AAI will occasionally organize a reading group for faculty and post-graduate students.
Below is a review of the books we have covered and recommend.
We meet in the evenings on a weekly or bi-weekly basis in our offices on 14 Arrow Street in Cambridge. If you are interested in organizing a Reading Group please contact director@AAICambridge.org.
Jacques Maritain, Integral Humanism: Temporal and Spiritual Problems of a New Christendom
Maritain discusses major political issues such as the relation of freedom and religion, the opposition of democracy to any form of totalitarianism, the relation of the spiritual and the temporal, the need for an integral and Christian humanism, and the prospects for a new Christian civilization, all in opposition to the materialism of both communism and capitalism.
Rene Guenon, The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times
The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times is René Guénon’s most prophetic work, which only becomes more relevant with each passing year. Having seen his telling analysis of Western culture, The Crisis of the Modern World, swiftly overtaken by events, Guénon based this his final and most profound critique squarely on changeless metaphysical principles. But to unite social criticism with metaphysics is to beget eschatology, and so, whereas in Crisis Guénon foresaw the end of Western civilization, in Reign he presents us with the end of a vaster world-age, or Manvantara, that began before the dawn of history as we know it.
Bernard Lonergan, Method in Theology
Method in Theology stands, with Insight, as Bernard Lonergan's most important work. It is Lonergan's answer to those who would argue that in this time of cultural change and dissolution the believer is afloat on a sea of multiplying theologies, without rudder or compass. Lonergan was resolute in his refusal to be defeatist on this point. While agreeing that theology must continually change to mediate between religion and culture, he worked out an integral method to guide and control this ongoing process.
Stratford Caldecott, The Radiance of Being
he Radiance of Being offers nothing less than a portrayal of the full glory of Catholic tradition. From an initial engagement with the insights of the natural sciences emerges a spiritual vision of the metaphysical depth and dimension of mystery to the cosmos, allowing the reader's mind to awaken to the coherence, beauty, intensity of life, and depth of structure of the natural world--the holiness of creation and all contained therein.
Teilhard de Chardin, The Future of Man
Teilhard is often regarded as a controversial figure in 20th century Catholic thought. Indeed, he was prohibited from publishing a number of writings during his lifetime. Of late, however, he has seen something of a renewal and acceptance. Pope Benedict wrote glowingly of him and incorporated several of his ideas. Pope Francis in his first encyclical Laudato Si also referred to many of Teilhard's ideas.
Teilhard was a Jesuit who was also trained as geologist and paleontologist. His work was an attempt to create a synthesis between Catholic theology and evolution. In his synthesis, he developed a theory of evolution as ever increasing complexity - physically, cognitively, and spiritually.
In this reading group, we will use "The Future of Man", which is a collection of essays, as our entrance into Teilhard's thought.