New book on Aquinas's philosophy by Stephen Brock

Stephen L. Brock, professor of medieval philosophy at the Pontificia Università della Santa Croce in Rome, has just published a book entitled The Philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas: A Sketch. Here is the book description from Cascade Books (an imprint of Wipf and Stock):

If Saint Thomas Aquinas was a great theologian, it is in no small part because he was a great philosopher. And he was a great philosopher because he was a great metaphysician. In the twentieth century, metaphysics was not much in vogue, among either theologians or even philosophers; but now it is making a comeback, and once the contours of Thomas's metaphysical vision are glimpsed, it looks like anything but a museum piece. It only needs some dusting off. Many are studying Thomas now for the answers that he might be able to give to current questions, but he is perhaps even more interesting for the questions that he can raise regarding current answers: about the physical world, about human life and knowledge, and (needless to say) about God. This book is aimed at helping those who are not experts in medieval thought to begin to enter into Thomas's philosophical point of view. Along the way, it brings out some aspects of his thought that are not often emphasized in the current literature, and it offers a reading of his teaching on the divine nature that goes rather against the drift of some prominent recent interpretations.

This sounds like an important new contribution. Personally, I am looking forward to seeing what in Brock's reading of Aquinas's teaching on the divine nature goes "against the drift of some prominent recent interpretations."

You can find out more information and purchase Brock's book here or here.

Aquinas and Whitehead

The managing editor of Open Theology, Katarzyna Tempczyk, has written to inform us of a special issue of the journal on Whitehead and Aquinas. The contributions come from papers delivered this past summer at the 10th International Whitehead Conference at the Center for Process Studies in Claremont, California. The special issue is edited by Joseph Bracken, who also writes an introduction to the papers. All the papers can be accessed for free at the journal site.

Open Theology is a peer-reviewed open-access journal published by De Gruyter. If you would like further info on the journal, including submission guidelines, go here.

Franciscan philosophy: call for papers

The online mediaeval philosophy journal Doctor Virtualis has issued a call for papers on Franciscan philosophy. Submissions should generally be guided by two questions: Is there a Franciscan philosophy? What makes a philosophy Franciscan? The deadline for titles and abstracts is November 15. You can find more information in Italian and English here.

Oxford conference on the Dominican Order's influence in the Middle Ages

A conference entitled "The Influences of the Dominican Order in the Middle Ages" will be held (primarily) at the Taylor Institution at the University of Oxford this September 10-12. Here is the description from the conference website:

From its modest foundations in 1216, the Dominican Order grew rapidly in the first century of its existence, establishing itself across Europe as a learned Order of Preachers.  This interdisciplinary conference will explore the influences of the Dominican Order on all aspects of medieval life, encompassing the large-scale influences of the Order and the legacy of its prominent figures, as well as the impact that the Order had on those that came into contact with it.

The conference program can be found here and the abstracts of the conference papers can be found here.

Call for papers on causation and change in medieval philosophy

In May the Center for Medieval Philosophy at Georgetown University will be sponsoring a session at the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo with the title “From Physics to Metaphysics: Causation and Change in Medieval Philosophy.” The session organizer, Robert Matava (Christendom College), sends us the following information on the session:

This session will focus on the important but generally under-investigated connections between medieval understandings of causality (especially the causation of being as such) and natural science (especially the phenomenon of change). Is there real causation in nature, and if so, can we know it? What exactly is motion, and how is it distinct from creation? What does it mean for the creator to bring about change within the contingent order?  How can personal agency be understood within the broader context of causation in nature? Medieval philosophers had interesting things to say about such questions. The specific connections between their consideration of metaphysics and change in the physical order deserve further attention, not least because such questions as the above retain their currency in contemporary philosophy, but also because of the potential such an investigation has for unlocking our understanding of the development of empirical science during the early-modern period. 

Dr. Matava is accepting proposals for papers on the above topics. The deadline for proposals is Tuesday, September 1. Dr. Matava can be contacted by email at:

The International Congress on Medieval Studies will convene May 12-15, 2016.