UD in Review – Classes and Books

A few weeks ago I finished my last class at UD and moved out of Holy Trinity Seminary. In August, I’ll move to Houston and begin studies at St. Mary’s Seminary. It was a fantastic two years and I am incredibly grateful for the education I received. I don’t talk about classes too much, simply because I’m reading and learning so much I would have no idea how to compress it all down and tell you anything intelligible. That said, intellectual formation is a major part of priestly formation, so I’ll branch out of my normal style and, for those interested, drop a list of all the classes I’ve taken, the major texts we read, and the titles of essays I wrote (that I could find). If you like lists of books, this one is for you.

Some notes: As a Pre-Theology student, every class except Bioethics and American Civilization was set for me. Because I already have a BBA, I only take the philosophy classes and don’t take any general core curriculum. Everyone has to take language classes – Spanish if you don’t speak it, or Latin/Greek/Hebrew if you already know Spanish. My three years of Spanish in HS didn’t get me to the fluent stage, so I took 3 semesters here (and still have lots of work to do). Lastly, many of the classes used similar core texts but explored them from different angles. Hence the repeats.

I’ll repeat what I said at the beginning of this process – UD has given me a greatly deepened appreciation for the liberal arts. Coming in, I really thought philosophy was going to be a bunch of people on tripping on drugs and making up wild stories. I very quickly learned how wrong that perception. Philosophy is really about wonder – looking at the normal things of life, taking a step back and logically asking “why?” or “what?” It’s these questions that, whether we realize it or not, passively undergird any national policy discussions, interpretation of art and media, and simple dinner time conversations.

While I can’t claim to have read all of each book on this list, I can honestly say that I read most. They ranged from paint-dripping boring to very enjoyable.I bolded few of my favorites. No real methodology and far from comprehensive. I just picked a few that I even non-philosophy students could learn from. So without further ado, here’s a long list of books. Needless to say, I moved out with a lot more boxes than I started with:

Semester 1

Philosophy of the Human Person

Mind and Cosmos – Thomas Nagel
Phaedo – Plato
De Anima – Aristotle
Confessions – Augustine*****
Meditations on First Philosophy – Descartes
Love and Dignity of Human Life – Robert Spaemann*****
E Surrender to Truth  (On Augustine and JP2)
E Life and Personhood (On Aristotle, Descartes, and Spaeman

Understanding the Bible
Dei Verbum
Understanding the Old Testament – Boadt
E Exodus and the Hardening of Pharaoh’s Heart

Fides et Ratio – John Paul 2
Socratic Logic – Peter Kreeft*****
On the Principles of Nature – Aquinas
On the Essence of Law – Aquinas
Analysis of the Verb ‘ To Use’ – Karol Wojiyla
What is Catholic Liberal Education – ICLE

Philosophy and the Ethical Life
The Republic – Plato
Nicomachean Ethics – Aristotle
The Ends of Man (Summa) – Aquinas
Groundwork for the Metaphysic of Morals – Kant
E Justice is Harmony (On Plato’s Republic)

Semester 2

Western Theological Tradition
Early Christian Fathers –  Richardson
Confessions – Augustine
Summa Theologica (5 ways) – Aquinas
The Protestant Reformation – Hillerbrand
E On Jesus in the Creed of Constantinople (Christology)

Ancient to Medieval Philosophy
An Intro to Ancient Philosophy – Armstrong
God, Philosophy, Universities – MacIntyre*****
Medieval Philosophy – Marenbon
Timaeus – Plato
Categories,  Metaphysics, Nicomachean Ethics, Posterior Analytics Aristotle
Ennead – Plotinus
Summa – Aquinas

Philosophy of Being
The Philosophical Act – Pieper*****
Categories, Metaphysics – Aristotle
Theatetus – Plato
On Being and Essence – Aquinas
Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics – Kant
Being and Time, What is Metaphysics – Heidegger
Contingency, Irony, Solidarity – Rorty
E The Recursion of Wonder (Pieper and Plato)

Toward a More Natural Science – Kass
Catholic Bioethics and the Gift of Human Life – May***
Cases in Bioethics – Crigger
Dependent Rational Animals – MacIntyre
The Teleological Grammar of the Moral Act – Long
The Moral Challenge of Modern Science – Levin*****
E On the Morality of In Vitro Fertilization

Semester 3

Medieval to Modern Philosophy
The Division and Method of the Sciences – Aquinas
Philosophical Writings – Ockham
Scientific Background to Modern Philosophy
Philosophy of 16th and 17th Centuries
Meditations on First Philosophy – Descartes
Discourse on Method – Descartes

Systematic Theology I
The Meaning of Tradition – Congar
Models of Revelation – Dulles
Man’s Search For Meaning – Frankl
The God of Jesus Christ – Kasper
Introduction to Christianity – Ratzinger*****
The Drama of Atheistic Humanism – de Lubac
E Magisterium as Organ of Tradition

Euthyphro; Protagoras – Plato
Nicomachean Ethics – Aristotle
Summa – Aquinas
An Enquiry Concerning  the Principles of Morals – Hume
Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals – Kant
Utilitarianism – Mill
Genealogy of Morality – Nietzsche
The Acting Person – Wojtyla
A Right of Self‐Termination? – Velleman
E Aquinas and Aristotle on Man’s Ends
E On the Ethics of Running a Stoplight (Aquinas, Mill, Kant)

American Civilization I (Audit)

Semester 4

Systematic Theology II
Summa – Aquinas
E On Christ’s Knowledge

Philosophy of God
The God of Faith and Reason – Sokolowski
Confessions – Augustine
Summa Contra Gentiles Bk 1 – Aquinas
Thinking About God – Davies
Problem of Pain – Lewis*****
Regensburg Address – Benedict XVI
E Confession Project (In style of Augustine)
E Is God Necessary for Morality? (In style of Aquinas)

Modern to Postmodern Philosophy
Ethics – Spinoza
Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding – Hume
Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics; What is Enlightenment? – Kant
Absolute Freedom and Terror – Hegel
Fear and Trembling – Kierkegaard
On Truth and Lies in a Non-Moral Sense; Madman; Beyond Good and Evil – Nietzsche
The Question Concerning Technology – Hiedegger
Nietzsche, Genealogy, History; What is Enlightenment? – Foucalt
E God is Dead: What Now? – On Nietzsche

An Introduction to Early Greek Thoughts (Parmenides) – Robinson
Laches; Phaedo; Republic – Plato
De Anima – Aristotle
De Veritate; Summa Q79,84-88 – Aquinas
Meditations – Descartes
Essay Concerning Human Understanding – Hume
Prolegomena – Kant
The One and the Many – Clarke
Thomist Realism and the Critique of Knowledge – Gilson
E On Knowledge in the Ancient Greek World
E Beginnings of Skepticism (Descartes, Hume, Gilson)

To balance out this workload, summer is far removed from the classroom. I’m currently at the Institute for Priestly Formation at Creighton, Nebraska focusing exclusively on building my spiritual life – my daily communion with God. Beginning tomorrow I will be participating in an 8-day silent retreat. I’ll be totally disconnected, praying 4 directed hours a day and creating a space in which God can speak to my heart. Your prayers would be much appreciated. I’m sure I’ll have lots to say when it’s finished.

One thought on “UD in Review – Classes and Books

  1. My brain imploded a little looking at that list. 🙂 Keeping you in my prayers on the next step on your journey.


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