Message from The Chancellor
Fr. Tsutomu Sakuma, S.J.
Different as they may seem, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the paleontologist who found and researched Peking Man, and Georges Lemaître, the physicist who proposed the Big Bang theory, have something in common: both were Catholic priests. Many think that the rationality and intelligence of science do not mix with faith, but at Catholic universities such as Sophia, we have always sought for harmony between the humanities and the social and natural sciences.
The order known as the Society of Jesus, to which Father Teilhard belonged, has been involved in higher education and research since its foundation in the 16th century. For example, the Basque Saint Francis Xavier, well-known in Japan, received his Master’s degree from the University of Paris, after which he continued his philosophical research, helping found the Society of Jesus.
The Great Age of Exploration that began in the 15th century differed in speed and scale from today’s globalization, although in a certain sense, it was a time of clashes as well as encounters among different parts of the world, even more than today. Saint Xavier was not the only one to travel to unknown corners of the globe. Many Jesuits used the intelligence that they honed in academia to study foreign cultures, religions, and languages, all without the aid of dictionaries, sometimes creating their own. They conversed with locals and left records of these conversations. They were firm in their conviction that they could find some form of harmony among the disparate peoples of the world.
I believe that those of us living in the 21st century have this same vision and aspiration, namely to rebuild trust in peoples and in the world—or perhaps simply to see if this can be done.
Chancellor of Sophia School Corporation
Professor, Faculty of Theology
Fr. Tsutomu Sakuma, S.J.
Fr. Sakuma earned a bachelor’s degree from Kyoto University, Kyoto in 1975. In 1980, he earned master’s degree in Philosophy from Sophia University. He also received Diplom Theologie Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule Sankt Georgen, Frankfurt am Main in 1984 and Licentia in re Biblica Pontificio Istituto Biblico, Roma in 1988. He received a doctorate in Theology Pontifical Gregorian University, Roma in 1995.
He became an associate professor of Faculty of Theology in 1997 and was promoted to full professor in 2001. From 2011 to June 2014, he served as the President of Seibo College. He also served as the Director of Sophia School of Social Welfare from 2011 to March 2012. From October 2016 to March 2018, he served as the Trustee for General Affairs.