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.

Dr. Thomas Osborne Receives the Aquinas Center's Annual Book Prize

Dr. Thomas M. Osborne has been awarded the Charles Cardinal Journet Prize by the Aquinas Center for Theological Renewal for his book Human Action in Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham (CUA Press, 2014). The Journet Prize honors the scholarly monograph published in any language during the past calendar year that best exemplifies the task of drawing upon the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas to engage constructively in contemporary theology, philosophy, and/or biblical studies. The Aquinas Center for Theological Renewal is located at Ave Maria University.

Human Action in Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham lays out a thematic presentation of human action, especially as it relates to morality, in the three most significant figures in Medieval Scholastic thought: Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham. Thomas, along with his teacher Albert the Great, was instrumental in the medieval reception of the action theory of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Scotus and Ockham were part of a later Franciscan theological tradition. Thomas, Scotus, and Ockham worked in the context of a new moral theology that focused on the description and evaluation of human acts. Organized thematically, discussing the causes of human action, the role of practical reasoning, the stages of action, the specification of moral action, and an act’s supernatural and natural worth. Each chapter compares the three main figures on the same set of issues.

The book shows that although the different philosophies of action cannot be explained in terms of any one major difference or principle, there are some common themes that deserve attention. The most notable themes are 1) a developing separation between nature and the will, 2) an increased emphasis on the will’s activity, and 3) a changing view of mental causation. The book is important for those who are interested in medieval philosophy, the philosophy of action, and the intellectual background to Reformation and early modern thought.

Dr. Thomas M. Osborne, Jr., is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Thomistic Studies, University of St. Thomas (Houston).  He is the author of Love of Self and Love of God in Thirteenth-Century Ethics (2005) as well as many articles in medieval and late-scholastic ethics, political philosophy, metaphysics, psychology, and the philosophy of action.  Two recent articles are “Continuity and Innovation in Dominic Banez’s Understanding of Esse:  Banez’s relationship to John Capreolus, Paul Soncinas, and Thomas de Vio Cajetan.” The Thomist 77 (2013): 367-394 and “Giles of Rome, Henry of Ghent, and Godfrey of Fontaines on Whether to See God Is to Love Him.”   Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales 80 (2013): 57-76. In 2009-2010, he received an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers for research at the Thomas-Institut University of Cologne, and in 2001-2002 he received a Gilson Fellowship for study at the Pontifical Institute for Mediaeval Studies.

Symposium on Aquinas and modern philosophies to be held in Paris in June 2016

The inaugural Symposium Thomisticum will take place in Paris, June 23-25, 2016. It will be held at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, located in the old Irish College in the center of Paris beside the Panthéon.

The theme of this first Sympoisum is "Aquinas and Modern Philosophies." Paper proposals are invited. The tentative deadline for abstracts is Oct. 1.

Further information can be found here and here.

Aquinas Center for Theological Renewal Awards 2014 Dissertation Prize

         Hieromonk Gregory Hrynkiw, ASTH

         Hieromonk Gregory Hrynkiw, ASTH

The Aquinas Center for Theological Renewal at Ave Maria University is pleased to announce Hieromonk Gregory Hrynkiw, ASTH, as the recipient of the 2014 St. Thomas Aquinas Dissertation Prize. The St. Thomas Aquinas Dissertation Prize honors the dissertation defended in any language during the past calendar year that best exemplifies the task of drawing upon the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas to engage constructively in contemporary theology, philosophy, and/or biblical studies.  

Hieromonk Gregory Hrynkiw, ASTH, has been a Byzantine-Catholic monk since 1989. While serving as Protohegumenos of the Basilian Order in Ukraine from February 2004 to July 2007, he fought on the front lines against systemic corruption. After suffering threats to his life, he was ordered to return to Rome, and in 2010 made his solemn profession of monastic vows into the Hermitage of the Three Holy Hierarchs. The Hermitage is a form of consecrated life, which follows the “middle path” of St. Gregory of Nazianzus, uniting both the contemplative (theoria) and active (praxis) aspects of monastic life.

In 2014, hieromonk Gregory completed his doctoral dissertation on Cajetan on Sacred Doctrine (In ST, I, q. 1): An Original Contribution towards a Theology of “Light from Light” by a Renaissance Cardinal and Theologian in via Thomae under the direction of Mons. Charles Morerod, O.P. at the Angelicum in Rome. At present, he is in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, preaching and teaching. He is also the publisher of The Asketerion, which is the journal of the Hermitage of the Three Holy Hierarchs.