Some notes from Fr Dewan

Some notes from Fr Dewan

As I thumbed through a Leonine volume in my office the other day a page of notes fell out, notes that I took during a conversation with Fr Dewan in 1984. As we now pass the first anniversary of his death, it seems right to share these with everyone. Who knows? Maybe these references will start a new dissertation!

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St. Thomas in Art & Legend - Lecture in Berkeley

The 25th Annual Aquinas Lecture at the Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology, Berkeley, California, will be delivered by DSPT Professor of Religion and the Arts Michael Morris, OP. In his illustrated presentation, Saint Thomas Aquinas in Art and Legend: An Iconographic Study of the Angelic Doctor, Fr. Morris, an art historian, will examine the iconography of the saint and explore the fables and the facts behind the Church’s most honored theologian. The event, scheduled for Wednesday, March 18 at 7:30 pm PDT (10:30 pm EDT), will be live-streamed.

Fr Dewan is ill and declining

Maxime Allard, OP, of the Dominican University College in Ottawa, is sharing news that Fr Lawrence Dewan, OP, is in the hospital, and his health is rapidly declining. Please storm heaven with your prayers for him.

Thomistica is 10 years old

Just a short note to remind our friends that today marks the ten-year anniversary of's first post! Thanks to all for their contributions and support. Ad multos annos, nos omnes!

Fr. Bonino new President of PAST

Today Pope Francis has named Dominican Father Serge-Thomas Bonino, the secretary of the International Theological Commission since 2011 and dean of the Philosophy Faculty at the Angelicum since September 2014, as the new president of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas.


Jörgen Vijgen

DR. JÖRGEN VIJGEN holds academic appointments in Medieval and Thomistic Philosophy at several institutions in the Netherlands. His dissertation, “The status of Eucharistic accidents ‘sine subiecto’: An Historical Trajectory up to Thomas Aquinas and selected reactions,” was written under the direction of Fr. Walter Senner, O.P. at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome, Italy and published in 2013 by Akademie Verlag (now De Gruyter) in Berlin, Germany.

The making of a medieval manuscript

From the Library of Leiden University (the Netherlands) comes the news:

"This is to alert you to a new product of the “Turning Over a New Leaf” project: a website (in English) devoted to the medieval manuscript, aimed at a non-expert audience: Some sixty web pages take you through the different production stages of the manuscript, and highlight important facets of the book before print. Short explanatory texts are paired with beautiful photographs, produced by Giulio Menna, professional photographer and co-producer of the website.Quill went live today and was two years in the making. It was produced with funding of De Jonge Akademie, logistical support of Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS), and with generous help of Leiden University Library, Special Collections."



Jörgen Vijgen

DR. JÖRGEN VIJGEN holds academic appointments in Medieval and Thomistic Philosophy at several institutions in the Netherlands. His dissertation, “The status of Eucharistic accidents ‘sine subiecto’: An Historical Trajectory up to Thomas Aquinas and selected reactions,” was written under the direction of Fr. Walter Senner, O.P. at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome, Italy and published in 2013 by Akademie Verlag (now De Gruyter) in Berlin, Germany.

Welcome to the new

Welcome to the new

After many years on our hosting provider,'s version 5 of their software, we have moved nearly everything over to version 6 of their system, which allows us to have universal reach across desktops, smartphones, and table devices. If you're connected, you can visit

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Divine Action – in Berkeley

The Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, California, recently held a book launch for Unlocking Divine Action: Contemporary Science and Thomas Aquinas (Catholic University of America Press, 2012) by Fr. Michael Dodds, OP, Professor of Philosophy and Theology at DSPT and the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), Berkeley. Bringing the teachings of Thomas Aquinas into dialogue with contemporary science, Fr. Dodds’ book finds new ways to understand God’s action in the natural world and in human life. Presenters were Dr. Robert John Russell, Founder and Director of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (CTNS) at the GTU; Dr. Ted Peters of CTNS, Professor of Systematic Theology, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and the GTU; Dr. Lara Buchak, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of California at Berkeley, and Fr. Mariusz Tabaczek, OP, GTU doctoral student from the Dominican Province of Poland. Presentations at the event are available on video (here).

Census of North American Doctoral Dissertations on Medieval Philosophy

The website In Medias PHIL, Robert Pasnau’s medieval philosophy blog, has a recent post that lists philosophy doctoral dissertations on medieval topics currently in progress at North American universities. Nearly half of them (32 out of 68 listed dissertations) contain Aquinas’s name in their respective titles. Other medieval philosophers whose names appear more than once include: Avicenna (4), Ockham (3), Anselm (2), Augustine (2), and Albert the Great (2). Pasnau promises a future survey of European dissertations in progress. 

Aquinas Lecture at DSPT Berkeley

The 23rd Annual Aquinas Lecture at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, CA, will be delivered by Fr. Augustine Thompson, OP, DSPT Professor of History, on Wednesday, February 27, at 7:30 pm PST (10:30 pm EST). Entitled “Baptismal Theology and Practice in the Age of St. Thomas Aquinas,” the lecture will examine new discoveries about the liturgical and social significance of baptism in the cities of thirteenth-century Italy and will compare these developments to the development of the theology of baptism from the twelfth century to Thomas Aquinas in the late thirteenth. The lecture will be live-streamed.

Aquinas’ "De unione verbi incarnati": An Interview with Dr. Klaus Obenauer, part 1.

On Wednesday, July 27th we posted an announcement about a new volume on Aquinas’ disputed question, De unione verbi incarnati.  Below is the first installment of an interview with the author, translator, and editor of the volume, German scholar Prof. Dr. Klaus Obenauer. tell us a little bit about yourself, your education, research interests, and your teaching.

Dr. Obenauer: I am a so called Research Assistant at the Faculty for Catholic Theology of the University of Bonn. This position is sustained by the “German Research Society” (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft [DFG]).  

I teach Dogmatic Theology in Bonn and (temporarily) in Cologne.

My primary field of research is what we call the “Constitutional-Christology” of St. Thomas and his School. My specific projects in this area include: St. Thomas’ De unione (now completed and published in the volume that we discuss below).  Currently I am researching the contributions of a few select great Thomists: Bernhard of Auvergne, Capreolus, Cajetan, Bánez, and The Salmanticenses.

As a systematic theologian I am drawn to a thomistically “orientated” metaphysics: the possibility of a critical foundation of such a metaphysics (with some free adaptation and personal development of the Continental Transcendental Thomism) was the subject of my second thesis, what we call here the “habilitation thesis.” How did you become interested in the De unione project?

Dr. Obenauer: Potius casu et fortuna. - And: After having worked on Aquinas’ metaphysics in my habilitation thesis, my interests became focused on the crucial problems of Constitutional Christology. Tell us a little bit about the preparation of the critical edition of the Latin text.

Dr. Obenauer: Apart from the concrete (and final) redaction which always entails that difficult judgments be made, the preparation of the Latin text was in no way based solely on my merits. I am in deep gratitude to Fr. Adriano Oliva, Ph.D., who is currently head of the Leonine Commission. Fr. Oliva gave me access to copies of the manuscripts that the members and cooperators of the Commission deemed most important.

The critical Latin text included in my volume on the De unione is the result of a process of collaboration, in which Fr. Walter Senner, Ph.D., who teaches at the Angelicum in Rome and who is a former member of Leonine Commission, along with his assistant, had the principal role in evaluating the manuscripts.  We met for a series of sessions in which the manuscripts were collated for critical evaluation. Do you know anything about the current status of the Leonine Commission’s work on the De Unione? And, will there be any relationship between your text and the work of the Commission on the De Unione?

Dr. Obenauer: As I noted in the previous question, Frs. Oliva and Senner were extremely helpful in my work on the De unione, but there is no formal relationship between my text and the Commission.  Furthermore, as you probably understand, it would be indiscreet for me to say more than that I am aware of existing preparatory works on the text by the Commission. And, I think that a Leonine Edition of De unione is not to be expected, at least in the next several years. Can you mention one or two aspects of the Latin text in your volume that you think scholars and students of Aquinas will find particularly interesting?

Dr. Obenauer: Apart from the supplementary passages in DU 1 ad15 - presented already by Deloffre in her volume on the De unione (Paris: Vrin, 2000), which I discuss more in part 2, - the most surprising fact is that the 13th and 14th-century manuscripts, which we consulted, with respect to article 4 use “sustentificare” instead of “substantificare.” This is a significant change, say, from the common text published in the Marietti edition.  It appears three times in the third paragraph of the body of article 4.  In this group of manuscripts there is but one exception to this usage.

The only parallel, known up to now with regard to the critical editions, is the Qu. quodl. 3,2,2(/4) arg/ad1 (also christological context!).  In addition: It´s also not completely impossible that the respective preliminary passage in the corpus of article 3 has to be improved in favour of “vel secundum formam accidentalem vel secundum substantiam,” instead of  “substantia-lem”.

The second part of this interview is forthcoming.