The 1st FPSF Conference on Medieval Philosophy is convened by the Faculty of Philosophy Students’ Forum (FPSF), the main student organization of the Ecclesiastical Faculties of the University of Santo Tomas.
Rendering emphasis on producing research studies in the areas of Medieval and Scholastic Philosophy, the conference serves as a humble response of Philosophy students to Pope Leo XIII’s exhortation of “restoring the renowned teaching of Thomas Aquinas and winning it back to its ancient beauty” (Aeterni Patris, 25). Moreover, the commemoration of Thomas Aquinas’s death anniversary through the conference reflects Saint Pope John Paul II’s recognition of the special place that Aquinas took on in the long development of philosophy, “not only because of what he taught but also because of the dialogue which he undertook with the Arab and Jewish thought of his time.” Hence, “he had the great merit of giving pride of place to the harmony which exists between faith and reason” (Fides et Ratio, 43).
Nevertheless, the conference will not solely focus on research endeavors pertaining to Thomistic philosophy but it also aims to inspire academic studies on other thinkers within the Medieval era where brilliant theocentric reflections and contemplations, which gazed at the link between faith and reason, were born and nurtured.
Furthermore, the conference is also open to studies pertaining to Medieval philosophers whose worldviews do not belong to the Christian tradition. Academic papers on Arab and Jewish philosophers are also given the avenue to be presented in the conference.
In a nutshell, the guiding principle in the conduct of this conference is the need to enliven and to make relevant to our time the treasures that the Medieval era has proffered to humanity, through the spirit of empathy and dialogue with other worldviews, while endeavoring to broaden and strengthen our grasp of the eternal truths which are magnanimously bestowed by the relationship between faith and reason. To engage the Medieval philosophical inquiry with other views and traditions will provide room for self-critique and an unwavering effort to delve into the real issues and questions which are surfacing in the 21st century.
The conference coincides with the Ruby Anniversary Celebration (40th Foundation Anniversary) of the FPSF which was founded in the year 1979. It also concurs with the commemoration of the 745th Death Anniversary of the university’s patron saint, Thomas Aquinas.
The organization is currently headed by its President—Br. John Alfred F. Rabena. The Faculty of Philosophy is headed by its Dean—Rev. Fr. Richard G. Ang, O.P., Ph.D.