[2020 Summer] Aquinas’ Cosmological Vision

[Lyceum Institute Seminars]

Read the news, turn on the television, scroll social media, and everywhere you will encounter—by every medium—a singular message: the message that we ought to make the world, the universe, and especially ourselves in our own image.  To be sure, there are countless variations of this message; but its essence is the same.  The roots lie centuries deep in Western soil—no later than Francis Bacon (1561–1626)—but today, the message is less often questioned, less frequently challenged, and rarely even noticed.  Rather, it is taken for granted.

WHEN: Saturdays 1:30-2:30pm ET, August 1–September 19, 2020

WHERE: Online, Lyceum Institute using Microsoft Teams (license provided).

Preview – Lecture 1: Humility in the Pursuit of Wisdom

It is a message that views the cosmos and all within it, perhaps most especially ourselves, as raw matter to be shaped and changed according to the dictates of our fantasies and desires.  It is a message provenated by minds given over to a background cosmological nihilism: a nihilism not of the here and now—not of despairing about purpose in one’s own life—but of the belief that there is purpose independent of our own volitional determination.  In other words, the cosmological nihilist disbelieves that the order of the universe has any relevance for his or her life, and how it ought to be lived.  This nihilism has become the unquestioned rule of the day. In contrast is the cosmological vision of Thomas Aquinas: a vision which sees in the fundamental principles of the universe an ordered whole, giving governance to all its parts, and perfect in itself. 

In this seminar, we will examine key texts of Aquinas which illustrate this truth.

Registration is closed.

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