Index to (Re-)reading Saint Augustine’s “Confessions”: A 30-day Meditation!

Index to (Re-)reading Saint Augustine’s “Confessions”: A 30-day Meditation!

I created an index for the 30 days of our (re-)reading of Saint Augustine’s Confessions and meditating upon his life, and his ideas and understandings of God. At the link, you will have access to the individual title  and theme associating with each reading and reflection for all the past 30 days. Beginning in September, we will read again (for me it is a rereading; perhaps, for some of you, it will be a new reading.  I will post a daily reflection or meditation on this text) through Saint Augustine’s masterpiece, The City of God. I hope you have enjoyed the spiritual and intellectual journey through The Confessions.

St Augustine2

Day 1: Nothing in God Dies!

Day 2: God, the Most Beautiful One and the Most Present One

Day 3: You Made us for Thyself: We Rest in Thee

Day 4: God, the Infinite Life and the Infinite Being, is One and the Same!

Day 5:  Honoring and Glorifying God through Reading and Writing, and Thinking and Scholarship

Day 6: Human Beings Cannot Hide Away from God, the Most Glorious One

Day 7: The Holy Scriptures are Better than the Prose of Cicero!

Day 8: God, the Immutable One, is the Life of souls, and the Life of lives

Day 9: Man’s Mind is Not Supreme!

Day 10: God, the Everlasting Good, and our True Strength

Day 11: In Quest for a Clearer Vision of You and and the Truth

Day 12: The Joy from Faith and Shallow Happiness

Day 13: No one is Better than God, the Incorruptible One

Day 14: Christ, the Perfect Man, and the Wisdom of God

Day 15: His Conversion

Day 16: Writing about God as Vocation

Day 17: In praise of the godly Mother

Day 18: On Jesus Christ as the Immortal and Eternal Word and Truth of God

Day 19: What was God doing before he made the heavens and the earth?

Day 20: God and Time, and the Natural World

Day 21: The Past and the Future Do Not Exist!

Day 22: God, the Most Majestic and the Most Beautiful One!

Day 23: Toward the Quest for True Happiness and Joy, and Truth

Day 24: The God Who Makes both Men and Women Feel Special!

Day 25: The Literary and Analogical Trinity of God

Day 26: The God who Commands: He is the Common Good of all

Day 27: Creation and the Creator

Day 28: God and the Power of Human Memory

Day 29: Representational Hermeneutics: The Spiritual Truths Revealed in the Created Order

Day 30: God, Grant us Rest and Peace!

A Reading List on Western Philosophy and Christian Philosophy and Apologetics

A Reading List on Western Philosophy and Christian Philosophy and Apologetics

 by Celucien L. Joseph, PhD

Below, I recommend some of the most influential works in the history of Western philosophy, American philosophy, as well as Christian philosophy and apologetics. The list below is not meant to be exhaustive. For example, it does not deal with classical philosophy (with the exception of three to four titles on the list ); rather, the emphasis is on modern thought or history of ideas. I do not, for example, include works by African and Caribbean philosophers. I hope you will find the selected works helpful and meaningful to your own personal philosophical and spiritual growth and intellectual progress.

*** I wrote this post as a response to various inquiries I received from individuals and students who are passionate about the life of the mind and also from those would like to be well-versed in both Western Philosophy and Christian philosophy.

  1. Western Philosophy
  • A New History of Western Philosophy by Anthony Kenny
  • The History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell
  • Why I Am Not a Christian by Bertrand Russell
  • The Great Philosophers: An Introduction to Western Philosophy by Bryan Magee
  • A Brief History of Thought by Luc Ferry
  • The Enfranchisement of Women by Harriet Taylor Mill
  • Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison by Michel Foucault
  • The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences by Michel Foucault
  • The Archaeology of Knowledge: And the Discourse on Language by Michel Foucault
  • Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
  • Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
  • Two Treatises of Government by John Locke
  • An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
  • Some Thoughts Concerning Education by John Locke
  • Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
  • Critique of Judgment by Immanuel Kant
  • The Metaphysics of Morals by Immanuel Kant
  • Phenomenology of Spirit by W. F. Hegel
  • Beyond Good And Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche
  • The Birth of Tragedy by Friedrich Nietzsche
  • The Gay Science by Friedrich Nietzsche
  • On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo by Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Existentialism Is a Humanism by Jean-Paul Sartre
  • A Treatise of Human Nature by David Hume
  • An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals by David Hume
  • The History Of England by David Hume
  • Civilization and its Discontents by Sigmund Freud
  • Eichmann in Jerusalem by Hannah Arendt
  • The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt
  • Intention by G.E.M Anscombe
  • Modern Moral Philosophy by G.E.M Anscombe
  • Truth and Method by Hans-Georg Gadamer
  • Introduction to Philosophical Hermeneutics by Jean Grondin
  • The Hermeneutic Tradition: From Ast to Ricoeur
  • Structuralism: An Introduction by Robert Scholes
  • The Concept of Dread by Søren Kierkegaard
  • The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
  • Capital: Volume 1: A Critique of Political Economy by Karl Marx
  • On Liberty and the Subjection of Women by John Stuart Mill
  • Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill
  • A Discourse on Inequality by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • Philosophical Investigations by Ludwig Wittgenstein
  • On Certainty by Ludwig Wittgenstein
  • The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
  • The Ethics of Ambiguity by Simone de Beauvoir
  • Virtues and Vices by Philippa Foot
  • The Passion of the Western Mind by Richard Tarnas
  • Ethics in the Real World by Peter Singer
  • Animal Liberation: A New Ethics for our Treatment of Animals by Peter Singer
  • Practical Ethics by Peter Singer
  • Famine, Affluence, & Morality by Peter Singer
  • Atheism: The Case Against God by George H. Smith
  • The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
  • God is not Great Christopher Hitchens
  • The Portable Atheist by Christopher Hitchens
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft

2. American Philosophy

  •  Nature and Other Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Essays: First and Second Series by Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • The Will to Believe and Other Popular Essays by William James
  • The Varieties of Religious Beliefs by William James
  • Human Nature and Conduct by John Dewey
  • Experience and Nature by John Dewey
  •  The Public and its Problems by John Dewey
  • The Quest for Certainty by John Dewey
  •  The Soul of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois
  • Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature by Richard Rorty
  • Consequences of Pragmatism by Richard Rorty
  • Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity by Richard Rorty.
  • The American Evasion of Philosophy: A Genealogy of Pragmatism by Cornel West
  • Existentia Africana: Understanding Africana Existential Thought by Lewis R. Gordon
  • Women, Culture & Politics by Angela Y. Davis
  • Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics by bell hooks
  • Ain’t I a Woman?: Black Women and Feminism by bell hooks
  • Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education by Martha Craven Nussbaum
  • Love’s knowledge: essays on philosophy and literature by Martha Craven Nussbaum
  • Sex & social justice by Martha Craven Nussbaum
  • On Race and Philosophy by Lucius Outlaw
  • Philosophy Born of Struggle: An Anthology of Afro-American Philosophy From 1917 by Harris Leonard
  • In My Father’s House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture by Kwame Anthony Appiah
  • Existence in Black: An Anthology of Black Existential Philosophy by Lewis Gordon
  • African-American Philosophers: 17 Conversations by George Yancy
  • In a Different Voice by Carol Gilligan
  • Visible Identities: Race, Gender and the Self by Linda Martín Alcoff
  • The Age of Atheists: How We Have Sought to Live Since the Death of God by Peter Watson
  • The Evolution of God by Robert Wright
  • The Moral Landscape: How Evolution Can Determine Human Values by Sam Harris
  • The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris
  • Breaking the Spell by Daniel C. Dennett

 

3. Christian Philosophy and Apologetics

  • City of God by Augustine of Hippo
  • Confessions by Augustine of Hippo
  • On Religion or The Christian Faith by Friedrich Schleiermacher
  • Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
  • The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis
  • The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
  • Warranted Christian Belief by Alvin Plantinga
  • God, Freedom, and Evil by Alvin Plantinga
  • The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton
  • Foolishness to the Greeks by Lesslie Newbigin
  • Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity by J.P. Moreland
  • A History of Western Philosophy and Theology by John Frame
  • Our Reasonable Faith by Herman Bavinck
  • Philosophy and the Christian Faith by Thomas V. Morris
  • Philosophical Foundations For A Christian Worldview by J. P. Moreland and William Lane Craig
  • Introduction to Philosophy: A Christian Perspective by Norman L. Geisler
  • Practice in Christianity by Søren Kierkegaard
  • The Christian God by Richard Swinburne
  • Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics by William Lane Craig
  • Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig
  • The Reason for God by Tim Keller
  • Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith by Douglas Groothius
  • How (Not) To Be Secular by James K. A. Smith
  • Love Your God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul by J.P. Moreland
  • Against the Flow: The Inspiration of Daniel in an Age of Relativism by John C. Lennox
  • Fool’s Talk: Recovery The Art of Christian Persuasion by Os Guiness
  • Renaissance by Os Guinness
  • Can Man Live Without God by Ravi Zacharias
  • The Kingdom of God Is Within You by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog by James W. Sire
  • The Francis A. Schaeffer Trilogy: The 3 Essential Books in 1 Volume/the God Who Is There/Escape from Reason/He Is There and He Is Not Silent by Francis A. Schaeffer
  • The Postmodern World: Discerning the Times and the Spirit of Our Age by Millard J. Erickson
  • Truth or Consequences: The Promise and Perils of Postmodernism
  • God in the Wasteland: The Reality of Truth in a World of Fading Dreams by David F. Wells
  • When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties by Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe
  • Thant’s Just Your Interpretation: Responding to Skeptics Who Challenge Your Faith by Paul Copan
  • Foolishness to the Greeks and the Gospel and Western Culture by Lesslie Newbigin
  • Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity by Nancy Pearcey
  • The Passionate Intellect: Christian Faith and the Discipleship of the Mind by Alister McGrath
  • Christ and Culture Revisited by D. A. Carson
  • The Intolerance of Tolerance by D.A. Carson
  • The Gagging of God by D.A. Carson
  • How Shall We Live? Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey

 

New Baptisms!

The church (“L’église Chrétienne de vie et d’espérance de Bois “/ “Christian church of life and hope of Bois d’eau”) we helped to establish in Bois d’eau, Port Margot (Haiti) married three couples who were living in cohabitation. We paid for the wedding and took charge of the reception. We also baptized five new members in our one year anniversary. We would like to share with you photos from both events and the great work God is doing in this city.

Please continue praying for Pastor Odelyn Olivier, the senior pastor of the church, and the people at the church, for spiritual strength and growth, as well as resources. Please also pray for the preschool we are starting in September 2019.

Click on the link below to view the photos of the Baptism ceremony :

https://www.facebook.com/pg/Hopefortodayoutreachhaiti/posts/?ref=page_internal

 

 

 

Updates: Hope Academy de Bois d’eau (Port-Margot, Haiti )

Updates: Hope Academy de Bois d’eau (Port-Margot, Haiti 🇭🇹)

The three boxes that contain the school supplies for the students and the classroom items are ready to be shipped today to Haiti 🇭🇹.

Click on the link below to access photos via our Facebook page

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Click on the link below to access other photos via our Facebook page:

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“Some Updates about the Haiti’s Preschool and Kindergarten Project”

We just purchased the school supplies for the amazing 25 children of “Hope Academy de Bois d’eau,” Port-Margot, Haiti. Allow me to show you in just a minute…

Hope For Today Outreach would like to thank everyone for your generous gifts toward the preschool/Kindergarten project in Haiti 🇭🇹.

We still need to raise more funds to buy food for the students ( to feed them 5 days a week when they come to school) to pay the teachers and staff. Personally, I can’t wait to meet every child who is going to attend “Hope Academy de Bois d’eau,” beginning in September 2019.

#SupporteducationinHaiti
#TeachourchildrenforanewHaiti
#Education&transformation

Mission and Vision Statements Modified

We modified the mission and vision of Hope for Today Outreach (HTO)

Hope for Today Outreach (HTO) is a Christian faith-based and non-profit organization that takes a holistic approach to sustainable development and human flourishing so we can empower the poor, the marginalized, and the economically-disadvantaged individuals and families. To achieve this goal, HTO invests in various (social) development projects and works in the areas of poverty, education, health, water and sanitation, agriculture and food, trade training, leadership, church renovation, spiritual formation, etc. We primarily serve families in the impoverished area of Port-Margot, Haiti to contribute to the Region’s development and growth, and human flourishing.

We maintain that showing compassion to and helping the poor, the needy, the homeless, and the imprisoned is an integral part of the Biblical story of God’s restoration of humanity and the goods news Jesus preached.

 

“Hope for Today Outreach’s Six Major Projects for Rural Haiti 🇭🇹: Toward Sustaining Development and Human Flourishing”

1. Establish fully funded (and free) schools (Preschool to High School) with arts programs, pre-vocational programs, medical clinics/facilities, and clean and sanitary water projects in Haiti’s poorest rural areas–10 schools per department;

***Haiti is divided in 10 Departments or Provinces, including Artibonite,
Centre, Ouest, Nord, Grand’Anse, Sud
Nippes, Nord-Est, Nord-Ouest, and Sud-Est.

2. Create literacy programs for illiterate Haitian adults in the most empoverished areas in the country: 10 literacy centres per department;

3. Establish vocational/professional schools with programs such as carpentry, plumbing, electricity, refrigeration, masonry, barber, culinary arts, etc., in 10 most needing rural areas in the country;

4. Create religious programs and theological schools to provide decolonial spiritual formation and training and to promote postcolonial hermeneutics and indigenous ecclesiastical practices: we’ll need 10 major centres: one per department;

5. Create Community libraries and community-activity centers: we’ll need 10 of those per department in rural regions in the country;

6. Create Teacher Education Programs & Leadership Schools in rural Haiti: we’ll need 10 centres per department

How to fund these programs and projects:

A. Through the development of Haiti’s agriculture and natural resources;

B. By soliciting assistance from Haitian professionals in the Diaspora to invest in these projects;

C. By establishing scholarship funds and grants;

D. By soliciting Haiti’s wealthy class and rich private sector to invest in these projects;

E. By promoting (and selling) Hope for Today Outreach’s intellectual resources such as books, cds, teaching materials such as seminars and workshops on leadership, health, and education, etc.

F. By encouraging generous and humanitarian individuals and families to add Hope for Today Outreach to their living wills, trusts, and estates.

***We are making the first step in realizing a small portion of our goals. In September 2019, Hope Academy de Bois d’eau, located in the rural area of Bois d’eau, Port Margot, will start running with 25 students. In the next five years, our goal is to start a medical clinic and provide sanitary and clean water to the population there.

Our motto is “to remember the poor.”

 

–Dr. Celucien L. Joseph, President

Update: First Day of Class at Hope Academy de Bois d’eau (Port Margot, Haiti)

Update: First Day of Class at Hope Academy de Bois d’eau (Port Margot, Haiti)

Hello, Friends: Today (Monday, September 16, 2019) was the first day of class for these amazing and talended Haitian boys and girls at Hope Academy de Bois d’eau. It’s both a joy and delight to see this collective dream of ours is being realized. I truly believe that education is one of the important vehicles to transform a country (Haiti) and help prepare the Haitian youth to become engaged and responsible citizens who will contribute to the common good and human flourishing in the Haitian society. In the context of Haiti, an engaged pedagogy is the most promising tool of decolonization and reconstitution of the (Haitian) mind toward a sustaining community and an effective and strong nation. Investing in education is to foster hope in life and impute optimism in human interactions and relationships; correspondingly, to invest in people and their future is to lead to the good life and the good community we all envision and covet.That is what we hope to accomplish at Hope Academy de Bois d’eau.

The photos below of these haitian boys and girls attending their very first day of class brought tears to my eyes. I just can’t believe what’s happening today. The staff of Hope Academy de Bois d’eau and Hope for Today Outreach (HTO) and the parents of these little ones would like to thank you for all the support you have provided to make this dream a reality.

We continue to count on your collective support and the cooperating efforts of various communities so that the students and (their) families at Hope Academy de Bois d’eau could fulfill their their dreams and goals in Haiti 🇭🇹 as well as the mission of HTO: (1) holistic and sustainable development, (2) improved and better human conditions (i.e. economic, political, cultural), and (3) strong civil and political societies in Haiti.

 

Click on the link below to view photos via our Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FHopefortodayoutreachhaiti%2Fposts%2F2466972616872304&width=500

 

Peace and Blessings,

Celucien Louis Joseph, PhD

President and Founder
Hope for Today Outreach

“Extreme Poverty in Rural Haiti”

“Extreme Poverty in Rural Haiti”

I’ve been taking frequent trips to Haiti since 1995; usually, I visit Haiti two to three times a year. It hit me very hard this year when I recently went to Haiti early in January. The good team from Hope for Today Outreach and I visited about 130 homes distributing hygienic items to Haitian peasant families in a remote area (i.e. mountain) in Grande Rivière. The human condition is inhumane and quite depressing in that rural area. The level of suffering has grown over the years and touched every aspect of (peasant) life. The level of poverty that I witnessed in that area is disheartening and problematic.

I met a lady who is the mother of five children. Her husband was not home at that time. The family lives in extreme poverty. She and I share the same last name. About five years ago, she lost her home to a tragic rainfall. Her house was totally destroyed by the rain.

As a result, she and her husband relocated to the new area where I met her. She is renting her current home for $ 1500 Haitian dollars annually, which is equivalent to $ 80 U.S. dollars, annually. She is is unable to pay her rent and several months behind.The current home she is renting is made of mud, wood, and palm trees. It’s a tiny 2 bedrooms. The wall in one bedroom is severely damaged and collapsed. She has no beds inside the house; all the five children sleep on the hard floor in the tiny living room. There’s no toilet or kitchen. Some of her children were wearing very torn clothes, and the little girls had no underwear on. Folks, this is extreme poverty!

 

“Redefining Poverty and what It Means to be Human”

1. Being poor does not mean you are not intelligent and can’t contribute to human flourishing.
2. Being poor does not mean you can’t have big dreams and lofty goals, and that you have nothing constructive to contribute to society.
3. Being poor does not mean you can’t become somebody great in life and does not have a (political) voice.
4. Being poor does not mean you can’t beat the odds of life and overcome all the unfortunate circumstances in your life.
5. Being poor does not mean you are linguistically deficient and psychologically unfit for society and upward mobility.
6. Being poor does not mean you are not a person and does not have dignity.
7. Being poor does not mean you should allow people to mistreat and disrespect you just because you are poor.
8. Being poor does not mean you’re a hopeless individual and that your life has no meaning.
9. Being poor does not mean you are not beautifully and unwanted.
10. Being poor does not mean God is done with you.

Grace and peace!

Dr. Celucien L. Joseph

 

 

Haiti Impact Trip (January 16-21, 2020): Port Margot and Grande Rivière du Nord

Haiti Impact Trip (January 16-21, 2020): Port Margot and Grande Rivière du Nord–with the Hope For Today Outreach Team

Brief Report:

–Thursday, January 16: Left Miami Airport for Haiti

— Friday, January 17: The Team drove from Cap-Haitian to Port Margot.

— Saturday, January 18: Port-Margot: Dr. Joseph offered a seminar on the theology and philosophy of christian education. It was attended by pastors, Sunday school teachers, and lay people. About 160 individuals were in attendance. We distributed a free copy of the Creole translation of Dr. Joseph’s new book, ” The New Life Catechism” and the accompanying audio book to the pastors and Christian educators.

— Sunday, January 19: Port-Margot: At the Eglize Chrétienne de foi et d’esperance at Bois d’eau, Dr. Joseph and Pastor Olivier, the senior pastor, baptized four young people ( three young men and one young woman) on Sunday morning. Dr. Joseph delivered the morning sermon on “Planting the good seed for the growth of the church and the glory of God.” The church celebrated its first Harvest Feast (fèt mwason). The event was well attended by the people in the community, and special guests included the Mayor of the City of Port Margot and Board Members of the Association of Motorcycle Riders.

On Sunday afternoon, the church organized the final match for the soccer tournament for the young people in the community. What an amazing game and skilled players! It was well attended by the people in the community. It was a great time of fellowship, community-building, and friendship.

— Monday, January 20: the Hope for Today Outreach Team went to a remote aea in Grande Rivière for servant evangelism. They distributed hygienic items to about 130 families/houses.

–Tuesday, January 21: End of the Trip

*** Below, we share pictures with you from the trip.

Grace and Peace!

HTO Team

 

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