Catholics/Classical Philosophy and Dogmatic Theology
Dear Fr Michael, I am reading a book on the Sacred Heart. I found it under "dogmatic theology".
Should a non-Catholic, who is also a beginner in the field of theology, even try to read such a book?
People even tell me that in order to become a theologian you first start with philosophy.
Will theology even be able to save my soul?
What do you think?
For dogmatic theology, you might try starting with something like Matthias Premm's "Dogmatic Theology for the Laity." Premm wrote a five-volume work on dogmatic theology in Latin, but he provided this abbreviated version for laypeople who did not know Latin and wanted a basic understanding of the subject. The "summary" is almost 500 pages, so it will keep you busy, but if you apply the time, you will come out with a detailed basic knowledge of the subject.
Certainly a basis in classical philosophy would be most useful to begin with. There are a number of works that might suit to orient you to Aristotle, who is the essential philosopher for this purpose. It was upon his philosophy that St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas based much of their thinking.