The Taser's Edge

Forming Faith in Aquinas’s Treatise on the Virtues

As I finished up my paper for Happiness, Virtue, and the Life of Friendship this week, I really felt like it was a pile of crap.  What was supposed to be a close reading of the second half of Thomas Aquinas’ Treatise on the Virtues became not quite that.  What it did seem to become is a little bit interesting (possibly more evidence that I didn’t follow the assignment):

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Tuesday Reading Roundup, Week 6

1. Night by Elie Wiesel–As I told Holly last night, I’m not quite sure why I haven’t read this yet.  It’s so short and so good that I read most of it in one sitting last night.  I also have to admit that I thought it was an autobiographical novel and not a memoir.  You’ll notice, as I did, that this is the only non-Christian book I’m reading this week.  That’s part of the reason that I chose to pick it up.  Of course, it still has to do with religion.

2. Great Lent: Journey to Pascha by Alexander Schmemann–Yes, I have started it.  And you will start seeing quotes from it in about a week or so.  I think I’m going to post something Lent-y each week (Wednesdays, maybe?) during Lent.

3. De Trinitate by St. Augustine–Okay, I only have to read chapters 5 and 6.  But, as much as I want to hate Augustine (and I’m not sure why, but perhaps sex and predestination), I love the guy.  I do think, however, (pretentious alert) that he could use some work on his understanding of the Spirit.  Give me more, Augustine, please.

4. Generation to Generation by Edwin H. Friedman–Such a fantastic and wise man.  Tomorrow I’ll give you a lengthy quote to chew on.  Having read less than half of this book, I would recommend it to almost anyone half-interested in psychology, counseling, or their personal interactions with their families.

5. Treatise on the Virtues by St. Thomas Aquinas–Got to love him.  So much brain grinding.  So much grace of God working.

Honorable mention: The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 3 by Neil Gaiman–I put this on here because I doubt I’ll be able to stay away from it this week.  Even though Vol. 1 was much better than Vol. 2, I’m still going to give this an honest try.  The chances of it being read are also helped by the fact that I somehow (!?!?!?!) finished all my school readings for this week today.

Tuesday Reading Roundup

It’s here again already??  I really do want to write my loving audience something interesting, but as some of you predicted, the weight of the semester is affecting both the quality and the quantity of my updates.  Perhaps I just need lower standards.  Perhaps you’re thinking I already do have lower standards.

1. A Bit on the Side by William Trevor–Still plunking away, although I’m not actually sure that I read a page of it last week.  Tonight as I think on it, I am reminded of another amazing short story writer–John Updike.  Pay him tribute not by reading his novels (they are truly not his best work, despite what people may tell you) but by reading Pigeon Feathers, one of his earliest (if not the earliest) short story collections.

2. The Augustine Catechism: The Enchiridion on Faith, Hope, and Charity by St. Augustine–I hereby predict that this is not going to get the read or write-up it deserves.  Despite many successive weeks of good intentions, Hauerwas’ class keeps receiving less reading and writing time than it demands.  (The jury is still out on the question of how much time it deserves.)  What is cool about this book is that Augustine wrote it because a layperson asked him to.  Apparently, according to this book’s introduction, he was always really good about that.  Busy bishoping away (a job he didn’t want) and then he would give up what little free time he did have set aside for the studies he loved in order to help out normal Christians with their faith.  Name a bishop today who has the time or inclination to do that.  I hope there is one.

3. Church Dogmatics by Karl Barth–Yes, I have to have the whole thing read by Wednesday.  Seriously, I am just now taking a break from writing a paper on his theology of marriage, contained in III/4 but drawing on some of his anthropology in III/2.  Good to know that spiritual monogamy is possible within outward polygamy.  Gracias, Karlos.

I’m sorry, but that might just be it.  I guess I just had to clean up a bunch of my reading for this week yesterday.