Thursday, September 30, 2010

Phoenix Institute mission statement/Oxford 2001

The following is from my notes

Phoenix Institute Mission statement:

"To foster a common quest for truth leading to personal and social commitment by understanding, affirming and promoting, the transcendent values of civilization through education, friendship and leadership". (Phoenix Institute homepage)

"This three-week course studies from the perspectives of literature, philosophy, theology, law and politics, and history aspects of modernist-postmodernist thought. In today's technological and information society, where knowledge is fragmented, where regard for reason and truth diminished, and where utilitarian, materialistic and amoral world-views prevail, the transcendent goods of human dignity, justice, and freedom are threatened by reductionist philosophical anthropology, by a deepened sense of alienation, and by increased cynicism about the value of existing social and political institutions. This course examines ideas for renewing culture and for restoring value to transcendent human goods in a modern-postmodern society through the restoration of philosophical realism and the revival and application of fundamental spiritual and ethical principles." (Description of the Oxford program 2001)

2001/Phoenix Institute--schedule

Phoenix Institute: Summer 2001/Oxford

What follows was our summer schedule.
16 July Christine Fletcher. Nothing New Under the Sun: the Origins of Postmodern Philosophy
16 July Dr. Elaine Sternberg, London School of Economics. Just Business
17 July Dr. AOJ Cockshut, fellow, University of Oxford. The Myth of Progress
17 July Bruce Griffin, DPhil candidate, Oxford. Outlines of Postmodernism
18 July Dr. AOJ Cockshut, fellow, University of Oxford. The English Anti-Catholic Tradition
19 July Bruce Griffin, DPhil candidate, Oxford. Wisdom and Natural Law in Ancient Christianity
20 July Dr. Joseph Pappin III, University of South Carolina. Burke and Democracy
20 July Joseph Pearce, Ave Maria College. The Christian Literary Revival in the
20th Century
23 July Dr Peter Hodgson, University of Oxford. The Christian Origins of Science
23 July Dr Helen Watt, DPhil, Oxford. Introducing Medical Ethics
24 July Dr Peter Hodgson, University of Oxford. Cosmology and Theology
25 July Peter Garrett, BA, Oxford. Human Cloning Lecture & Workshop
26 July Professor John Rist, University of Cambridge. Contemporary Anglo-American Moral Philosophy
27 July Lynette Burrows, journalist. Truth, Media and the Zeitgeist
28 July Christine Fletcher. Natural Law Philosophy in the Writings of Dorothy L Sayers
30 July Rev Michael Bourdeaux, Keston College. Church and State in Russia Today
31 July Prof. Marilyn Butler, University of Oxford. Further Thoughts on Frankenstein
1 August Fr. Ian Ker. Newman & Critique of Enlightenment Rationalism
Newman and Prison of Self
2 August Dr. A V C Schmidt,University of Oxford. David Jones and Culture
3 August Walter Hooper, former chaplain, Oxford. The Poison of Subjectivism

Notes: I don't have Christine Fletcher's cv from 2001, but she currently teaches theology at Benedictine University in the US. The Phoenix Institute put together a quite remarkable collection of lecturers that summer: Ian Ker was and is the world's leading authority on Newman. Joseph Pappin III was one of the leading American authorities on the conservative thinker Edmund Burke. Walter Hooper was the leading authority on CS Lewis. Peter Hodgson was professor of physics at Oxford, and a specialist on the relationship between Christianity and science. John Rist was a gifted philosopher from the University of Cambridge. Cockshut, Schmidt, and Butler were all professors of literature at Oxford, Butler being the head of her college. The speaker whom the students rated highest was Peter Garrett, who had done his undergraduate degree at Oxford, and was one of the key people in the Labour party's pro-life movement. Elaine Sternberg was specialist in business ethics who had done her Ph.D at the London School of Economics, and had taught there as a Fulbright Fellow. Helen Watt is one of the leading British bioethicists. Michael Bourdeaux was awarded the Templeton Prize in 1984 for his defence of religious liberty behind the Iron Curtain.

Christine O'Donnell at Oxford

In the summer of 2001, I was the tutor for Christine O'Donnell at the Phoenix Institute, which was based at Brasenose College at the University of Oxford.  In light of the recent controversy over her time there, I will be posting information from that summer, as well as from some later events.