Saturday, October 29, 2016

Philosophy of History, not History of Philosophy

"When the study of philosophy becomes truly post-modern, candidates for the priesthood and catechists preparing for the Ministry of the Word will study philosophy of the right kind, metaphysically open to objective reality, to the transcendent God of Creation, and to the spirituality of the human soul. And the mode will be that of the philosophy of history, not that of the history of philosophy...No longer will young men be forced to go from Kant, Comte, Hegel and Marx to the study of theology. On the contrary, when the design of the syllabus for philosophy and the mode of didactic presentation are properly those of the liberated Christian philosophy of history, then the relativism and immanentism of Modern Philosophy will be seen in the full context of the construct 'Modern,' and evaluated from a superior position in metaphysics, open and free, aware that it is an autonomous and distinct science with its own proper object and method."
The Lord of History: Christocentrism and the Philosophy of History, Eugene Kevane, Boston: St. Paul, 1980, 110-111.

Cf. 180 n149, Cf. Battista Mondin, “Philosophy Necessary in Priestly Formation,” L’Osservatore Romano—English Edition (March 2, 1971), p. 11: “It will not suffice to teach the history of philosophy.” The Holy See, in its efforts toward philosophical renewal, always insists that the teaching of philosophy may not be reduced to the presentation of the history of philosophy, merely what others have said and are saying. Students of philosophy themselves personally must be helped to face and to see reality directly. This means a personal grasp of the three basic areas of content: the set of objective and necessary truths proper to philosophical science, from which the mind ascends to a personal Absolute and Creator of the Universe, and returns from Him to an authenetically human concept of man. Cf. Optatam totius, no. 15. For Seminaries, the Holy See desires that philosophy should be studied for two years: cf. the Ratio fundamentalis, no. 61. Qualitatively, the above three-fold minimum division of content should be organized conceretely into the studies. And the old-fahioned “history of philosophy” designed to minister to the “Modernist mentality” should be replaced by a new mode, that of the Philosophy of History which helps to reveal to the students the Mystery of Christ, the Lord of history. In a seminary course of four semesters, this can be done readily by devoting the first semester to the birth of Christian Philosophy in the catechetical explanations of the First Article of the Creed, in the context of the encounter of the Early Church with the Classical Culture; the second semester to the development of Christian Philosophy, with its above-mentioned three-fold characteristic content, in the Schools of Christendom; the third semester to the origin, nature and atheistic bias, due to its immanentism and relativism, of “Modern” Philosophy as such; and the fourth semester to the emergence of the post-modern situation in the positive sciences and in philosophy, together with the pastoral reasons for the program of the Church in the teaching of philosophy. This enables young minds to see the efforts of the Holy See toward philosophical renewal in a positive and wholesome light, and not as something marked for subtle sabotage until the Holy See comes at last, as it were, to confess its mistake and to withdraw its many documents on this matter from Vatican I to the present. In the Institutes which train catechetical teachers, the same substance of philosophical teaching can readily be given, whther in briefer overview or in a more comprehensive study comparable to that in the Seminaries. The important matter is to treat properly the three basic components of philosophical content, and to do so in the mode of the philosophy of history instead of the history of philosophy. For this ministers to GCD no. 88, the breakthrough to “a religious way of thinking” on the part of teachers of the Faith.

N.B. Scholastic Metaphysics
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