This unit examines medieval accounts of the soul and body, and the relationship between cognition, emotions and values in selected medieval scholastic thinkers. It investigates two strategies used by medieval thinkers to uphold the transcendent dignity of the human person and the claim that humans are made in the image of God. The first strategy (exemplified by Albert the Great and Aquinas) was to argue for the immateriality and immortality of the soul on the basis of the powers of the intellect. The second strategy (exemplified by Henry of Ghent and the Franciscans) focused on the will rather than the intellect and argued that the image of God in human nature is the radical freedom of the human will – that is, the human ability to love freely. The unit will also consider the relation of debates on these topics to characterisations of thinkers as voluntarists and rationalists, and our understanding of the relation between faith and reason.
Critically read the selected primary texts carefully in relation to their purpose and historical context, and articulate a comprehension of them.
Outline the scholastic positions found in the texts.
Explain and evaluate the theories, terminology and arguments studied in the unit.
Develop hypotheses situating the material studied in relation to major recurrent issues/ themes in the history of Christian philosophical tradition (e.g. faith and reason, voluntarism and rationalism).
Two units of philosophy at second level
* = set texts recommended for purchase
|Type||Description||Word count||Weight (%)|
Variant 1 - 4500-word essay
One choice from two assessment variants will be nominated at the time of scheduling by the lecturer/unit coordinator prior to the start of the unit, published in the unit outline. Students may have topical choices within a given assessment variant, but are not able to make choices outside that set of assessments.
Variant 2 - 2500-word essay
Variant 2 - 2000-word essay
Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 23 Jul, 2020
Unit record last updated: 2020-07-23 10:11:14 +1000