Words of Wisdom
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245 pages
English

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Description

Like their predecessors throughout the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have emphasized the importance of philosophy in the Catholic intellectual tradition. In his encyclical Fides et ratio (1998), John Paul II called on philosophers “to have the courage to recover, in the flow of an enduringly valid philosophical tradition, the range of authentic wisdom and truth.” Where the late pope spoke of an “enduringly valid tradition,” Jacques Maritain and other Thomists often have referred to the “perennial tradition” or to “perennial philosophy.” Words of Wisdom responds to John Paul's call for the development of this tradition with a much-needed dictionary of terms.

As a resource for students in colleges, universities, and seminaries, as well as for teachers of the perennial tradition and interested general readers, Words of Wisdom occupies a unique place. It offers precise, yet clear and understandable accounts of well over a thousand key philosophical terms, richly cross-referenced. It also explains significant terms from other philosophical movements with which Thomism (and the Catholic intellectual tradition more generally) has engaged—either through debate or through judicious and creative incorporation. Moreover, it identifies a number of theological and doctrinal expressions to which perennial philosophy has contributed. Finally, it provides a comprehensive bibliography of works by Aquinas in English, expositions and discussions of perennial themes, and representative examples from the writings of all philosophers and theologians mentioned in dictionary entries.


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Publié par
Date de parution 16 janvier 2012
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780268076931
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,2450€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

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Words of Wisdom
A Philosophical Dictionary for the Perennial Tradition

John W. Carlson
University of Notre Dame Press
Notre Dame, Indiana
Copyright 2012 by University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Indiana 46556
www.undpress.nd.edu
All Rights Reserved
Manufactured in the United States of America
E-ISBN: 978-0-268-07693-1
This e-Book was converted from the original source file by a third-party vendor. Readers who notice any formatting, textual, or readability issues are encouraged to contact the publisher at ebooks@nd.edu
To Chris Carlson
and
To the memory of Mo Carlson

Happy is the husband of a good wife ;
the number of his days will be doubled .
(Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 26:1)
I believe that those philosophers who wish to respond today to the demands which the word of God makes on human thinking should develop their thought … in organic continuity with the great tradition which, beginning with the ancients, passes through the Fathers of the Church and the masters of Scholasticism and includes the fundamental achievements of modern and contemporary thought.
A particular place in this long development belongs to St. Thomas…. In an age when Christian thinkers were rediscovering the treasures of ancient philosophy, and more particularly of Aristotle, Thomas had the great merit of giving pride of place to the harmony which exists between faith and reason.
I appeal also to philosophers , and to all teachers of philosophy , asking them to have the courage to recover, in the flow of an enduringly valid philosophical tradition, the range of authentic wisdom and truth.
—John Paul II, Fides et ratio
CONTENTS
Acknowledgments
Introduction
The Nature of This Dictionary
Selection and Internal Structure of Entries A
N --> B
O --> C
P --> D
Q --> E
R --> F
S --> G
T --> H
U --> I
V --> J
W --> K
X --> L
Y --> M
Z --> A N B O C P D Q E R F S G T H U I V J W K X L Y M Z -->
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Bibliography
Works by St. Thomas Aquinas in English
Recent Commentaries and Elaborations on Perennial Themes
Works by Other Authors Cited in This Dictionary
List of Entries
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The idea for this philosophical dictionary grew out of efforts, over a period of years, to give my students accurate and nuanced accounts of the terminology of the perennial tradition. Thus, many young people contributed to the project—more so than most of them realized—through their prodding and their insistence on clarity.
At an early stage, Words of Wisdom was presented at a 2005 conference sponsored by the Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame. I appreciate the support of the Center’s Director, W. David Solomon, as well as that of the participants who attended my session and offered their insights and encouragement.
The following scholars graciously read, in whole or in large part, versions of this dictionary, and they made many valuable suggestions: John Trapani, V. Bradley Lewis, John C. Cahalan, and David R. Foster. Two readers for the University of Notre Dame Press reviewed the penultimate manuscript; their comments also led to significant improvements.
Deficiencies that remain in Words of Wisdom are, of course, the author’s responsibility.
Special mention should be made of the editorial, production, and marketing staff at the University of Notre Dame Press. In particular, I wish to thank Senior Acquiring Editor Charles Van Hof, who quickly recognized the potential significance of my project and guided it through the approval process; and Assistant Editor Elizabeth Sain, whose careful attention to textual details helped produce what we all hope will be a useful volume.
This work is dedicated to two extraordinary women who have shared key portions of my adult life: Mo Donovan Carlson and Chris Heaston Carlson. The former shared the early years, was the mother of my dear children, and—even in the midst of devastating illness—was an unfailing source of inspiration and good cheer. The latter shares my mature years, during which time the present project has been conceived and (due in no small part to her patience and support) carried out. She too, for all who know her, inspires and brings good cheer. To a man thus twice blessed, the words of Ecclesiasticus/Sirach take on special meaning: my days, and my happiness, indeed have been doubled.
Omaha, Nebraska
May 2011
INTRODUCTION
The Nature of This Dictionary
The present volume offers students and other interested readers a dictionary of philosophical terms. Its distinctiveness lies, in part, in its being shaped by the understanding of rational reflection—and of wisdom—expressed in John Paul II’s Fides et ratio . 1 This dictionary focuses on terms central to what the encyclical called the “enduringly valid philosophical tradition” ( Fides et ratio , #106). Although he was careful to note that the Catholic Church does not tie itself to any particular “school” of philosophy, it is clear—both from his own philosophical writings and from remarks in the encyclical itself—that John Paul II (as well as his predecessors throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries) accorded a special place to the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. 2
Aquinas’s thought itself of course stood within a broader tradition—one that John Paul II sometimes called simply the “great tradition” (see, e.g., Fides et ratio , #85). The latter might be characterized more fully, following an expression of Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J., as the tradition of “integral Christian wisdom.” This approach to wisdom, wrote Cardinal Dulles, “draws on the full resources of reason and revelation alike.” 3
Where John Paul II spoke of a philosophical tradition that is “enduringly valid,” many Thomists (i.e., thinkers who adopt the central concepts and principles of St. Thomas) have spoken of one that is “perennial.” Jacques Maritain, for example, described the latter as a tradition which, although rooted in ancient and medieval sources, nonetheless “is eternally young and always inventive, and involves a fundamental need, inherent in its very being, to grow and renew itself” in every age. 4
There are many signs that a renewal of this perennial tradition now in fact is under way. 5 If the full fruits of this movement are to be reaped—especially as these fruits were contemplated by John Paul II—two points need to be borne in mind. First, throughout most of its history, this tradition has drawn from and contributed to a wider body of Christian reflection. And so it often does today. In discussing what he calls a contemporary “Thomistic renaissance,” Aidan Nichols, O.P., notes that a “distinguishing feature of the new movement” is its “desire to integrate the philosophy more thoroughly within an essentially theological vision.” 6 Second, in addition to being true to its sources, a revitalization of this enduringly valid philosophy requires engagement with various elements of contemporary intellectual culture. This includes awareness of movements of thought that are fundamentally incompatible with the perennial tradition; it also includes efforts to incorporate into the tradition recent philosophical themes and approaches of genuine value. (As is well known, John Paul II, under his given name Karol Wojtyla, himself was especially interested in incorporating insights of the 20th-century movements called phenomenology and personalism.)
Putting these various lines of reflection together, John Paul II remarked in a key passage in Fides et ratio that “philosophers who wish to respond today to the demands which the word of God [i.e., Christian revelation] makes on human thinking should develop their thought … in organic continuity with the great tradition which, beginning with the ancients, passes through the Fathers of the Church and the masters of Scholasticism and includes the fundamental achievements of modern and contemporary thought” (#85). He also noted that, within this “great tradition,” the work of Aquinas occupies a special place (although not a point of final completion): “In an age when Christian thinkers were rediscovering the treasures of ancient philosophy, and more particularly of Aristotle, Thomas had the great merit of giving pride of place to the harmony which exists between faith and reason”—and to ways in which reason, when properly attuned to reality, can make substantive contributions to this harmony. Thus “the Church has been justified in consistently proposing St. Thomas” as a “master” of Christian wisdom and a “model” for other thinkers to follow (#43).
In accordance with the above, this dictionary seeks—through the exposition, discussion, and noting of relations among terms—to contribute to the ongoing renewal of the perennial philosophy, 7 as well as the broader tradition of integral Christian wisdom in which it has flourished; as a structured wordbook, it seeks especially to help make an understanding of the terminology of this tradition available to students.
In order to specify this project further, let us situate it within the overall genre of the specialized dictionary.
Among materials developed to facilitate student learning, as well as scholarly activity,

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