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

By Kenneth Garcia (auth.)

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Bonaventure and St. Thomas built on that foundation in theorizing about the curriculum in the schools and universities of the thirteenth century. Bonaventure: The Mind’s Journey to God through the Liberal Arts Bonaventure considered the spiritual life the foundation of all academic inquiry, as he makes clear in The Journey of the Mind into God. I emphasize this point because there is a common misconception today that the Journey is directed primarily to those engaged in a spiritual journey rather than to scholars in the academy.

So one progresses through natural science to mathematics, philosophy, and finally to theology. Each of these fields of study has its own subject matter and methods. That does not mean, however, that we should disassociate the sciences from philosophy and theology. Philosophy and the sciences may be distinct from theology, but God is never far from the human mind. 37 Truth, said Thomas, is the conformity of mind to reality. All things are related, ultimately to God, so cannot be separated in reality.

Finally, a note about what this book does and does not cover. The intent of the book is to formulate an understanding of academic freedom that ensures scholars in nontheological disciplines the freedom to pursue knowledge beyond the limited domain of their academic disciplines (beyond Kant’s “island of finitude”) and move toward the theological and spiritual. All scholars must be free to follow their innate sense of wonder beyond their academic disciplines toward an ultimate horizon, or God. The book does not address controversies over the relation between theologians in Catholic universities and the church’s Magisterium.

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