Reflections on my dissertation

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Reflections on my dissertation

I think back to those years when, after a pleasant period at the Freisinger Hochschule, I began teaching at the University of Bonn. That was inin the days of the old university made up of ordinary professors.

The various chairs had neither assistants nor secretaries, but in recompense there was much direct contact with students and in particular among the professors themselves.

We would meet before and after lessons in the rooms of the teaching staff. There was a lively exchange with historians, philosophers, philologists and, naturally, between the two theological faculties. Once a semester there was a dies academicus, when professors from every faculty appeared before the students of the entire university, making possible a genuine experience of universitas - something that you too, Magnificent Rector, just mentioned - the experience, in other words, of the fact that despite our specializations which at times make it difficult to communicate with each other, we made up a whole, working in everything on the basis of a single rationality with its various aspects and sharing responsibility for the right use of reason - this reality became a lived experience.

The university was also very proud of its two theological faculties. It was clear that, by inquiring about the reasonableness of faith, they too carried out a work which is necessarily part of the "whole" of the universitas scientiarum, even if not everyone could share the faith which theologians seek to correlate with reason as a whole.

Reflections on my dissertation

This profound sense of coherence within the universe of reason was not troubled, even when it was once reported that a colleague had said there was something odd about our university: That even in the face of such radical scepticism it is still necessary and reasonable to raise the question of God through the use of reason, and to do so in the context of the tradition of the Christian faith: It is not my intention to discuss this question in the present lecture; here I would like to discuss only one point - itself rather marginal to the dialogue as a whole - which, in the context of the issue of "faith and reason", I found interesting and which can serve as the starting-point for my reflections on this issue.

The emperor must have known that surah 2, reads: According to some of the experts, this is probably one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat.

But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur'an, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the "Book" and the "infidels", he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness, a brusqueness that we find unacceptable, on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul.

Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident.

But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazm went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us.

Were it God's will, we would even have to practise idolatry.

Reflections on my dissertation

Is the conviction that acting unreasonably contradicts God's nature merely a Greek idea, or is it always and intrinsically true? I believe that here we can see the profound harmony between what is Greek in the best sense of the word and the biblical understanding of faith in God.

Modifying the first verse of the Book of Genesis, the first verse of the whole Bible, John began the prologue of his Gospel with the words: This is the very word used by the emperor: Logos means both reason and word - a reason which is creative and capable of self-communication, precisely as reason.

John thus spoke the final word on the biblical concept of God, and in this word all the often toilsome and tortuous threads of biblical faith find their culmination and synthesis.

In the beginning was the logos, and the logos is God, says the Evangelist. The encounter between the Biblical message and Greek thought did not happen by chance.

The vision of Saint Paul, who saw the roads to Asia barred and in a dream saw a Macedonian man plead with him: In point of fact, this rapprochement had been going on for some time. The mysterious name of God, revealed from the burning bush, a name which separates this God from all other divinities with their many names and simply asserts being, "I am", already presents a challenge to the notion of myth, to which Socrates' attempt to vanquish and transcend myth stands in close analogy.

This new understanding of God is accompanied by a kind of enlightenment, which finds stark expression in the mockery of gods who are merely the work of human hands cf.An essay has been defined in a variety of ways.

One definition is a "prose composition with a focused subject of discussion" or a "long, systematic discourse". It . President Mark Labberton talks about why the seminary has decided to sell the campus and move to Pomona.

September (Orals passed through Autumn '17) Download the Dissertation Topic List in pdf format.. Presented below are the research topics that Ph.D students in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University are currently engaged in.

An essay has been defined in a variety of ways. One definition is a "prose composition with a focused subject of discussion" or a "long, systematic discourse".

It . A DISSERTATION ON THE ORIGIN AND FOUNDATION OF THE INEQUALITY OF MANKIND. IT is of man that I have to speak; and the question I am investigating shows me that it is to men that I must address myself: for questions of this sort are not asked by those who are afraid to honour truth.

I shall then confidently uphold the cause of humanity before the wise men who invite me to do so, and shall .

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