Academic Freedom and the Telos of the Catholic University by Kenneth Garcia (auth.)

By Kenneth Garcia (auth.)

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40 The question, from a Thomistic perspective, is not whether the continuum of learning should be followed to its full extent, to its end in philosophy and theology. The question is how much the philosophical and theological aspects should be integrated into nonphilosophical and nontheological parts of the curriculum in order to set the stage for further studies in philosophy and theology. The Science of Theology Though the focus of this book is not on the science of theology per se, Thomas’s description of how theology relates to other disciplines illustrates how he conceived the overall trajectory and goal of the curriculum.

That is where Catholic universities find themselves today, on the one hand, wanting to integrate the religious with the academic and, on the 16 Academic Freedom other, dependent on federal funds, on rankings, and on the desire for prestige from their secular counterparts, and therefore often downplaying the religious. 45 Most Catholic universities have strong departments of theology, but these sit alongside, though mostly unconnected to, other academic disciplines. The other departments remain, for the most part, confined to Kant’s island.

This issue, however, is not the focal point of this book. This topic is complex and highly controversial, deserving of a thorough separate treatment; indeed, it would require an entire volume to treat it fairly and thoroughly. The more limited scope of this book should generate sufficient discussion and controversy for one short volume. Chapter 2 The Medieval Liberal Arts and the Journey of the Mind to God This chapter examines the ways in which three medieval thinkers— Augustine, Bonaventure, and Thomas Aquinas—conceptualized the relationship between the spiritual life, theology, and academic studies.

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