St. John’s Seminary

It has become increasingly apparent to the faculty of St. John’s Seminary and Catholic bishops that seminarians need to acquire a basic knowledge of science. Doing so will help them better understand the psychological and sociological forces that influence human beings and their ability to know and live in accordance with the natural law, as well as to be able to respond to the perception that science and religion are incompatible. To that end, St. John’s Seminary is using the Science for Seminaries grant to increase the seminarians’ contact with science in its courses. The history of theology courses are exploring the rise of science in the Renaissance and are concurrently using a compound microscope to look at microscopic organisms and blood cells. The logic and philosophy of nature courses are examining the scientific method, how to analyze scientific studies, and the fundamental aspects of the natural world and concurrently using a stereo microscope to examine minerals and plant flowers. St. John’s Seminary is also developing a website that will host links to original studies and summaries of key findings in astronomy, quantum mechanics, relativity theory, and the psychology of human emotions and personality in order for students to more effectively explore these topics in their courses in metaphysics and anthropology. Finally, in May 2020, St. John’s Seminary is hosting a conference  “Space in the Catholic Imagination.”  The conference will bring together Catholic astronomers, theologians, and science fiction authors to investigate the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe, examine nearby planets through a telescope, and look at any theological implications in regard to anthropology and soteriology.

Contact information

Resources:

Introduction to Church History: 1500 to the Present

This course, taught by Fr. Luke Dysinger at St. John's Seminary, will introduce the history, theology, and spirituality of the Christian Church from 1500 to the present. The rich theological, spiritual, and moral heritage of Catholic thought during this period will be highlighted through study of primary sources. In order to profit from the cultural…
  • Course Categories: Church History
  • Science Topics: History & Philosophy of Science
  • Seminaries: St. John's Seminary
  • Ecclesial Families: Catholic/Orthodox
  • Syllabus: Introduction to Church History: 1500 to the Present
  • Tags: history of science, science and religion

Logic

This course, taught by Alan Vincelette and Janice Daurio at St. John's Seminary, is a study of the logic of classical logic including definitions, categorical propositions, syllogisms, truth tables, and fallacies, and modern logic including Mill’s methods, predicate logic, modal logic, the scientific method, and the linguistic analysis of names, descriptions, concepts, and statements.
  • Course Categories: Philosophy
  • Science Topics: History & Philosophy of Science
  • Seminaries: St. John's Seminary
  • Ecclesial Families: Catholic/Orthodox
  • Syllabus: Logic
  • Tags: scientific method, scientific process

Metaphysics

This course, taught by Alan Vincelette at St. John's Seminary, is a study of the ultimate nature of spiritual reality, including materialism vs. idealism, essence and existence, potentiality and actuality, identity, the transcendentals, and the laws of thought.
  • Course Categories: Philosophy
  • Science Topics: History & Philosophy of Science
  • Seminaries: St. John's Seminary
  • Ecclesial Families: Catholic/Orthodox
  • Syllabus: Metaphysics
  • Tags: physics, Philosophy of Science, quantum mechanics, metaphysics, free will

Philosophical Anthropology

This course, taught by Jennifer E. Rosato at St. John's Seminary, provides a systematic overview of major topics in philosophical anthropology, including the human soul and its relation to the body, the nature of the intellect and the will, and the role of the passions.
  • Course Categories: Philosophy
  • Science Topics: Neuroscience, Brain, & Mind
  • Seminaries: St. John's Seminary
  • Ecclesial Families: Catholic/Orthodox
  • Syllabus: Philosophical Anthropology
  • Tags: human nature, psychology, theology and emotions, personal identity, free will

Philosophy of Nature

This course, taught by Michael K. Grace at St. John's Seminary, introduces the philosophical study of nature through the reading of original works of Aristotle and Aquinas and selected secondary readings that emphasize the relationship between the philosophy of nature and modern science.
  • Course Categories: Philosophy
  • Science Topics: History & Philosophy of Science
  • Seminaries: St. John's Seminary
  • Ecclesial Families: Catholic/Orthodox
  • Syllabus: Philosophy of Nature
  • Tags: history of science, physics, Philosophy of Science, nature

Space in the Catholic Imagination

This course, taught by Alan Vincelette at St. John's Seminary, will bring in various astronomers, theologians, and science fiction authors to discuss what modern astronomy can tell us about the cosmos and other possible worlds, how theologians treat these issues regarding Christology and soteriology, and how science fiction authors envision such worlds.
  • Course Categories: General Theology
  • Science Topics: Physics and Cosmos
  • Seminaries: St. John's Seminary
  • Ecclesial Families: Catholic/Orthodox
  • Syllabus: Space in the Catholic Imagination
  • Tags: cosmology, astronomy, Exoplanets, theology and cosmology
Learn about the other Participant Schools

In furtherance of the AAAS mission of advancing science in service to society, AAAS|DoSER’s role in the Science for Seminaries project is to support efforts to integrate science into seminary education. AAAS|DoSER does not advise on or endorse the theological content of the participating seminaries.