Next Article Previous Article
Catholic philosophy in the new millennium
Vol. X/2008/2, pp. 451-471
Keywords: history of philosophy, Catholicism, Catholic philosophy
"Catholic philosophy" has a threefold meaning. First, it refers descriptively to the understanding of philosophy throughout the history of Catholic Christianity. After the decline of Hellenism, philosophy in the Greek sense did not survive anywhere else than in Catholicism; the works of the Latin Fathers, the theologians of the Middle Ages, and the Catholic philosophers of the Renaissance and modern periods thereafter not only saved philosophy from historical disappearance but contributed to its revival and new developments. "Catholic philosophy", in the second sense, is the historical matrix in which philosophy of our time has emerged. That is to say, the modern and contemporary meanings of philosophy are marked by their difference from theology properly so called. Thirdly, Catholicism has always considered philosophy as centrally important to the Catholic doctrine. No other Christian denomination has ever shown such an intense, complex, and systematic interest inmaintaining and developing philosophy. Thus, "Catholic philosophy" has the third meaning of a historic achievement in which philosophy could grow into itsmodern forms. In this essay, I investigate the historical development and the contemporary possibilities of Catholic Philosophy.