The Happiness series from the Magis Center is an excellent resource for introducing high school students to the fundamental concepts in philosophy of religion that lie at the foundation of Christian theology. Given the plurality of voices students experience today concerning matters of spiritual and religious significance, the Happiness Series provides an approachable introduction to what lies at root of the spiritual question for human experience in general, and the answer to that question in Christ as revealed through scripture and tradition in particular. The material from Magis Center helps the instructor root the significance of the USCCB curriculum in something all students understand: that happiness is the final end in all of our pursuits in life, and that this end finds its ultimate fulfillment not in our own satisfaction, success, or renowned, but our transcendental relationship with God. By understanding of what lies at the foundation of the Christian tradition’s philosophy of religion through a brief introduction to the philosophy of Plato, Aristotle, and Augustine as introduced through approachable videos, notebooks, and other resources, students are better able to appreciate the significance of the Deposit of Faith as articulating the source of this transcendent happiness as revealed in the person of Christ, handed down by tradition, and lived in faith in the Church today. I highly recommend this material as a supplemental resources to any other texts or materials employed in a high school theology curriculum.
Now, I only used the DVD and workbook, but I learned at the Religious Education Congress in Anaheim that there is also a book that goes along with that materiel as well. I briefly paged through that and would probably recommend the Video for all grades, the workbook for Freshman/Sophomores and the textbook for Juniors/Seniors. As someone trained in philosophy of religion and theology I think that we should incorporate more materials in our theology curriculum that address Classical thinking so that students realize that their own questions are not novel, but in fact find articulation in the history of the Christian faith and the Greek philosophical tradition.
Thank you again for supplying the materials to us, and I look forward to using it in the future.
Matthew Zaro Fisher, PhD
Theology Department Chair