This unit examines medieval accounts of the soul and body, and the relationship between cognition, emotions and values in selected medieval scholastic thinkers. It investigates two strategies used by medieval thinkers to uphold the transcendent dignity of the human person and the claim that humans are made in the image of God. The first strategy (exemplified by Albert the Great and Aquinas) was to argue for the immateriality and immortality of the soul on the basis of the powers of the intellect. The second strategy (exemplified by Henry of Ghent and the Franciscans) focused on the will rather than the intellect and argued that the image of God in human nature is the radical freedom of the human will – that is, the human ability to love freely. The unit will also consider the relation of debates on these topics to characterisations of thinkers as voluntarists and rationalists, and our understanding of the relation between faith and reason.

Unit Code: AP3123C

Points: 18.0

Unit Level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit Discipline: Philosophy

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning Outcomes


Read the selected primary texts carefully in relation to their purpose and historical context, and articulate a comprehension of them


Outline the scholastic positions found in the texts;


Explain and evaluate the theories, terminology and arguments studied in the unit;


Situate the material studied in relation to the wider framework of the Christian philosophical tradition (e.g. faith and reason, voluntarism and rationalism)

Unit sequence

Two units of philosophy at second level




Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)

Option 1: 1 x 5000 word essay (100%) End of Semester

Option 2:
1 x 3000 word essay (60%) End of Semester 1 x 2000 word essay (40%) Week 12

0 100.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 1 Nov, 2015

Unit Record last updated: 2019-02-01 14:26:00 +1100