Holiness and Scholastic Philosophy (MT22)

Location: OCHS Library
Speaker: Professor Gavin Flood FBA
Date: October 13, 2022
Time: 2.00pm – 3.00pm
Lectures: A Phenomenology of Holiness:

These lectures will inquire into what we mean by ‘holiness’ by focussing on discussion in Phenomenology and Hermeneutics. This is not a theological inquiry but an anthropological and philosophical inquiry that seeks to argue for the necessity of understanding human life in terms of holiness and for understanding holiness in terms of human life.

Lecture 1: Holiness and Scholastic Philosophy

To begin our inquiry and to begin to develop a phenomenology of holiness, we need some sense of context and the history of what is at stake, who has been concerned about the question and why. In this opening lecture I wish to focus on history through a question that will emerge as central to a phenomenology of holiness, namely what is the intellectual object of a phenomenology of holiness and the related question as to the being of holiness, whether it can be understood analogically or univocally? These issues go back a long way into medieval Scholasticism. The question has been traditionally couched in terms of natural and supernatural knowledge, concerning whether God is an object of the intellect, and whether the intellect can know God either naturally through Philosophy or supernaturally through Theology. This is not an entirely arcane debate as the category of the holy mutates out of this discussion into a philosophical discourse and thence into a methodological discussion in the science of religion about its object. We will pay particular attention to Duns Scotus.