Fides et Ratio*

Module Level

8

Assessment

Essay: 40%, End of Semester Exam: 60%

Module Aims

  • To explore Pope Saint John Paul encyclical letter, Fides et Ratio. Written in 1998 it is acknowledged to be one of the most important of Church documents examining the complementarity of faith and reason.
  • To reflect on philosophy as a resource for generating greater knowledge of truth and on how the Church sees philosophy as a way to know fundamental truths about human life. 
  • To explore Pope Saint John Paul's interest in Thomist philosophy .

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the need which prompted Pope Saint John Paul II to pursue the theme of the relationship between faith and reason.
  • Answer the question 'Why does the Church value philosophy'?
  • View the encyclical as a demonstration of pope Saint John Paul the 2nd conviction that faith and reason are two wings upon which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of its proper object, truth.
  • Understand the place of philosophy within priestly formation.
  • Understand the dangers which lie hidden in some currents of thought which are prevalent today.
  • Understand the dangers which lie hidden in some currents of thought which are prevalent today.

Bibliography

  • John Paul II, Faith and Reason (London: Catholic Truth Society, 1998). The encyclical is out of print unfortunately but the full text is available to download from the Vatican website: w2.vatican.va/content/john.../hf_jpii_enc_14091998_fides-et-ratio.html Relevant handouts will be made availab