College of Arts and Sciences
Catholic Studies Department

Vision and Objectives

  • Vision

    The Catholic Studies Minor at Seattle University explores the Catholic tradition in the context of philosophy and theology, the natural and social sciences, business and law, literature, art, and culture. Students will engage the wealth and depth of Catholic thought and culture in history and in the contemporary world, and will probe intellectual and ethical issues raised by the dialog of Catholicism with other fields of human inquiry. This program provides a scholarly means of assessing the weaknesses and strengths of Catholic tradition in all of its dimensions. Students will approach Catholic tradition both critically and constructively for its contribution to wise and fruitful responses to economic, political, cultural, and ecological challenges faced by humankind today.

    Seattle University's minor in Catholic Studies stands in continuity with the centuries-long project of fides quaerens intellectum, "faith seeking understanding." This quest for understanding engages all fields of human knowledge, for Catholic theology holds that God is revealed not only in the Word of scripture but also in the whole created world. The Catholic vision includes a notion of nature as the product of dynamic divine providence, of the fine arts as an intimation of divine beauty, and of history as a drama of revelation and response. Catholic tradition rests on a vision of the transcendent meaning and value of the human person, and of the earth and its life forms. In Ignatian terms, appropriate to Seattle University's Jesuit identity, the tradition attempts to assist human beings to become who they really are precisely by seeking and seeing God in all things. The Catholic Studies Minor is intended for students in all disciplines of the university.

    Objectives

    1. To increase awareness of and insight into the history, culture, and intellectual traditions of Catholicism.
    2. To provide a more systematic means to encounter, learn from, challenge, and build upon Catholic traditions as expressed in a variety of different fields, among them theology, philosophy, spirituality, literature, art, and the natural and social sciences.
    3. To promote a better understanding of the relations between theology and philosophy, faith and reason, and science and religion, particularly in the context of Catholicism.
    4. To enable students to respond to economic, political, and cultural, and ecological challenges through the knowledge they have achieved in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of Catholic traditions, including traditions of Catholic social thought.