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TMP 326.09

Faith and Philosophy

This course deals with the relationship between faith and reason, between philosophy and theology. The Acting Person of Karol Wojtyla

The name John Paul II cannot be underrated. Nor can his papal achievements for a quarter of a century be simply disregarded. Led by this man and guided by his profound social teachings, the Catholic Church in the 20th century came to be perceived by so many as the world’s single greatest voice for democracy and human rights. Only a few, however, know his background or the philosophy and theology behind his thinking.

This course on Karol Wojtyla is a systematic attempt at an understanding of the mind of the Personalist philosopher who became Pope John Paul II. The initial discussions will explore his life and times, especially taking into consideration the significant influences to his early philosophical formation. The succeeding discussions will examine in depth one of his central philosophical and theological persuasions — the acting person — the theme that is enshrined in his major work (Osoba i czyn, 1969) and is so pronounced even in his encyclical letters. A clear grasp of the Wojtylan concept of the human person as seen through his/her actions will eventually serve as a construct or mental framework for confronting certain moral issues of our times. The Social Justice Advocacy of Bartolome de las Casas

Bartolomé de las Casas, OP (1484-1566) challenged the injustices committed in Latin America during the era of Spanish discovery and conquest of the New World as well as its Evangelization. For about 40 years he was exposed to the reality of the people of the New World and witnessed their sufferings due to the brutal treatment of their conquerors. Later, the conquest and colonization of the New World were presented in Europe as a missionary endeavour, a means to justify their presence, at any cost. Fray Bartolomé fought for the victims’ rights – a form of social justice advocacy ? and wrote many treatises and memorials, masterpieces of history, anthropology and applied theology. He combined rights with facts, reflection with the knowledge of the situation, and confronted the oppression with “the law of Christ”.

The aim of this course is to study his theology and philosophical worldview in context, one that was born from the reality of injustice in the early Evangelization of Latin America and closely related to the person and his works. Redemption was demonstrated with its obvious socio-historical component, as later promoted by Latin American liberation theologians of the 20th century. Though not required, some knowledge of the Spanish language would be helpful for students enrolling in this course.

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Loyola School of Theology