5 in 10: Fr. Nicholas Norman-Krause

Today the Brazos Fellows enjoyed class with Fr. Nicholas Norman-Krause, who led our discussion of St. Gregory of Nazianzus’s classic work, Five Theological Orations On God & Christ. Fr. Nicholas is Associate Priest for Campus Ministry at Christ Church, a Ph.D. candidate in Theology and Ethics at Baylor University, and a moral theologian who works on Christian social ethics, political theology, and economics. He serves on the advisory board of Brazos Fellows and is a frequent teacher in our Course of Study.

I sat down with Fr. Nicholas for “Five Questions in Ten Minutes,” and we talked about political theology, what Christians today might need to hear about politics from St. Augustine, the philosopher Stanley Cavell, some new books in theology and ethics that Fr. Nicholas is excited to read, and more. Listen to our conversation here:

Here are links to some of the items we talked about:

Oh Taste and See that the Lord is Good: On Beer and Beatitude

This year, Brazos Fellows is partnering with Pinewood Pub on a series called “Tipsy Orthodoxy.” It’s a simple premise: in-depth theological discussion, in public, while drinking good beer. So far the series has been quite a bit of fun, with conversations on theological readings of Leviticus, Bonaventure’s arguments from ideas about God, and, most recently, our own Fr. Nicholas Krause on Augustine’s political theology.

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We’re excited to announce that the next Tipsy Orthodoxy will feature philosophy professor Tom Ward presenting “Oh Taste and See that the Lord is Good: On Beer and Beatitude.” Here’s what we’ll discuss with Dr. Ward:

‘Good’ is our most general term of approbation. But the goodness of beer is not altogether the same as the goodness of bourbon, and the goodness of neither is the same as the goodness of gin. The Tipsy Orthodox relish these varieties of goodness while recognizing the profound unity of goodness amidst its creaturely diversity. Indeed, the goodness of all good things is a sort of participation in the one Goodness which is God. Recognizing this intimate connection between each and every good thing and the Good can help us order the whole of our lives toward the beatifying love of God to which we are all called. In this talk we will explore the relations between creaturely and divine goodness, drawing on some neglected patristic and medieval resources.

If that sounds interesting, we invite you out to Pinewood on Tuesday, Feb. 18 from 7:00-8:30pm. If you can’t join, the good news is you can get a window into Dr. Ward’s work on this episode of Five Questions in Ten Minutes.

5 in 10: Anne Jeffrey

Today the Brazos Fellows finished our unit on Christianity and society with a discussion of Oliver O’Donovan’s excellent little book, Common Objects of Love: Moral Reflection and the Shaping of Community. (Long-time readers of the blog will remember that in fall 2018 the Brazos Fellows enjoyed a lecture and evening discussion with Prof. O’Donovan.) Our class this morning was led by Dr. Anne Jeffrey, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Baylor. Dr. Jeffrey teaches and writes on metaethics, the virtue tradition of normative ethics, political and legal philosophy, bioethics, and the philosophy of religion. It was a real treat for the fellows to discuss with Dr. Jeffrey a number of interesting questions surrounding moral deliberation and what it means for Christians to live as citizens of both the “city of God” and the “city of man.”

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5 in 10: Tom Ward

Today the Brazos Fellows enjoyed class with guest instructor Dr. Tom Ward, who led us in a great discussion of how we interpret the Bible. Dr. Ward is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Baylor University, where he teaches a number of courses on ancient and medieval philosophy as well as a class on C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. His research explores medieval philosophy—everything from medieval science to speculative theories about God’s existence and nature to the history of “divine ideas,” or the relation between creation and the mind of God.

In our class with Dr. Ward, we looked at the history of biblical interpretation, comparing the ways in which St. Augustine, St. Aquinas, and John Calvin read the Psalms. Dr. Ward mapped how shifts in philosophy, in understandings of reality and the unity of creation–what we might call metaphysics–also changed how Christians interpreted scripture from the medieval to the early modern periods.

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