Education at the Angelicum
New degree in philosophy and finance
“Development is impossible without upright men and women financiers and politicians whose consciences are finely attuned to the requirements of the common good” (Caritas in Veritate, n. 71).
Educational institutions within the Church are always looking for ways to improve how they instill the principles of sound reason and faith in younger generations. This is also true of the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas in Rome. Come September, the Angelicum’s Faculty of Philosophy will launch an innovative undergraduate programme in finance and philosophy. The exclusive three-year programme was inspired, says the programme’s director, Prof. Stéphane Bauzon, by Benedict XVI’s Encyclical Caritas in Veritate. It is designed to give a practical approach to business while forming the person philosophically and morally in Church thought. Its aim, he said, is to “equip students with the ability to reason rigorously and logically within the context of political decisions and economic events”.
The programme is meant to be small. Each class is limited to 18 lay students who will undertake a full course in philosophy: studying logic, metaphysics, social ethics, etc. The other half of their education will be comprised of specialized business seminars in mathematics, macroeconomics, international law and the like. The programme also includes a corporate internship. It is linguistically geared, including an introduction to Chinese. The students will be able to use this during the third year of the programme when they spend a semester studying abroad, some at Fu Jen Catholic University in Taipei, Taiwan, others at Blackfriars in Oxford. Both these institutions are collaborating with the Angelicum in this unique project, hoping to promote a Christian understanding of the common good and to provide the skills necessary to make a difference in the world.
Ultimately, educating individuals to be not just competent business men and women but people who carry Christ’s message will bring the change, relationship by relationship, that is called for in the Pope’s Encyclical. “Charity is at the heart of the Church's social doctrine. Every responsibility and every commitment spelt out by that doctrine is derived from charity which, according to the teaching of Jesus, is the synthesis of the entire Law (cf. Mt 22:36, 40). It gives real substance to the personal relationship with God and with neighbour; it is the principle not only of micro relationships ... but also of macro-relationships (social, economic and political ones)” (Caritas in Veritate, n. 2).
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