The Institute, in collaboration with scholars from Japan and abroad, conducts
research on the thought and cultural legacy of the Western middle ages, from
ancient Christianity to the Renaissance. The research covers various aspects
of medieval culture, especially philosophy, theology, history in general, the history
of the church, the history of law, literature, arts, and sciences. The Institute strives
to promote the understanding of Western culture through the publication of
original texts in translation and of academic research.
Scholars from Sophia University, in connection with researchers of medieval
thought from other universities in the Kanto area, in 1956 established an
“Office for research in medieval philosophy,” attached to the Faculty of
Humanities at Sophia University, as a supra-regional center of research in
this field. In 1976, the research office was upgraded to Sophia University’s
“Institute of Medieval Thought,” with the purpose of carrying out advanced
research in the thought and culture of the European middle ages.
- The Institute plans and publishes translations of texts sourced from medieval times and academic research studies.
- The Institute collects books and treatises, and makes them available for researchers and students to browse and borrow. (The specialized library houses approximately 60,000 volumes, including magazines.)
- The Institute sponsors lectures by visiting scholars and organizes study circles for researchers and students.