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!

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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On the future of

In late June I had come to the decision that I could no longer devote the time and resources to authoring and supporting this web site, and had decided—in actu signato sed nondum in actu exercito—to inform the site’s visitors of this, and then close the site down. When I sent around my draft valedictory to some close colleagues, I was urged by friends at The Aquinas Center at Ave Maria University to consider another option. “What if we take over the main support of the site,” they wondered, “add some contributors, and take the burden off your shoulders?”

Phew. That was welcome news, indeed. And in the interim, mostly behind the curtain but occasionally on the proscenium (e.g., posts by new contributors), the fine people at Ave Maria and I have been transitioning the logistics for the site and bringing on the new contributors and chief editor—a post from the new management will follow shortly.

Closing the site would have been hard to live with. When the idea for it came to me in the year 2000, there were no readily-available, on-line blogging sites. So I created my own, and struggled to learn .NET, SQL, XML, HTML and CSS, and endured all the hassles of coding for different web browsers—Microsoft’s IE 6 was truly of the devil—and was tearful with gratitude to happen upon the fledgling in 2004, whose stellar hosting and authoring system let me pursue the dream of having a news site for the academic study of St. Thomas, with opinions, newsletters, picture galleries, and the like. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of Jörgen Vijgen, Robert Barry, Steve Perisho, David Whidden, and Michael Dougherty, we’ve been able to have a cheerful and informative site.

The great news is that the site will remain sure-footed under the direction and support of the people at The Aquinas Center at Ave Maria University, will in fact have a larger base of fine and diverse contributors, and will assuredly expand its viewership to an ever-widening audience of those interested in the academic study of St. Thomas Aquinas. Roger Nutt will be overseeing the site, with help of Michael Dauphinais and Joseph Trabbic. The new contributors will include Fr. Matthew Lamb and Steven Long of Ave Maria and Christopher Malloy of the University of Dallas and Fr. Timothy Bellamah of the Dominican House of Studies.

For myself I need and plan to live small, which will not be inherently antithetical to an occasional contribution—something the new editorship has generously encouraged.

That’s it for now. The esse of the site perdures, stemming from its continued final cause and appropriate, now-increased and diversified efficient and material causes. Thanks to all who have submitted information for us to share over the years. Thanks for your visiting and gathering useful information. And above all, thanks for any pleasure you may have derived from your visits and participation. Such enjoyment has been the purpose of the site, after all, from day one.

Let’s keep this thing going.

Registration module added

To protect all wishing to participate in forum discussions, and to have some level of control over at least the tone of the postings, I’ve instituted a required registration feature to the site (= more cost. Oh, well). If you wish to make postings on the newly-added forum section, you’ll be required to register and thereafter to log-in in order to make postings. You know the deal.

These new features are visible on the menu-bar at the top of your browser window.


Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson is an associate professor of Theology at Marquette University, and founded on Squarespace in November of 2004. He studied with James Weisheipl, Leonard Boyle, Walter Principe, and Lawrence Dewan, at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (Toronto, Canada).

Forum for discussion created

In order not to lose the great comments and helpful recommendations that readers send along, I’ve created a fledgling forum on the site, to allow users to make comments, etc.

The forum is visible on the top menu-bar, as well as at


Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson is an associate professor of Theology at Marquette University, and founded on Squarespace in November of 2004. He studied with James Weisheipl, Leonard Boyle, Walter Principe, and Lawrence Dewan, at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (Toronto, Canada).

Michael Dougherty joins the team

Michael V. Dougherty will begin contributing posts to our website. Currently in the Philosophy Department at Ohio Dominican University (faculty webpage), Dougherty earned his PhD in Philosophy from Marquette University, and is the author of a wide range of articles concerning Thomistic philosophy, and Christian philosophy generally (personal website). In addition (sotto voce) he’ll have a book coming out from Cambridge University Press. Welcome aboard, Michael, and thanks in advance for your efforts.

Michael’s first post will appear today. It concerns the plagiarism scandal surrounding M.W.F. Stone.

Thomas Instituut (Utrecht, The Netherlands)

Our friends of the ‘Thomas Instituut’ in Utrecht (The Netherlands) launched their new website. Have a look around here.


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. GmbH: an on-line language portal

Even though I've got some links here on the site to various on-line dictionaries, usually in a one-for-one way, the online language portal offers 25 dictionaries in 15 languages, all freely available (e.g. German, French, Italian, Spanish, on and on).

The site also features exercises and other activities you can use to improve your knowledge of other languages. A fine, fine resource.

A Thomistic Internet domain name to become available

I've owned the Internet domain name "" for about ten years, and have also owned the name "" (but no longer) and "" (not for long!). I will not be renewing my ownership of this latter name when it is scheduled to lapse in early 2010. Enrique Alarcon's wonderful Thomistica: An International Yearbook of Thomistic Bibliography is located at The top-level domain (TLD) of ".org" is not what I am attempting to do here at, so it does not make sense to keep it.

So might you want the Internet domain name ""? Please let me know, and we can make arrangements.


Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson is an associate professor of Theology at Marquette University, and founded on Squarespace in November of 2004. He studied with James Weisheipl, Leonard Boyle, Walter Principe, and Lawrence Dewan, at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (Toronto, Canada).

John Deely Awarded for World-Wide Scholarly Achievement

The PR people at the University of St Thomas in Houston just sent me this announcement:

Dr. John Deely, who holds the Rudman Chair of Philosophy in the Center for Thomistic Studies at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, won two prestigious medals for his world-wide scholarly achievement. He received the Aquinas Medal for Excellence in Christian Philosophy at the international Gilson Society meeting in Baltimore, Oct. 1-3, and the Maritain Medal for scholarly achievement, awarded at the annual meeting in Houston, Oct. 22-24 by UST Associate Professor Fr. Ted Baenziger, CSB, on behalf of the American Maritain Association.

Etienne Gilson and Jacques Maritain were the two foremost Thomists of the 20th century, and they had close teaching connections with the Basilians at the Pontifical Institute for Medieval Studies in Toronto. Maritain is also an honorary member of the UST Center for Thomistic Studies.

Deely’s prolific single-authored books and voluminous editorial enterprises include two opuses and a classic, Basics of Semiotics, which is in its sixth edition and has been translated into more than 10 languages, including Japanese and Chinese. One of his five books published in 2009, Augustine & Poinsot, has been on window display at the University of Paris Sorbonne. His work, as Professor Anne Hénault of the Sorbonne puts it, “opens horizons of thought absolutely essential for the 21st century.”

“Dr. Deely is a pioneer in demonstrating the implications of Thomistic thought for problems today,” said Padre Roberto Busa, SJ, Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and creator of the Index Thomisticus database. “He maintains the thought of St. Thomas as a living force in the intellectual culture, rather than simply as a kind of museum piece among the exhibits of history, making that thought come to the attention of thinkers who would not in the normal course of events have any particular interest in Thomism at all.”

Reflecting on Deely’s legacy in opening frontiers within and beyond the Catholic world, famous novelist and Latin philosopher Umberto Eco concludes, “John Deely has not only paid attention to the Second Scholasticism, and (while dealing with questions that are at the center stage of contemporary culture, and working across all the disciplines, both the humanities and the sciences) he has contributed to expand the knowledge of the Thomistic tradition beyond the confines of the Catholic world.”

The more than 400-page Deely Reader, Realism for the 21st Century (University of Scranton Press, Pa.), edited by Paul Cobley, London, was published in late October 2009.

In the words of Benedict Ashley, OP, professor emeritus, Aquinas Institute of Theology at St. Louis University, “No current thinker has carried out a more penetrating advance into a genuine post-modernism … than John Deely, and this collection gives us the heart of his work.”

Scheduled for publication later this year is Deely’s Semiotic Animal (St. Augustine’s Press, South Bend, Ind.).

Go to the site’s search page, punch in “Deely,” and you’ll see that he has been a big supporter of by way of providing information and PDF files of interest.

A shift in web browser usage

Running through the site’s metrics I just noticed an important shift in the usage of browsers to come here to Mozilla’s Firefox is now the most-used single browser to visit the site. That’s the good news. And usage of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer version 8 (IE8) as above 10 percent (also good news, as IE8 is Microsoft’s most standards-compliant version to date). Take a look at the stats, but keep reading…

The bad news is that Microsoft’s earlier IE6 remains strong at 23.28 percent; and IE6 renders CSS-compliant websites such as very poorly (in fact, it looks like dirt).

So keep the movement going towards Firefox and Apple’s Safari, and if you’re using any version of Windows XP and above, considering moving to IE8. Of late I’ve been authoring the site with Google’s Chrome, which is also quite good.


Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson is an associate professor of Theology at Marquette University, and founded on Squarespace in November of 2004. He studied with James Weisheipl, Leonard Boyle, Walter Principe, and Lawrence Dewan, at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (Toronto, Canada).

Got Summa? On your iPhone?

Courtesy of David Whidden (a PhD candidate a Southern Methodist University), news about an iPhone app that has the Summa on it! He says:

For those of you who have entered the iPhone (and iPod Touch) age, you will be glad to know that you can now carry the Summa with you in your pocket. For just $2.99 you can download ‘ipieta’, which has the full text of the English Dominican translation of the Summa as well as the Latin text. You can read just the English translation, just the Latin, or read the two in parallel (see screenshot of question 1 of the Prima Pars). The software is well organized, so you can get to an exact article in just three touches.  You can also do word and Boolean searches on the English translation. There is also the full text of Aquinas’ catechetical lectures.

In addition to the Summa, there are a host of other great documents on ipieta. You can get the full texts of all the ecumenical councils from Nicea to Vatican II (see screenshot of Dei Verbum), papal encyclicals from Pius VI through Benedict XVI, the Douay-Rheims and Vulgate versions of the Bible, the readings for the daily mass, a host of prayers, catechetical materials, and other valuable resources. All of the material is kept on your iPhone, so once you’ve got it you do not need Internet access to view the material. At $2.99 this is a steal.

It seems that there’s an app for everything…