What is philosophy?
Philosophy is the passionate pursuit of wisdom through rational inquiry. Theology, too, pursues wisdom, but it does so by contemplating revelation with the eyes of faith. Philosophy does so by contemplating the rationality of the world. Science also uses rational inquiry, but it is not equipped to broach the ultimate questions of the human heart: What is the human being? What are truth, goodness, and beauty? Why is there something rather than nothing? Such questions are the lifeblood of philosophy.
Why does the Church require seminarians to take ten philosophy classes before they are allowed to begin their graduate theological studies?
The Church requires seminarians to have a solid background in philosophy, because of the nature of the Christian God, who not only is the redeemer but also the creator. The very things philosophy thinks about — reason, nature, and existence — ultimately come from God. Biblical revelation focuses on the event of God’s self-revelation in Jesus Christ, but it presupposes as a backdrop the continuous event of creation. Thinking about the Faith means keeping philosophy in mind.
Why study philosophy at Borromeo Seminary?
Philosophy at Borromeo Seminary is distinctive for several reasons. Professors enkindle the passion for wisdom by bringing about a conversation with great philosophers who cover a span of 2,500 years. In fact, the faculty commissioned portraits of twelve philosophers to represent this conversational character.
Students are readied for theology by delving deeply into philosophy. The ten classes build on one another to provide students with a comprehensive view of reality, including nature, knowledge, ethics, being, the human person, and God.
Finally, the philosophy program strives to embody Pope St. John Paul II’s call to philosophy: “I have unstintingly recalled the pressing need for a new evangelization; and I appeal now to philosophers to explore more comprehensively the dimensions of the true, the good and the beautiful to which the word of God gives access.”