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September 22, 2020 at 7:30 PM - 8:45 PM EDT


How do we understand God actually somehow communicating to us via the Bible? This course looks at Augustine, a 4th century North African scholar and bishop, widely considered to be the greatest published Christian intellect of the first thousand years of church history. He grappled with many of the same puzzles contemporary readers of the Bible face: how should we read or interpret it? Does everyone have their own interpretation? Does God speak “literally” in the Bible? What is the role of the Spirit in the process of reading? Augustine is not the church’s first interpreter of the Bible. But he is the first to formalize his interpretation into a method that could be taught and learned by others. Augustine’s careful reading of Scripture led him to think in new ways not just about the nature and limits of language, but to the very nature of inner spiritual journey, the sinful human condition, the need for Christian political thought, and the usefulness of pagan philosophy and literature. Much of the western liberal arts tradition has its roots here in this great thinker. Our short readings (max. 15 pgs / week) will lead us through Augustine’s reading of the Bible to understand his context and reflect on the wisdom it provides in our own age.  


Course Dates: 

Tuesday September 22nd, 7:30pm-8:45pm

  • Conditions permitting, we hope to do this in person on the outdoor patio space at Chesterton House (115 The Knoll). ****While Cornell remains in the yellow zone, space will be limited to the first 10 undergraduate student registrants.

All subsequent sessions will be Zoom meetings. Non-Cornell students are welcome to attend. Cornell students will have priority in discussions.

Tuesday September 29th, 7:30pm-8:45pm

Tuesday October 6th, 7:30pm-8:45pm

Tuesday October 13th, 7:30pm-8:45pm

Tuesday October 20th, 7:30pm-8:45pm

Tuesday October 27th, 7:30pm-8:45pm

Chesterton House Painting