HT 605 Happiness, Poverty and Wealth in the Church Fathers
Spring 2013, Thursday 3:30 – 5:10
Dr. Ann T. Orlando
Prerequisite: Graduate level course in Patristics
Website for class: http://web.mit.edu/aorlando/www/Happiness%20Poverty%20Wealth/
This seminar explores the teachings of the Church Fathers on wealth and poverty, with an understanding that the goal for rich and poor is happiness (blessedness). Homilies and letters from the Church Fathers will form the primary focus of the seminar, supplemented by insights from Peter Brown’s recently published work on wealth in the Church in late antiquity.
The class meets weekly, in a seminar format. The class will be divided into 2 groups; each group will have a short paper due bi-weekly. The beginning of each class will focus on a discussion of the previous week’s readings. All class members are expected to participate in the discussion each week. Following the discussion, a lecture will introduce the next week’s reading and its historical context.
Requirements include class attendance and participation at each class meeting. A short paper (2 pages) analyzing some aspect of the primary readings for the week are due bi-weekly. The final assignment is a homily from each class member using aspects of happiness, wealth and poverty found in the Fathers. The homily should clearly indicate the contemporary audience and circumstance; scripture reading; and influences from Church Fathers.
Brown, Peter. Through the eye of a needle. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2012.
Selected letters and homilies from Church Fathers (see detailed syllabus below)
Compendium of Catholic Social Doctrine
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