Monday, February 03, 2014

Answering the questions 'May a Man Marry a Man?' and 'Who am I?' in the Middle Ages

May a Man Marry a Man? A Medieval Debate 

Charles J. Reid, a Professor at the University of St.Thomas and writer on religious issues for the Huffington Post, recently posted May a Man Marry a Man? A Medieval Debate, which takes look at how medieval writers approached the issue of same-sex marriage. The surprising thing, notes Professor Reid, is that they actually talked about this issue. He begins by referencing the work of Henry of Segusio, better known as Hostiensis, a 13th century canon law expert, who penned the question: "May a man marry a man?"

The answer was an emphatic no, and would remain so throughout the Middle Ages. Reid does it find interesting that many of the arguments against same-sex marriage that were first written over 800 years ago remain prominent today.

Click here to read his article.

Thomas Aquinas – Toward a Deeper Sense of Self

Therese Scarpelli Cory has written a very insightful piece on the Cambridge University Press blog on Thomas Aquinas – Toward a Deeper Sense of Self. It explores how St. Thomas Aquinas might approach the question 'Who am I?' and introduces us to Cory's new book Aquinas on Human Self-Knowledge. She writes:

"It’s a common scholarly myth that early modern philosophers (starting with Descartes) invented the idea of the human being as a “self” or “subject.” My book tries to dispel that myth, showing that like philosophers and neuroscientists today, medieval thinkers were just as curious about why the mind is so intimately familiar, and yet so inaccessible, to itself. (In fact, long before Freud, medieval Latin and Islamic thinkers were speculating about a subconscious, inaccessible realm in the mind.) The more we study the medieval period, the clearer it becomes that inquiry into the self does not start with Descartes’ “I think, therefore I am.” Rather, Descartes was taking sides in a debate about self-knowledge that had already begun in the thirteenth century and earlier."

Click here to read her blog post