A Center for the Retrieval of Christian Wisdom

Protestant Wisdom Capstone Course

Theology of Friendship
Augustine and Aelred of Rievaulx

a five-day deep dive into the logic of Christian love

Davenant Hall Students: If you are pursuing the M.Litt degree, participation in this residential Capstone Course counts for 2 elective credits. 

June 6-10, 2022

Please plan your flight to arrive on the afternoon or evening of June 6th

In John 15 Jesus says that he no longer calls his disciples servants, he calls them friends. When combined with the claim that Jesus himself was the divine logos–that he was in fact God–this would have been scandalous to any educated Greco-Roman audience. Aristotle had made clear in the Nicomachean Ethics and in the Metaphysics that while man might long to become as God, and to become friends with the gods, we would never be able to. The best we can do, from Aristotle’s point of view, is “live by that which is most divine within us” and spend our lives in good philosophical conversation. Yet here Jesus is claiming to be God, claiming to be our friend–yes even offering us the very happiness Aristotle sees but fails to grasp. This failure is not a fault, it is in our nature. Happiness, in the great surprise of history, is a gift God gives us in His Grace not something to be earned through moral or intellectual effort.

In this class we will work through scripture, the 12th-century text of Aelred of Rievaulx De Spirituali Amicitia, and selections of Augustine’s corpus to explore what the Christian reflection on friendship uniquely adds to the conversation about the nature of friendship and its relationship to the meaning of reality and human life which was started by Plato in his cryptic dialogue Lysis over two thousand years ago.


Early Bird Cost: $375 (until April 23)

After April 23: $500

Price includes airport pickup, meals, and lodging.


Dates: June 6-10, 2022

Deadline to register is May 20th.

Taught by Colin Redemer

Colin Chan Redemer is the Vice President of the Davenant Institute as well as one of our Teaching Fellows. Additionally, he is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Saint Mary’s College of California. He loves teaching on the intersection between History, Philosophy, Literature, and Christianity. His writing has appeared in the Englewood Review of Books, Evansville Review, Sojourners Magazine, The Federalist, and the Tampa Review. He lives in community with his wife, kids, and fellow church members, in Oakland, California.