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Heidgerken, Benjamin E.The Christ and the Tempter: Christ's Temptation by the Devil in the Thought of St. Maximus the Confessor and St. Thomas Aquinas
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), University of Dayton, 2015, Theology
This dissertation considers two trajectories of Christian thought about human temptation after the first sin of Adam and Eve and about Christ’s confrontation with the devil in his own temptation, focusing on the embodiment of these trajectories in the thought of Maximus the Confessor and Thomas Aquinas. The first of these trajectories sees fallen human temptation in the framework of an ascetic confrontation with the devil on the battlefield of the human mind, in thoughts and desires. The second of these trajectories see this temptation in the framework of a purely internal division between the flesh and the spirit, expressed as disordered concupiscence (“desire”) or the fomes peccati (the “tinder of sin”). Structurally, the work is divided into two sets of three chapters with an introduction and a conclusion. The introduction reviews modern denials of the devil’s role in Christian theology, defends the place of the devil in Christian theology, considers recent work that relates to the dissertation’s subject matter, and provides a detailed outline of the following chapters. Each set of three chapters (first on Maximus, then on Thomas) is organized according to: (1) sources for the central figure; (2) the anthropological framework for temptation in the thought of the figure; and (3) the Christological application of this framework. The author shows that both Maximus and Thomas conceive of Christ in his temptation as an empowering exemplar who takes on something of the punishment for Adam’s sin in his own temptation by the devil. Though certain disjunctions appear between these thinkers in the course of the study, the conclusion offers constructive suggestions about ways in which the two trajectories might still be compatible. The conclusion also outlines areas for future historical and systematic research concerning Christian traditions of temptation and recommends a retrieval of the earlier trajectory of which Maximus forms a part.

Committee:

Matthew Levering (Advisor); Paul Blowers (Committee Member); Gloria Dodd (Committee Member); Dennis Doyle (Committee Member); William Portier (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Divinity; Ethics; Middle Ages; Psychology; Religion; Theology

Keywords:

Christology; imitatio Christi; theological anthropology; concupiscence; fomes peccati; Thomas Aquinas; Maximus the Confessor; development of doctrine; temptation; devil; demons; Christian demonology; ecumenical theology

Heron, Jason AndrewThe Analogia Communitatis: Leo XIII and the Modern Quest for Fraternity
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), University of Dayton, 2016, Theology
This dissertation examines the social magisterium of Pope Leo XIII as it is developed in the aftermath of the French Revolution and during the nationalizing process of the liberal Italian state. The thesis of the dissertation is that Leo XIII provides Catholic social teaching with a proper vision of human relationship as a mode of analogical participation in the Lord’s goodness. In his own historical context, Leo’s analogical vision of social relations is developed in tension with the nation-state’s proposal of political citizenship as the social relation that relativizes every other relation – most especially one’s ecclesial relation. In our own context, Leo’s analogical vision of social relations stands in tension with the late-modern proposal of consumerism as the social reality that relativizes every other relation – including one’s matrimonial, familial, social, and ecclesial relations.

Committee:

Kelly Johnson, Ph.D. (Advisor); Russell Hittinger, Ph.D. (Committee Member); William Portier, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Jana Bennett, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Michael Carter, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

History; Philosophy; Religious History; Social Structure; Theology

Keywords:

Catholic Social Teaching; social theory; political theory; citizenship; nationalism; consumerism; 19th century Catholicism; social Catholicism; Leo XIII; modern papal teaching; Catholic social magisterium; theological anthropology; social anthropology

Peters, Danielle M.ECCE EDUCATRIX TUA: The Role of the Blessed Virgin Mary for a Pedagogy of Holiness in the Thought of John Paul II and Father Joseph Kentenich
Doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D.), University of Dayton, 2008, IMRI Theology

The dissertation of 761 pages takes its bearing from the Apostolic Letter Novo millennio ineunte (NMI) in which John Paul II outlined the path the Church is to adopt in the newest epoch. At stake is the “necessity to rediscover the full practical significance of Chapter 5 of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, dedicated to the universal call to holiness (NMI 30). To meet this challenge, John Paul II stressed that a concrete “pedagogy of holiness” is required, which above all must include a “spiritual path” without which “external structures … will serve very little purpose (NMI 43).” The Polish Pontiff invited all ecclesial movements to present their original pedagogy of holiness (cf. NMI 31). The author of this dissertation responds to this challenge by highlighting the task of the Blessed Virgin Mary as educator in a pedagogy of holiness both in the teachings of John Paul II and of Father Joseph Kentenich, founder of the Schoenstatt Movement.

The dissertation consists of two parts with a concluding chapter comparing John Paul II’s considerations with those of Father Kentenich. Part I focuses on Pope John Paul II’s concept of holiness and the task of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the process of education towards human perfection. The topic is developed in six chapters: (1) Pope John Paul II’s notion of the Human Person’s call to Human Fulfillment and Holiness; (2) Wojtyla’s Philosophical Anthropology in “The Acting Person;” (3) the Pope’s Theological Anthropology; (4) his concept of Holiness; (5) his Marian Teaching and (6) John Paul II’s Contribution to a Pedagogy of Holiness. Part II concentrates on Father Joseph Kentenich’ quest for the New Person called to holiness. Parallel to part I the topic is structured in six chapters: (1) Father J. Kentenich as a Pioneer of a Pedagogy of Sanctity; (2) his Theological Anthropology in view of his Pedagogy of Holiness; (3) his Concept of Holiness; (4) his Mariology; (5) his notion of Mary as Educator and (6) Mary as Educator of Holiness in the Schoenstatt Tradition.

The final chapter highlights in 3 steps the commonalities and distinctive accents of Paul II’s pastoral vision for the third millennium and the spiritual thrust on which Father J. Kentenich founded the Schoenstatt Work: (1) Anthropological Foundations for a Pedagogy of Holiness; (2) Holiness - Fulfillment of the Human Person; (3) Mary - Model and Mother of the Human Person called to Holiness. The thesis concludes by addressing perspectives of further development in the pastoral field.

Committee:

Johann Roten, G (Committee Chair); Bertrand Buby, A (Committee Member); Luigi Gambero (Other); Robert Hughes (Committee Member); Thomas Thompson, A (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Education; Educational Psychology; Philosophy; Theology

Keywords:

Blessed Virgin Mary; John Paul II; Joseph Kentenich; Pedagogy of Holiness; Third Millennium; The Acting Person; Theological Anthropology; Schoenstatt;