Teaching & Reading Groups
 

Teaching


Graduate Seminar in Philosophy (Spring 2017): Atonement

Graduate Seminar in Philosophy (Fall 2016): Punishment and Forgiveness (co-taught with Prof. Chad Flanders)

Graduate Seminar in Philosophy (Spring 2016): The Thomistic Synthesis

Graduate Seminar in Philosophy (Fall 2014): Mindreading, Social Cognition, and Intersubjectivity

Graduate Seminar in Philosophy (Spring 2014): Atonement (co-taught with Prof. Peter Martens)

Graduate Seminar in Philosophy (Fall 2013): Aquinas's Ethics

Graduate Seminar in Philosophy (Spring 2012): Mindreading, Social Cognition, and Intersubjectivity

Graduate Seminar in Philosophy (Fall 2011): Topics in Contemporary Philosophy of Religion 

Graduate Seminar in Philosophy (Spring 2011): Avicenna and Aquinas (co-taught with Prof. John McGinnis (University of Missouri - St. Louis))

Graduate Seminar in Philosophy (Fall 2010): Boethius and Aquinas: Trinity, Incarnation, Transcendentals, and Faith and Atonement

Graduate Seminar in Philosophy (Spring 2010): Beauty as a Road to God (co-taught with Fr. John Foley, SJ)

Graduate Seminar in Philosophy (Fall 2009): Thomas on the Nature of God

Graduate Seminar in Philosophy (Spring 2009): Aquinas's Ethics

Graduate Seminar in Philosophy (Fall 2008): Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Evil

Graduate Seminar in Philosophy (Spring 2008): Aquinas and the Arabs (co-taught with Prof. John McGinnis (University of Missouri - St. Louis))

Graduate Seminar in Philosophy (Fall 2007): Topics in Patristic and Medieval Logic and Theology 



Past Reading Groups


Intellectual Humility Reading Group

This reading group met on select Thursdays from 3:00-4:30 p.m. and discussed issues in mindreading, social cognition, and intersubjectivity. The reading group was part of the Intellectual Humility Project at St. Louis University, which was supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.


Dante Reading Group

This reading group met every Sunday from 3:00-4:30 p.m. and discussed selections from Dante's Divine Comedy. Over the course of three semesters, the group read the InfernoPurgatorio, and Paradiso


SLAM Metaphysics Reading Group (with Jon Jacobs, John Greco et al)

This reading group met every other Friday, 2:00 p.m., to discuss issues in contemporary metaphysics.


SLPR Philosophy of Religion Reading Group (with Jon Jacobs)

This reading group met every other Friday, 2:00 p.m. (alternating with the SLAM group), to discuss issues in the philosophy of religion.


The Problem of Pain (with Jeffrey Bishop)

Pain is a complex and fascinating topic that poses an intellectual challenge to researchers, an emotional challenge to patients and caregivers, and an economic challenge to society.   Clearly, the problem of pain cannot be understood in one simple way.  Our research group brings together scholars from various specialties to explore the topic of pain in order to come to a comprehensive understanding of the nature and meaning of pain.


The Thomas on Toast Reading Group

This reading group was convened for the Dominican community at Saint Louis University, as well as interested graduate students and faculty; it generally met on Saturday mornings from 8:50 am - 10:00 am. 

In the beginning, the group read and discussed Thomas Aquinas's (remarkably interesting) biblical commentaries; during the spring 2008 term, however, the group took a hiatus from reading Aquinas, and read Gregory the Great's Moralia instead.  In Fall 2009, the group returned to Aquinas and began to read his commentary on Romans, starting with Ch. 7.

In Spring 2011, the group began reading Aquinas's commentary on the Gospel of John, starting with Ch. 17 (the Last Supper Discourses and the Passion of Christ).


The Alexandrian Society

The Alexandrian Society was a group for faculty and students that I helped to run with Fr. John Kavanaugh, SJ.  Its primary aim was to discuss and reflect upon the integration of faith and reason, particularly in the field of philosophy.  In the past, we have gathered every other week to share a potluck supper, followed by discussion of a particular topic.  Last year, among other things, we engaged in some exegesis of the first few chapters of the Book of Revelation, met personally with Dr. William Hurlbut of the President's Council on Bioethics, and discussed cross-cultural perspectives on America.


Biblical Perplexities

The Bible contains several stories in which God's interactions with humans are not what we might expect from an all-good, all-loving God.  How, then, ought these stories to be understood?  In this reading group, which was also convened for the Dominican community at SLU as well as interested graduate students and faculty, the following stories, among others, were studied: Sodom and Gomorrah, God's command to Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, Jacob wrestling God, Jepthah's daughter, Samuel and the Amalekites, and Job.


The Dante and Aquinas Reading Group (Spring 2008)

This reading group was open to the university community and included graduate students, faculty, and members of the Jesuit and Dominican communities at Saint Louis University.  We generally met on a weekly basis. The group read through the entire Divine Comedy and discussed it in light of Aquinas's philosophical theology.


The Thomistic Synthesis

This reading group met on Saturdays from 9:00 am - 11:30 am in Verhaegen Hall 219 in Fall 2010.  It was convened particularly for the Jesuit scholastics at the university, but faculty and students were welcome as well.  We covered the heart of the Thomistic synthesis by following, very roughly, the general outline of his Summa theologiae. The work was divided into four units: (1) God’s attributes, (2) human nature, (3) human knowledge, (4) human excellence: virtues and vices and Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit. 

For links to the readings and a schedule, you can visit the website:

https://sites.google.com/a/slu.edu/thomisticsynthesis/



The Traditio Reading Group (I led this group with Fr. John Foley, S.J.; Fr. Foley is Distinguished Liturgical Theologian and director of SLU's Center for Liturgy.)

The two millenia of the Christian era in the West have resulted in a wealth of work in philosophy and theology. This work is a powerfully important heritage; even in its failures, it has a great deal to teach us. Beginning in Fall 2007, this group (for graduate students and faculty) began studying this material. We began by studying material from the early Christian period (roughly 100-800), and the group has continued (and will continue) to read and discuss a selection of philosophical and theological materials, supplemented with literary and historical texts exemplifying the philosophy and theology of subsequent periods. This group generally met every other week on Saturday evenings.