A brief reflection on the role of education in effecting cultural change in society
The logo representing Consolata Institute of Philosophy reads “Conservando Rinnovare” which means,
conservation through renovation! A moto which seems to be in flagrant contradiction; how do you
conserve when you renew or renovate?
But this moto reflects how complicated life is. Last year we were treated to rich lyrics to the effect that
“vindu viya chenjanga” or rather, “things are changing”. But again, with all estimates, things are as they
have ever been in the last 20 years. That is what the wise people tell you: “the more things change, the
more they remain the same”!
And yet everybody is crying for change. You will hear those who are tired of the status quo saying, “all
we want is change, it does not matter whatever that change entails”. For them every change is as good
as a rest.
Reflection By Fr. Dr. Stephen Okello IMC
The main aim of Consolata Institute of Philosophy (CIP) is that of giving to students a reflective and critical knowldge of the mystery of man, the world and God in preparation for the theological studies and other relavant disciplines.
Consolata Institute of Philosophy centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Affiliated to Pontifical Institution and situated in the African context, seeks to:
Philosophical institute that teaches and awards Diplomas and Bachelor of Arts in philosophy. Consolata Institute of Philosophy also offer an initial academic preparation aiming at catholic priesthood.
Consolata Institute of Philosophy (CIP) and its contribution to Research and Innovation for Quality Higher Education:
Building the Africa we want. First of all we know that philosophical Research is required not just for students and academics, but for all professionals. At CIP, we affirm that "Knowledge" basically pertains to facts based on objective insights and/or study findings processed by the human brain. It can be acquired through various ways, such as reading books, lectures, conducting scientific experiments, and intellectual/social interaction, among others. These facts, can be checked to ensure truthfulness and precision. In epistemology, there are three kinds of knowledge: procedural (competence or know-how), acquaintance (familiarity), and propositional (description of "a fact or a state of affairs"). A factual proposition is commonly used to define "knowledge". At CIP we emphasize on a virtuous metaphysics which points to correct epistemology and Logic of which at the end directs the learner to good Ethics. In fact we realize that logic teaches the people how to derive a previously unknown truth from the facts already at hand. It teaches us how to be sure whether what we think is true, is really true. If the knowledge acquired is put into practice, we shall then be talking of information that leads to formation in order to bring transformation in the person and the society. Information becomes the foundation for which formation begins in a person’s life. And then transformation is something that God’s Spirit comes in, takes over and does.
i) Through regular participation in the days and evenings of human spiritual formation as scheduled in the comprehensive calendar;
ii) Through open and self-disclosing conversations with one’s spiritual director and faculty adviser;
iii) Through the required courses in philosophy and religious studies, which provide the occasion for seminarians and sistersto develop self-understanding and pastoral and relational skills; d. through participation in the various dimensions of theological Pastoral Formation. e. through presence and involvement in the Seminary community and, more specifically, in the life and activities of one’s class and corridor.
The Goals of Consolata Institute of Philosophy are basically the following
• To help our Students understand major philosophical ideas accurately.
• To assist our Students to apply their understanding of ideas in novel contexts.
• To encourage our Students to write effectively and be able to communicate and speak effectively.
• To help the Students to argue with precision, balance, and insight.
• To help the Students understand the formal structure of arguments and understand the rules of inference.
• To help the students critically assess their own commitments and ideas.
• To help students to read analytically, critically, and empathetically.
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BRIEF HISTORY OF CONSOLATA INSTITUTE OF PHILOSOPHY.
The Consolata Missionaries in Kenya, following the directives of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the encouragement of the AMECEA Conference (Lusaka 1970), decided to start the construction of their own Seminary. In 1970 the recruiting of African Candidates for Religious Missionary Priesthood began. The building of the residence (near to St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Langata) was started in 1971 and in 1972 part of it was ready. The Philosophy students began attending classes at the nearby Kenya National Diocesan Major Seminary, but in 1974 it became necessary to have classes and other facilities for Consolata students, since the Philosophical course of the National Seminary was transferred to Mabanga, in Bungoma District. Thus a two-year course in Philosophy was set up at Consolata Seminary, ending with the award of a Diploma in Philosophy and Religious Studies. In order to meet the needs of an increasing number of students both from the Consolata and other Congregations, new buildings were added in 1980 and the curriculum was revised into a 3-year course to prepare for affiliation to Urbaniana University in Rome, which was granted in 1982, enabling the students to obtain the First Degree in Philosophy (Baccalaureate) recognized by the Church and is in line with other Ecclesiastical Universities all over the world. In 1996 a decision was reached to make Seminary and Institute of Philosophy two independent institutions so they could better develop each in its own way. A new building for the Institute was erected in 1997 and inaugurated in January 1998. A library has been built in 1999 and a hall added in 2003. For the information of civil authorities, students and the public at large, it should be clearly understood that the main purpose of our Institute is to prepare candidates for the priesthood and religious life with a view to proceed to theological studies. Therefore, our B.A. in Philosophy is mainly for ecclesiastical purposes, to qualify the student to enter a Theology College or Seminary for priestly academic formation. In view of the history, the needs for formation, and future development, the Consolata Institute of Philosophy needs to renew its Affiliation to Urbaniana University.
The Role Of Philosophy In The Social Political Transformation Of The Society. By Dr. James W. Kabata OFMConv
The truth that stares everybody in the face is that philosophy plays a vital role in the social political transformation of the society. The value of philosophy is so significant that one can say that without philosophy and philosopher’s the social political transformation will be in a serious trouble. In fact we can say that the human person cannot do without philosophy. The guiding questions to this talk could be the following; how does philosophy intersect with the social world? How does philosophical thinking contribute to better understanding of society? First of all we realize that it is possible that philosophy is not a well-understood discipline by most people. All the same philosophers regard themselves as having a method, and a subject matter. The subject matter of philosophy is closely connected with the sorts of questions that have dominated philosophical investigation. Metaphysics is a systematic attempt to answer the question: What is reality? Some philosophers (materialists) have thought that reality is essentially material in nature.
The method, for analytically trained philosophers, anyway, is based on careful, critical analysis of ideas, concepts, and statements, and an effort to arrive at developed philosophical theories of important subjects. Some of these subjects include justice, rationality, equality, relativism and social construction. In the society and day to day life; Philosophers think systematically and critically about fundamental topics like propaganda, democracy, social hierarchies, global justice and religious conflict among others. They ask what these things are, how they hang together, and how we should react to them. Philosophy thus makes an important contribution to our understanding of society.
The relevance of philosophy is therefore unquestionable in the face of the multifarious problems it enables the human person to solve in his/her life. Even when it does not actually solve the problems, it guides man on the best approach to adopt to avoid being weighed down when faced with such problems. One thing that is clear is that philosophy does not claim to provide answers to all human problems but most importantly it makes effort to rationally address human problems. The glaring fact is that the human person and the human society cannot but need philosophy.
Philosophy, in the view of is a human need.
Philosophy is a human need as real as the need of food. It is a need of the mind, without which man cannot obtain his food or anything else his life requires. Philosophy is a rational activity. Therefore, as a rational activity, the human person cannot but need philosophy. Without mincing words, we wish to state categorically that philosophy plays important role in our society. Philosophy enables the human person to change some fundamental beliefs. It is an existential fact that most of the things we do or even the way we interpret our experiences are based on our fundamental beliefs. It is therefore the task of philosophy to question those beliefs that are not in agreement with the rationality of the human person. And any belief that is found guilty before the ‘Court of Reason’ is bound to be discarded. Philosophy therefore helps to shape and sharpen our mental faculty. As philosophers as far as the society and politics are concerned we think for ourselves as individuals.
There is no area of thought that we are afraid to explore, to challenge, to question, or to doubt.
There is no area of thought that we are afraid to explore, to challenge, to question, or to doubt. We feel free to inquire and then to agree or disagree with any given claim. We are unwilling to follow a doctrine or adopt a set of beliefs or values that doesn’t convince us personally. We seek to take responsibility for our decisions and conclusions, and this necessitates having control over them. Through this unshackled spirit of free inquiry, new knowledge and new ways of looking at ourselves and the world can be acquired. Without it we are left in ignorance and, subsequently, are unable to improve on our condition. One clear area of intersection is the philosophy of "knowledge of society" -- the philosophy of social science. Here the questions are epistemological -- how secure is the knowledge offered by the social sciences; methodological -- what methods of inquiry are well suited to the study of society; explanatory -- what is required for a good social explanation; and ontological -- what assumptions do we need to make about the nature of the social world in order to pursue social science research? It is fairly clear how philosophers can contribute to the development of theories and perspectives about these questions.
Another area where philosophy is relevant to society is normative social philosophy -- the theory of justice, human well-being, or communitarianism/liberalism, for example. Here the philosopher brings some organized thinking about values, ethical theory, and the messy facts of human social arrangements into the discussion. Here again, it is fairly clear how rigorous philosophical thinking can illuminate these questions; philosophy can help our understanding of these issues to progress. Philosophy does not only help us understand things. Philosophers are also active in politics. The Montreal-based philosopher Charles Taylor, for example, has shaped the Canadian debates about democracy and multiculturalism, and he served on Quebec’s Consultation Commission on Accommodation Practices Related to Cultural Differences. Similar things are true of moral philosophers like Martha Nussbaum, who has testified as an expert in trials, or political philosophers like Kwame Appiah, who was voted one of the world’s most influential thinkers, along with philosophers like Jürgen Habermas. In conclusion Philosophy is “one of the most powerful tools” to empower people “into acting as free and responsible subjects in an ever more complex, interconnected, and uncertain world,” as Irish president Michael Higgins recently pointed out. Philosophy teaches you how to distinguish contributions to debates that ought to be taken seriously from illusory rhetoric or nonsense. In a world of fake news, in which the guiding role of truth in public discourse is under threat, philosophical skills allow you to make good political choices and good life choices. Philosophy serves theology as a preamble, a tool, a bridge, and a shield. These are the more traditional ways of describing how theology uses philosophy. Philosophy is a preamble in that it prepares people for understanding the Faith. It is a tool in that it is used as an instrument to better understand the Faith. It is a bridge in that it provides common principles where believer and nonbeliever can meet. It is a shield in that it can be used to defend the Faith against arguments of nonbelievers.
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The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) In collaboration with the Archdiocese of Nairobi wishes to Inform all the Catholic Faithfuls that there will be live transmission of the Holy Mass on Palm Sunday. This mass will be celebrated and transmitted on on 5/4/2020 on Citizen TV, NTV, and KBC, from Holy Family Minor Bacilica from 9:00 am. The main Celebrant will be Most Rev. Philip Anyolo.
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