Athens and Jerusalem - Reason and Revelation
This six-part series, exploring all three Jerusalem faith traditions from the Socratic philosophical perspective focuses on the questions: What does it mean to be good at being human... To live the best human life?
Readings in the Series:
Genesis 1-3 and Leo Strauss - On the Interpretation of Genesis
Papal Encyclical - Fides et Ratio and Thomas Aquinas on natural law
Maimonides - Guide for the Perplexed, Creation and the Eternity of the Universe
Al Ghazali - The Incoherence of the Philosophers - Discussion 3 and Averroes - Decisive Treatise
Leo Strauss - Mutual Influence of Theology and Philosophy
Listen to the Series Seminars Below:
"I think, Socrates, as perhaps you do yourself, that it is either impossible or very difficult to acquire clear knowledge about these matters in this life. And yet he is a weakling who does not test in every way what is said about them and persevere until he is worn out by studying them on every side. For he must do one of two things; either he must learn or discover the truth about these matters, or if that is impossible, he must take whatever human doctrine is best and hardest to disprove and, embarking upon it as upon a raft, sail upon it through life in the midst of dangers, unless he can sail upon some stronger vessel, some divine revelation, and make his voyage more safely and securely." - Phaedo, 85C-D
Aristotle, Ethics Books I-III; Descartes, Meditations Concerning First Philosophy; Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding; Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals; Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil; Camus, The Stranger; Sartre, No Exit and The Flies; Sartre, Existentialism is a Humanism
Foundations of Our Republic
Declaration of Independence, The Articles of Confederation, selected Federalist Papers, selected Anti-Federalist Papers, the U.S. Constitution, selections from Democracy in American, Dred Scott Decision and Dissenting View (edited), selected Lincoln speeches, Lincoln Douglass Debates (edited), Plessy v. Ferguson and Dissenting View (edited), Brown v. Board of Education, Letter from Birmingham Jail, Proposed Equal Rights Amendment, UN Declaration of Human Rights
Seneca, On the Happy Life; Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics; Gospel of St. Matthew, Sermon on the Mount and The Beatitudes; Augustine, The Happy Life; Julien La Mettrie, Man a Machine; Bentham, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation; Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents; Bertrand Russell, Conquest of Happiness; Kringelbach and Berridge, The Neurobiology of Pleasure and Happiness; Steven Pinker, How the Mind Works.
Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus; The Bible, The Book of Job; Epictetus, The Handbook.
Law and Conscience
Sophocles, Antigone; Plato, Apology and Crito; Lincoln, pre-civil war speeches.
Plato, Symposium; Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (Bk. 8 and 9 edited); Augustine, Sermon on Love; Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil (Natural History of Morals); C.S. Lewis, Four Loves; Euripides, Hippolytus; Shakespeare, Othello; Sigrid Undset, Gunnar’s Daughter; Dostoevsky, A Gentle Creature; Ibsen, A Doll’s House.
Morality and Human Action
Sophocles, Oedipus Rex; Aristotle, Ethics; Flannery O’Connor, The Lame Shall Enter First.
Origin for Knowledge
Plato, Meno; Aristotle, Posterior Analytics; Descartes, Discourse on Method.
Tyranny and Justice
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar; Aquinas, On Kingship and Summa Theologiae; Machiavelli, The Prince.