This year in the MCE Summer School we would like to study and debate the general part of Catholic moral teaching as presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This offers the possibility to appreciate the important renovation and shift of moral theology after the Second Vatican Council, founded on human flourishing and virtues as willed by God our Creator and Redeemer in the Incarnation of his Son.
In this course we will study 1) the historical development of Catholic Moral Theology and its foundation in Holy Scripture and the living Tradition of the Church; 2) the rift between Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus; 3) nominalism and its consequences in the Catholic tradition; 4) the rediscovery of Christian virtue ethics and the centrality of the Sermon on the Mount.
Module 2 – Narrative, Natural Law, and Psychology: Integrating contemporary science with classical philosophy.
Recent discoveries in clinical psychology and neuroscience confirm and complement components of classical natural law theory, especially when integrated with features of literary theory. The empirical sciences are beginning to understand the neurochemistry of moral choice, virtue formation, and personal fulfillment.Aristotle, Aquinas, and Augustine offer an integrated view of the moral life and of personal happiness that currently finds complement and confirmation in specific currents of mindfulness and neuroscience.Narrative self-understanding, developed within contemporary literary theory and hermeneutics, was already presupposed by classical ethics and yet often neglected in modern, rationalist readings of the tradition. The rediscovery of the richness of the tradition can offer fascinating synergy with current scientific developments.
This course will study: 1) narrative autobiographical self-understanding and the unity of life; 2) the anthropic, epistemic, and theonomic dimensions of natural law; 3) principles, precepts, and norms; 4) the virtuous circle of moral knowledge and the complementarity of habits and norms; 5) self-authorship and divine providence; 6) magnanimity, exceptionless moral norms and martyrdom; 7) positive psychology, mindfulness, and CBT: Stoicism or Aristotelianism? Buddhism or Christianity?; 8) addiction and freedom; 9) personal and community excellence; 10) human flourishing, happiness, mimesis, and sequela Christi.