Thomas Joseph White - December 2015 Meeting Topic

My research for the project will focus on diverse understandings of the relationship between truth and authentic human happiness, comparing figures like Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Friedrich Nietzsche and Karl Barth. A key question that I will focus on in diverse presentations and essays will be the relationship between the human search for theoretical truth about reality and human flourishing or well-being. Particularly, to what extent does the human search for truth create natural "space" or openness to religious questions? Or why not? Inversely, in what ways does traditional Christian theology seek to hold us accountable philosophically regarding the possibility of a religious dimension of the human person? Or does it? At the heart of this set of inquiries I'll be concerned to explore the contemporary significance of Aquinas' understanding of the relationship between nature and grace, which has a number of interesting subtleties touching directly on these questions.