The Saints Go Marching In

We have reached the final weekend of Spring Break! Alas, we must now plan for our upcoming week of classroom sessions. What shall we discuss?

First and foremost, there are still a small number of teams in our 5:30 section who have not yet presented their first term project submissions. They will do so on Wednesday evening.

And then, for the remainder of our week, we will discuss a pair of works by St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine. Indeed, you are about to experience your last-ever sessions of intensive theological discussions in a Western Civilization course at Providence College!

So, to prepare for our Wednesday session, please read a brief excerpt by Minnesota State University of St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica.

Also, in advance of Wednesday’s session, please read a restatement of that excerpt in contemporary language.

Then, to prepare for our Thursday session, please read Book II (i.e. the second book) of The Confessions of St. Augustine.

As you read St. Aquinas, consider his words from an atheist’s point of view. Can his explanations persuade a non-believer in the existence of God?

Then, as you read St. Augustine, consider his words from a non-Christian’s perspective. Can his commentary persuade believers in different religions to convert to Christianity?

These questions are relevant to the field of sustainability because many individuals are profoundly skeptical about the impact of climate change and other conditions. Thus, historical figures who are skilled at the practice of persuasion can serve as exemplars for our own communication activities.

That is why we studied Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address earlier this semester. And that is why we are now studying St. Aquinas and St. Augustine.

So let’s get ready for your last-ever “Civ” discussion of the Great Saints of Christianity! Indeed, the saints will go marching In to class this week, and like a classic New Orleans Jazz funeral, we’ll say farewell to them in style.