The Epistemological Question: Philosophical Theology and the Intellectus Fidei

Serge-Thomas Bonino, OP

Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum)

This lecture considers the relationship between philosophical theology, that is the metaphysical discourse on God, and Christian theology (or intellectus fidei) of the mystery of the triune God. From a Thomistic perspective, the coherence and autonomy of the natural order justify the possibility of a philosophical theology formally distinct from the reflection of the intellectus fidei. However, this philosophical theology reaches its full dimension only by maintaining a vital contact with theological life and the intellectus fidei. Otherwise, it drifts towards a dangerous form of deism. Conversely, the intellectus fidei of the mystery of the triune God can reach its full dimension only by assuming, in its own light, the results of an autonomous philosophical theology.

This lecture was originally livestreamed on December 4, 2021 as part of the Grace & Nature: Contemporary Controversies Conference held at the Angelicum in Rome. All of the talks for this conference are available on our YouTube page in this playlist.

Born in Marseille (1961), Fr. Serge-Thomas Bonino, O.P., is a doctor of Philosophy and of Theology. He was the Editor-in-Chief of Revue thomiste (1991-2012), professor of Medieval Philosophy at the Institut Catholique de Toulouse, and professor of Dogmatic Theology at the Dominican Studium of Toulouse. He was transferred to Rome in 2014, where he was Secretary General of the International Theological Commission (2011-2020). He is now President of the Accademia Pontificia di San Tommaso (2014) and Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy of the Pontifical University Saint Thomas Aquinas – Angelicum. Among his latest publications are Dieu, Celui qui est (2016), and Saint Thomas lecteur du Cantique des Cantiques (2019).