WHAT schools need today is to emphasize philosophy in order to bridge the widening gap between faith and reason.

This was the urgent call of Pope Benedict XVI, who stressed that Christian faith must be rooted from a concrete historical context, which would make men understand truths about faith better during a symposium last June 5 to 8 at the Vatican’s Clementine Hall.

“Modernity is not simply a historically datable cultural phenomenon,” the Supreme Pontiff said. “Faith must begin with the real, concrete human situation.”

He added that this good understanding of modernity would lead to a more precise understanding of man. To strengthen man’s faith is to widen the horizons of his rationality, he said.

In his speech, the Pope called for quality educational institutions, “where philosophy can dialogue with the other disciplines, in particular with theology, by supporting new cultural syntheses adapted to direct the way of people from all walks of life.”

The Holy Father also invited the youth to engage in philosophical studies by favoring opportune guidelines of education. With their enthusiasm, the Pope believed that the youth would be able to answer, abiding to the norms of the Church.

The University, for its part, has philosophy programs to cater to students and researchers in the country.

Philosophical studies are not only for Philosophy students and future priests in UST. In fact, the moral teachings in philosophy cut across all programs according to Department coordinator of Philosophy Prof. Emerito Gonzales.

“All humans are naturally philosophers,” Ecclesiastical Faculty of Philosophy Dean Fr. Enrico Gonzales, O.P., told the Varsitarian. “They will never cease to find out the answers to their ultimate questions.

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To further develop philosophy, theology, and canon law through research initiatives, the University has also established the John Paul II Center for Ecclesiastical Sciences last 2005.

Meanwhile, the Department of Philosophy of UST Faculty of Art and Letters is a Center of Excellence in the Philippines that highly believes in the significance of Aquinas’ philosophy today. C.A.P. Alcantara

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