CFP: Quaestiones Disputatae

Call For Papers

Faith, Reason, and the Splendor of Truth:

Reading Veritatis Splendor and Fides et Ratio Together

Two of St.  John Paul II’s most important encyclicals share an anniversary year in 2018: Veritatis Splendor celebrates 25 years and Fides et Ratio turns 20.  Quaestiones Disputatae, a journal of Franciscan University of Steubenville, is marking this joint milestone by dedicating an issue to the connections among the themes of these two encyclicals. 

St.  John Paul himself suggested that these two encyclicals constitute one integral investigation.  He wrote in Fides et Ratio, “In my Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor, I drew attention to ‘certain fundamental truths of Catholic doctrine which, in the present circumstances, risk being distorted or denied.’  In the present letter, I wish to pursue that reflection by concentrating on the theme of truth itself and on its foundation in relation to faith” (n.  6). For St.  John Paul, attempts to understand our moral life lead us on to inquiry into truth; and those who genuinely “search for the truth” are ultimately “search[ing] for a person to whom they might entrust themselves,” a quest that finds its fulfillment in the imitation of Christ (FR, n.  33; VS, n.  119). 

More broadly, these encyclicals explore the transcendentals of goodness and truth in relation to the intellectual and moral powers of the human person, setting these inquiries in the contexts of beauty and faith, as well as of human nature and community.  Quaestiones Disputatae welcomes papers engaging both these encyclicals in light of any of their themes and from a range of disciplinary perspectives, such as philosophy, theology, patristics, literature, and history.  Papers might address such topics as the following, though many more are possible:

  • Truth, goodness, and the meaning of life
  • Community and tradition in moral and speculative inquiry
  • John Paul’s themes in relation to the thought of some other significant figure, such as St.  Augustine, St.  Thomas Aquinas, St.  Bonaventure, Bl.  John Duns Scotus, Francisco Suarez, Kierkegaard, Bl.  John Henry Newman, Michael Polanyi, Alasdair MacIntyre, etc.
  • Truth, goodness, and contemporary moral or political crises
  • Narrative approaches to self-knowledge or moral and speculative inquiry
  • Literary explorations of truth and goodness
  • Interaction of faith and reason, or Scripture and natural law, in moral or speculative inquiry
  • The relations among the moral and intellectual virtues
  • Speculative and moral wisdom
  • Beauty in the contemplative and active lives
  • Truth, goodness, and beauty in philosophical anthropology
  • The moral life as vocation or dialogue in response to truth
  • Conscience and truth
  • Freedom’s relation to reason

Papers up to 10,000 words are invited, though longer papers may also be considered.  Format, with footnotes, according to Chicago Style.  The deadline is June 11, 2018, with anticipated publication in November, 2018.  Please address inquiries and papers (the latter as email attachments in Microsoft Word) to the Guest Editor, Dr.  Randall Colton, at colton@kenrick.edu

Find the journal at https://www.franciscan.edu/quaestiones-disputatae/.  



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Since 1926, scholars and thinkers, mostly based in Canada and the United States, have forged a unique tradition and community known as the "American Catholic Philosophical Association." Steeped in classical sources and cultivating the Catholic Philosophical heritage, this tradition is known for creative engagement with major philosophers of every era and bold responses to the themes and issues of contemporary philosophy. 

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