Philosophy & Theology

How do human dignity and the nature of the human person ground ethics? How are people formed to become virtuous and wise? What is the common good? Why should we strive for a just and inclusive society? Is truth knowable? What gives life meaning? Are humans more than matter? Do we have free will? Is belief in God reasonable, given modern science? What can an agnostic make of traditional arguments for God's existence? What should a person of faith make of the diversity of religions across the globe? How can alleged revelations be tested? What is the nature of evil? Is evil a barrier to belief in a good God? Is faith possible in a state of doubt about evidence? Is redemption possible? What role does community play in redemption? What sense does it make to say that God is all-knowing, or all-powerful, or becomes incarnate? What sense does it make to speak of divine providence?

 

Catholic intellectual tradition includes rich discussions of all these vitally important questions, and others like them. Through the centuries, the great philosophers and theologians of the tradition have posed the questions, debated them, and studied possible answers from various sources, including reason and natural human experience, along with Scripture and religious doctrine. As a university inspired by Catholic intellectual tradition, St. Thomas asks all its

students to explore philosophical and theological foundations of the tradition. Such exploration provides theoretical mooring for the university's convictions and commitments – its conviction, for example, that faith and reason are compatible, and its commitment to the common good and to action for a higher purpose.

All students take a course that introduces the discipline of philosophy and engages philosophical questions central to Catholic intellectual tradition, and all students take a course that introduces the discipline of theology and the Catholic intellectual tradition's theological framework. A deeper, more focused exploration of these foundations is necessary to begin to appreciate the strength of the tradition; thus, all students take a third foundational course in Catholic intellectual tradition in their choice of either the Philosophy Department or the Theology Department.

These three courses in Philosophy and Theology do not constitute the entirety of St. Thomas's treatment of Catholic Intellectual tradition: rather, the three courses root concepts and principles that find their full flowering throughout the university's curriculum.

Students must take these two courses:

  • PHIL 110
  • THEO 100

And one of the following, either from PHIL or THEO:

  • PHIL 200
  • PHIL 202
  • PHIL 234
  • PHIL 235
  • PHIL 240
  • PHIL 245
  • PHIL 250
  • PHIL 254
  • PHIL 255
  • PHIL 256
  • PHIL 258
  • PHIL 265
  • PHIL 272
  • PHIL 340
  • PHIL 360
  • PHIL 365
  • PHIL 460
  • THEO 221
  • THEO 222
  • THEO 223
  • THEO 224
  • THEO 225
  • THEO 226
  • THEO 227
  • THEO 228
  • THEO 229