Just back from teaching my Catholicism classes: lots of questions on Christology and Soteriology today, with the first class getting more bogged down in the Gospels themselves and continuing to ask lots of "proof for belief" sorts of questions, although they came up with an interesting train of conversation on the soteriology of Temple Judaism providing the ground for the Christian soteriology of the Theology of the Cross. The second class asked a lot more on the soteriological end, with questions about Anselm's argument in Cur Deus Homo? and what's called "satisfaction" theory. There I had to highlight how it's the picture of God that you have that makes that theology make sense or not: if you envision God as a fussy person quibbling about something "offending his honour," then, no, it sounds unworthy. If it's (rightly) understood with the idea that God is Ultimate Reality itself: that God is Goodness, Justice, Love, Life, Energy itself, and that "offending God's honour" is about sin being a violation of the goodness of reality itself, which in justice needs to be answered, then Anselm becomes more clear and interesting. There was also some interesting talk on how and why Liberation Theology develops in its time as both Christology and soteriology, not that Christianity didn't always have political/ethical implications, but that now – like the Second Vatican Council trying to tell all believers that they, not the bishops alone, were the Church, and that modern education and competence required the laity to step up – perhaps it was a matter of scale, that Liberation Theology arises because the populace now has to take accountability for the political order they live in; that because of the greater competence of the laity, non-resistance to political evils could become tacit collaboration, and an even more consequential evil than (possibly revolutionary) political action. I don't know if I have ever heard that idea articulated before, as I did it tonight to one of the students, so maybe that's an idea I'll have to revisit professionally.
Had a fun but too brief ride home this evening on the streetcar, talking with Ginger, a newish Assistant Professor in Philosophy about the class she's teaching on "Philosophy of Psychopathology." Her interests overlap with some of Kevin's, and so it was interesting to hear her talk about questions like "what constitutes mental illness, as opposed to some kind of mental 'difference'?" and the like. It reminded me of my and Kevin's long conversations on how you would a priori distinguish between delusion and someone having authentic mystical visions, presuming there are such things. So that was interesting, if quick, and maybe I'll hear more on that later.