Summer Program in Norcia on St. Thomas's Commentary on Hebrews

Since 2012, the Albertus Magnus Center for Scholastic Studies, in cooperation with the Benedictine Monks of Norcia, has offered a two-week summer theology program at the birthplace of SS. Benedict and Scholastica.

This year, for their fifth summer, the Center has planned a truly marvelous program: “The Transcendent Christ: St. Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews.” Participants will study St. Thomas Aquinas’s Commentary on Hebrews, exploring its rich doctrine on Christology, priesthood, sacrifice, sacraments, and worship. The Epistle offers the opportunity to explore the mystery of grace in its source, Jesus Christ, the Head of the Mystical Body, and how the excellence of the work of Christ has a threefold extension: to the whole of creation, to the rational creature, and to the justification of the saints. Seminars and lectures culminate in a full-scale scholastic disputation, with arguments offered on both sides by participants and an authoritative determination given by the appointed magister.

This will be the first year that I will be on the faculty of the summer program. Other faculty members include Fr. Cassian Folsom, OSB, Fr. Thomas Crean, OP, John Joy, Christopher Owens, Daniel Lendman, and Br. Evagrius Hayden, OSB.

The goal of the AMCSS is to offer a meaningful academic experience of scholastic theology in its original fullness: studying Sacred Scripture, St. Thomas Aquinas, and the Fathers of the Church, in the peaceful and enchanting setting of a medieval Italian town, imbued with the spiritual and liturgical life of the Benedictine monks (daily High Mass in the usus antiquior, fully chanted monastic office), and all the culinary delights of the prosciutto and black truffle capital of Italy — in other words, a Catholic feast for mind, soul, and body. This year the course dates include Norcia’s festive celebration of the feast of St. Benedict on July 11th. Pilgrimages to the nearby towns of Assisi and Cascia are included in the cost, with the option of participating in a weekend trip to Rome at the end.

The dates for the Summer program are July 10–24, 2016. Most remarkably, the cost for tuition, room, and half-board (a light breakfast and a five-course Italian dinner every day) is 900 Euros. Tuition includes a hardcover bilingual edition of the Commentary on Hebrews as well as any other course materials. A background in academic theology is not required. (Students working towards degrees may request a summary of the program with faculty credentials and a certificate of completion that they may submit for possible course credit elsewhere.)

For more information, please click here. I recommend exploring the site and letting other folks know about it. The AMCSS has a great thing going, and each year they seem to gain momentum. In addition to the (relatively few) departments of theology out there that engage seriously with the great medieval minds, we also need grassroots initiatives that offer a lively engagement with scholastic authors in a Catholic environment such as those authors enjoyed and presumed. For this, Norcia is an ideal setting.

Discounts and new texts from Critical Reprints

The proprietors of Critical Reprints, which produces reprints of Latin editions of important texts by Aquinas, Albertus Magnus, et al. through, have asked us to let our readers know about some coupons Lulu is offering through Dec. 15. Here are the coupon codes:

FREESHIP (free shipping through Dec. 15)

HOLIDAY25 (25% off through Dec. 15 on up to 14 books)

They have also forwarded us the below information about new texts and a giveaway.


New Reprints!

Critical Reprints is pleased to bring you several reprints of important scholarly texts from Thomas Aquinas, Alexander of Hales, and Albert the Great!

In addition to the many reprints of Thomas Aquinas we already stock (like the Leonine Summa theologiae and Summa contra Gentiles), we are now offering:

In addition to the reprints connected with Alexander of Hales we already stock (the whole Summa fratris Alexandri), we are now offering:

We've also added:

Quodlibetal Giveaway (Advent 2013)

For this holiday season, we are inaugurating our first semiannual Quodlibetal GiveawayQuodlibet means "whatever", and in the Middle Ages, magistri would hold seminannual quodlibetal questions in Advent and Easter, where anyone could ask whatever of the masters. Here at Critical Reprints, we're doing our own take on the medieval quodlibet, by giving you an opportunity to win one critical reprint from whatever we reprint every Advent and Easter.

Digital edition of the works of Albert the Great

The Albertus Magnus Institute in Bonn (Germany), responsible for the critical edition of Saint Albert the Great, has now prepared a digital edition of the 28 volumes which since 1951 have appeared. Here you can download the English-German flyer with detailed information on the use of this digital edition. Free access to a trial version is available here.

As a complement to this ‘Editio digitalis’ the ‘Alberti Magni e-corpus’ has been available for some time, which focuses on the volumes not yet critically edited and where one can download both the Borgnet and the Jammy editions.


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.