Continuing with our Master Seminar Series, the AMU Graduate Theology Programs invited Dr. Matthew Levering, the James N. and Mary D. Perry, Jr. Chair of Theology at The University of St. Mary of the Lake to lead us in Seminars over the weekend. These seminars are exciting opportunities for Graduate Students and Faculty to engage with notable scholars on a wide variety of questions. For the Seminar with Dr. Levering he decided to lead us through sections of upcoming books of his.
The first seminar tackled the question of dying. In particular, Dr. Levering brought together the thoughts of contemporary theologian Brant Pitre, together with Thomas Aquinas on Jesus’ dying and ours. Fundamentally, however, Levering’s presentation was about the question of why suffering and dying must continue today, if Jesus has abolished death (2Tim 1:10). In short, Levering’s consideration of the question, bringing to bear insights of Pitre, Aquinas and others, points to humility as the answer. Dying forces us humbly to rely on God.
The second seminar focused on the virtue of temperance, and in particular chastity. Once again, in order thoroughly to wrestle with the question, Levering brings contemporary theologians into conversation with Aquinas in order to search for a fruitful understanding of the matter. In particular, Levering wanted to show that, in agreement with Catholic ethicist Joseph Sellling, the most important lens for Christian Ethics is the inauguration of the kingdom of God, still there is an indisputable legal dimension that cannot be cast aside.
After the first seminar, students were able to meet with Dr. Levering in an informal context at the wine and cheese gathering. Additionally, several students were able to join him for lunch, thus helping to build up relationships between current and future theologians of the Church, as well as between the institutions.