclined on a mat of gold thread before its assumption to the Great Cat Basket of Heaven. This would be commemorated by the singing of the Magnificat, lighting three candles, and ringing a bell five times.

This would cause a schism with the Orthodox Church which would believe that tradition would require Holy Cat's Day [as it would be colloquially known] to be marked by lighting six candles and ringing the bell four times. They would also not agree with the Catholics about when to celebrate Holy Cat's Day.  Their dispute with the Catholics would be partly resolved by a Solemn Declaration recognizing the traditional validity of each ritual.

Eventually, the Catholic and the Anglican Bishops Conferences would issue statements on the Doctrine of the Feline Sedentation. They would explain that traditionally the text describes a domestic feline quadruped superjacent to an unattached covering on a fundamental surface. For determining its salvific and eschatological significations, they would follow the heuristic analytical principles adopted in dealing with the Canine Fenestration Question [How much is that doggie in the window?] and the Affirmative Musaceous  Paradox [Yes, we have no bananas]. The reports woud average 210 pages.

General Synods would then commend these reports as helpful resource materials for clergy to explain  the difficult doctrine of "the cat sat on the mat" to the person in the pew.

God's Total Quality Management Questionaire
God would like to thank you for your belief and patronage. In order better to serve your needs, He asks that you take a few moments to answer the following questions. Please keep in mind that your responses will be kept completely confidential, and that you need not disclose your name or address unless you prefer a direct response to comments or suggestions.
1. How did you find out about God?
__Newspaper __Other Book __Television __Divine Inspiration __Word of mouth __Near Death Experience __Bible __Torah __Other

2. Are you currently using any other source of inspiration in addition to God? Please check all that apply:
__Tarot __Lottery __Horoscope __Television __Fortune cookies __Ann Landers __Self-help books __Sex __Biorythms __Alcohol or drugs __Insurance policies __Mantras __None __Other:  _____________________

3. God employs a limited degree of Divine Intervention to preserve the balanced level of felt presence and blind faith. Which would you prefer (circle one)?
a. More Divine Intervention
b. Less Divine Intervention
c. Current level of Divine Intervention is just right
d. Don't know

4. God also attempts to maintain a balanced level of disasters and miracles. Please rate on a scale of 1-5 the divine handling of the following (1=unsatisfactory, 5=excellent):
a. Disasters (flood, famine, earthquake, war) 1 2 3 4 5
b. Miracles (rescues, spontaneous remission of disease, sports upsets) 1 2 3 4 5

5. Do you have any additional comments or suggestions for improving the quality of God's services? (Attach an additional sheet if necessary):

mmdtkw dean - wukitsch -- January 2002