Major Fields of Study:
“The Church [...] sees in philosophy the way to come to know fundamental truths about human life. At the same time, the Church considers philosophy an indispensable help for a deeper understanding of faith and for communicating the truth of the Gospel to those who do not yet know it.” (Encyclical “Fides et Ratio,” Introduction, n.5)
Since the founding of the universities in the Middle Ages, philosophy at faculties of theology performs this twofold task. The Faculty of Theology in Paderborn finds itself in a special institutional continuity. Originally founded as a university with a faculty of philosophy and a faculty of theology (September 10, 1614), it has had been possessing two chairs in philosophy up to the present time, one of them centering on the history of philosophy, the other one with its main focus on systematic philosophy.
The department of philosophical studies at the Faculty of Theology in Paderborn offers all of the courses in philosophy in cooperation with the Faculty of Cultural Studies at the University of Paderborn. The courses available are determined by the respective profile of the universities. In the case of the Faculty of Theology in Paderborn, a sectarian university of the Catholic Church, the profile is primarily determined by the relationship between faith and reason. The focal points and topics of the philosophical curriculum can be derived from this relationship:
- The history of philosophy
- A philosophical doctrine of God and philosophy of religion
- Metaphysics and natural philosophy
- Christian anthropology and ethics
The curriculum requires a comprehensive lecture course of two hours weekly which is to be accompanied by a seminar. During the first year the following fields are offered: introduction to philosophy, the history of ancient philosophy (main focuses: metaphysics/ethics, political philosophy), the history of medieval philosophy (main focuses: God/metaphysics/legal philosophy), the history of modern philosophy (main focuses: metaphysics/epistemology), the history of contemporary philosophy (main focuses: analytical philosophy/critical philosophy/phenomenology). The next phase of the basic study period offers the following fields of study: theory of behavior and ethics, philosophy of the person, philosophical doctrine of God, philosophy of religion. The main study period is directed toward a specialization as well as an intensification of the students’ knowledge in the light of possible degrees in theology and philosophy.