About Saint Socrates Society

About the “Saint Socrates” name:

The Saint Socrates Society name is not original.  There was a group at Boston College that went by this name when I was a graduate student there in the late 1990s.  The name is rooted, if not for others then at least for me, in the view among several Church Fathers that Socrates was a pagan Christian since he was a ‘bearer of the logos’ (for example: Justin Martyr, 100-165AD, remarks that Christ was “partially known by Socrates”). Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) gives a modern nod to this tradition in his Enchiridion.

Saint Socrates Society Reading Groups

Description and Mission Statement:

The Saint Socrates Society is a reading group for Utah State University students.  Students have the opportunity to discuss selected texts concerned with human questions as considered in the western intellectual tradition.  In particular, the group is dedicated to a broad discussion of permanent things, especially issues related to human flourishing, the common good, civic virtue and the public square.  The Saint Socrates Society is dedicated to approaches that exercise the fullness of reason, which we understand to be hostile to reductionism of various kinds and friendly to the resources of faith.  In this, the Saint Socrates Society takes its cue from a lament articulated by John Paul II in his encyclical Fides et Ratio:

“Yet the positive results achieved [by modern thought] must not obscure the fact that reason, in its one-sided concern to investigate human subjectivity, seems to have forgotten that men and women are always called to direct their steps towards a truth which transcends them. Sundered from that truth, individuals are at the mercy of caprice, and their state as person ends up being judged by pragmatic criteria based essentially upon experimental data, in the mistaken belief that technology must dominate all. It has happened therefore that reason, rather than voicing the human orientation towards truth, has wilted under the weight of so much knowledge and little by little has lost the capacity to lift its gaze to the heights, not daring to rise to the truth of being. Abandoning the investigation of being, modern philosophical research has concentrated instead upon human knowing. Rather than make use of the human capacity to know the truth, modern philosophy has preferred to accentuate the ways in which this capacity is limited and conditioned.”

2 Responses to About Saint Socrates Society

  1. Pingback: Saint Socrates Society applications | Saint Socrates Society

  2. Maria Combe says:

    I remember the St. Socrates Society at Boston College with Peter Kreeft and Tom Howard! I’m so glad you’re carrying on the tradition!

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