Renard Lecture

2014 Henry J. Renard, S.J. Endowed Lecture in Philosophy

Thursday, February 20, 2014
Skutt Student Center Ballroom East

"Not My Will But Thy Will Be Done: Eckhart and Aquinas on the Problem of Suffering"
By Dr. Eleanor Stump, Saint Louis University

We care about two kinds of things, our own objective flourishing and also those things that are the subjective desires of our hearts. Suffering arises when something impedes or removes either of these things of things that we care about. Consequently, as many thinkers in different cultures and times have pointed out, human suffering arises because of human desire. And so it can seem that, to avoid suffering, a person ought to give up desiring what she herself wants and will only to accept whatever happens. In this condition, it seems that she is also willing what God wills. But, in the Christian tradition, there are radically different understandings of willing what God wills and so also radically different approaches to suffering. In this paper, I examine the very different views of Eckhart and Aquinas, and I argue that Aquinas's approach to willing what God wills yields a much better approach to suffering than Eckhart's.

The Rev. Henri J. Renard S.J. Endowed Lecture Series

The lecture series is named to honor the Rev. Henri J. Renard, S.J. (1894-1981), a respected and loved professor of philosophy at Creighton University during the years 1947-1969.  Fr. Renard received his bachelor's and master's degrees from St. Louis University, his Doctor of Philosophy degree from the Institute of Philosophy and Theology of Posillipo, Italy, and his Doctor of Sacred Theology degree from the Gregorian University at Rome, Italy.  Many Creighton students have used philosophy books authored by Fr. Renard as they pursued the traditional sequence of philosophy courses within the philosophical system of St. Thomas Aquinas.  

Fr. Renard was a philosopher, an author, a musician, a retreat master, a lover of art, a spiritual director, and a teacher.  At his funeral Fr. Renard's nephew, Fr. John Renard, S.J., summed up his life in this way:  "Henri knew he had received much and he refused to bury his gifts.  He refined them, enjoyed them, and spread that enjoyment around as one who believed in the Incarnation."

The lectures are free and open to the public.
Lectures are funded by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Renard Lecture Endowment

Previous Renard Lectures

2013    "Metaphysical Reflection and the Prospect of Objectivity"  Barry Stroud, University of California, Berkeley

2012    "Tom Paine and the Capitalist Origins of Social Insurance"  Elizabeth Anderson, University of Michigan

2011    "Why Does Irony Matter"   Jonathan Lear, University of Chicago

2010    "Is the Ontological Argument Worthless?  A Neoclassical Theistic Response"   Daniel Dombrowski, University of Seattle

2009    "Autonomy and Its Burdens"    John McDowell, University of Pittsburgh

2008    "Honest(um) to Goodness: Ethics, Morals, and Human Nature"    Calvin Normore, University of California at Los Angeles 

2007    "Responsibility Within Relationship"    Stephen Darwall, University of Michigan

2006    "Change and the Victorians: Charles Darwin and John Henry Newman"    Michael Ruse, Florida State University at Tallahassee

2005    "Bourgeois Philosophy? On the Problem of Leading a Free Life"    Robert Pippin, University of Chicago  

2004    "Ancient Eudaimonism: 'Nobility' as the Motive for Moral Action"    John W. Cooper, Princeton University

2003    "Modernity and Moral Authority, or Why Study the History of Ethics Anyway?"    Jerome B. Schneewind, The Johns Hopkins University

2002    "Injustice and Animals"    Cora Diamond, University of Virginia

2001    "Science, Literature, and the 'Literature of Science'"    Susan Haack, University of Miami

2000    "Secession and the Human Scale of Political Order"    Donald W. Livingston, Emory University

1999    "Should Virtue Make You Happy?"    Julia E. Annas, University of Arizona

1998    "Feminist Internationalism: The Role of Religion"    Martha Craven Nussbaum, University of Chicago

1997    "Gender, Race and Difference: Individual Consideration vs. Group-Based Affirmative Action"    Alison M. Jaggar, University of Colorado

1996    "The Diary and the Map: Sartre and Foucault on Reason in History"    Thomas R. Flynn, Emory University

1995    "Meaningful Lives in a Meaningless World"    Susan Wolf, Johns Hopkins University

1994    "Memoria in Memoriam: Freud and Derrida on Memory and Mourning"    David Farrell Krell, DePaul University

1993    "Theological Uses of Postmodern Philosophy"    Nancey Murphy, Fuller Theological Seminary

1992    "Subjects, Power, and Knowledge: New Challenges to the Philosophy of Science"    Helen Longino, Rice University

1991    "Living in an Ambiguous World"    Terence Penelhum, University of Calgary

1990    "Moving between Places: Narrating the Journey"    Edward S. Casey, State University of New York at Stony Brook

1989    "Human Minds, Languages, and Essences"    G.E.M. Anscombe, Cambridge University

1988    "Directions in Contemporary Philosophy: Hermeneutics, Deconstruction, and Beyond"    John D. Caputo, Villanova University

1987    "The Cosmic Drama: Why God Has a World"    Charles Hartshorne, University of Texas at Austin

1986    "Change in Science"    Ernan McMullin, University of Notre Dame

1985    "Literature and Morality: The John Gardner Debate"    William Gass, Washington University

1984    "The Kantian Version of Liberalism"    Mary J. Gregor, San Diego State University

1983    "The Artful Philosopher"    Ralph M. McInerny, University of Notre Dame

1982    "Romantic Love"    Robert C. Solomon, University of Texas

1981    "The Saint as Philosophical Type"    Albert William Levi, Washington University