Mount Faculty Publish Scholarly Books
Two members of the Mount St. Mary’s University faculty have recently published books in theology, one on the role and significance of the saints; the other on the relationship between ancient philosophy and St. Augustine’s account of the Trinity.
Sharing God's Good Company (Eerdmans, 2012)
In his book, Sharing God's Good Company, David Matzko McCarthy, the Fr.James M. Forker Professor of Catholic Social Teaching, explores the role and significance of the saints in Christians' lives today.
While examining the lives of specific saints like Martin de Porres, Thérèse de Lisieux, and Mother Teresa, McCarthy focuses especially on topics such as the veneration of martyrs, realism and hagiography, science and miracles, images and pilgrimage, and why the saints continue to captivate Christians and inspire devotion.
“The saints are part of my life, and I have been thinking about them for a long time — not just personally but also as a theologian,” says McCarthy. “This book is about much more than the communion of saints. Rather, the book provides a vantage point to consider basic philosophical and theological problems.”
Although books about saints abound, Sharing God's Good Company takes a uniquely philosophical and theological approach to the topic. McCarthy believes if
you can have a living relationship to the saints, then a whole host of questions is raised. If saints are real, how do we know what is real and true?
“We are far beyond what we can see and touch. If we have a real relationship to the saints, then we will have to have a plausible account of miracles and history,” McCarthy says. “In other words, the communion of saints provides a place to approach questions about the world and how it works.”
McCarthy is the author or editor of several books, including The Good Life: Genuine Christianity for the Middle Class, Sex and Love in the Home: A Theology of the Household, and Gathered for the Journey: Moral Theology in Catholic Perspective.
Sharing God's Good Company is available for purchase by visiting: http://www.eerdmans.com/Products/6709/sharing-god39s-good-company.aspx
Memory in Augustine's Theological Anthropology (Oxford University Press, 2012)
In her book, Memory in Augustine's Theological Anthropology, Dr. Paige Evelyn Hochschild, assistant professor of theology, depicts Augustine — known as one of Western Christianity’s greatest theologians— as the first thinker in the intellectual tradition to pay extensive attention to the idea of memory as something foundational to what it means to be human.
Hochschild says memory is the least studied dimension of Augustine's psychological trinity of memory-intellect-will, and her book explores the theme of “memory” in Augustine's works, tracing its philosophical and theological significance. It is the first book devoted entirely to this topic in Augustine.
“Many modern thinkers, psychologists and poets think about memory in a kind of conversation with Augustine,” says Hochschild. “It has been a wonderful topic for me to work on, as a theologian with a philosophical background, because it allows me to think about the relationship generally between ancient philosophy and culture, and the early Church.”
Hochschild traces how the Incarnation of God informs and transforms this philosophical questioning about the nature of the human person. Augustine uses memory as a way to reflect on what it means to live in the tension between the ordinariness of temporal, embodied life, and the transcendence afforded by our spiritual nature. The Incarnation of the eternal God, in time, sanctifies this tension through the humility of the Cross.
“For Augustine, the way that we think, the way we know, sense, feel and love, is deeply and profoundly bodily, and this is part of the beauty of the human condition — and perhaps part of the tragedy,” Hochschild says.
Hochschild believes there is a matter of crucial timeliness to this subject matter.
“We live in an age of deep personal dualism — modern people are internally divided, between some core identity … consciousness, mind, soul … and our physical, embodied life,” Hochschild says. “Even those who refuse the existence of some spiritual aspect to the human person simply cannot explain consciousness through physical process.”
Memory in Augustine's Theological Anthropology is available for purchase by visiting: http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/Philosophy/Religion/?view=usa&ci=9780199643028#