PY 125 Fides et Ratio*

Module Level

8

Assessment

Presentation and Participation 40% Module Essay 60%

Module Aims

  • to explore Pope Saint John Paul’s 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 the relations between faith and reason, especially the fruit of reason, philosophy.
  • to look at the historical context of the encyclical, to situate the document within the period it was written, and to analyse its response to modernism and post-modernist thinking.

Indicative Syllabus:

  • Introduction to Papal encyclicals and to Pope Saint John Paul II’s encyclical in particular.
  • The Holy Father’s lifelong study of philosophy and theology.
  • Motivations for the Encyclical.
  • Divine Revelation.
  • Wisdom and Understanding.
  • Truth.
  • Faith and Reason: From a Historical Perspective.

Learning Outcomes

  • • demonstrate an understanding of the need which prompted Pope Saint John Paul II to pursue the theme of the relationship between faith and reason
  • • Identify and assess the Holy Father’s conviction that ‘faith and reason are like two wings upon which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of its proper object, truth’.
  • • recognise the place of philosophy within priestly formation.
  • Understand the place of philosophy within priestly formation.
  • Understand the dangers which lie hidden in some currents of thought which are prevalent today.
  • • provide an account of the issues highlighted by the Holy Father 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: http://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_14091998_fides-et-ratio.html

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