Aristotle's revenge! Feser's new book on philosophy of nature

Ed Feser announced a couple days ago on his blog that his new book Aristotle’s Revenge: The Metaphysical Foundations of Physical and Biological Science will be out early next year from Editiones Scholasticae. I’m looking forward to it and I’m sure many of our readers are too. For more info see his post.

Joseph Clifford Fenton's book on sacred theology back in print

Last November I posted on the new "Thomist Tradition" series being launched by Cluny Media under the editorial direction of Cajetan Cuddy, OP. The purpose of the series, as its page at the Cluny Media site states, is to "make available the key texts of figures—both classic and contemporary, major and minor—who rightly claim membership in the living tradition which bears the intellectual imprint of their master, Thomas."

Last year, the first volume in the series was released: T.C. O'Brien's Metaphysics and the Existence of God. After making due for several years with PDF files of the original three articles from The Thomist, I was thrilled that a hard copy was being re-issued and I bought it right away.

Hot off the presses we now have Joseph Clifford Fenton's What is Sacred Theology? Fenton's book, which was first published in 1941, was originally titled The Concept of Sacred Theology and was the doctoral dissertation he wrote under the direction of Garrigou-Lagrange. You can get it here.

I should mention that the books that are being re-issued in the "Thomist Tradition" series aren't simply re-prints of the originals. A note on the series page states that each re-issue includes:

  • A new introduction that explains the book’s original historical and speculative context and outlines its enduring relevance to contemporary questions and disputes.
  • Extensive editorial review and certain footnotes that highlight, explain, and clarify themes and passages of particular significance.

This is an admirable initiative. I hope you'll check it out for yourself and pick up copies of the great O'Brien and Fenton books while you're at it.

New book series: The Thomist Tradition

A link at Ed Feser's blog today alerted me to an exciting new initiative. Cluny Media, which I'm learning about for the first time, is launching a new book series entitled "The Thomist Tradition." According to the series page at Cluny Media's website, the series "conveys a dual conviction":

1. The thought of St. Thomas Aquinas contains an incomparable fullness of wisdom.

2. The writings of the Thomists who followed him play a necessary role in mediating his wisdom to subsequent generations.

This is great! The series editor is the estimable Cajetan Cuddy, OP. Here's a list of currently available and forthcoming titles:

T.C. O'Brien, Metaphysics and the Existence of God (now available)

Joseph Clifford Fenton, The Concept of Sacred Theology (Christmas 2017)

Thomas U. Mullaney and Walter R. Farrell, Natural Law and Human Freedom: Thomistic Investigations (July 2018)

Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, The Eucharist (a new translation of De Eucharistia) (Christmas 2018)

Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, The Theological Virtues (a new translation of De Virtutibus Theologicis) (Christmas 2018)

I encourage you to check this out for yourself. I wish Fr. Cajetan's project every success!

New Book: General Principles of Sacramental Theology

General Principles of Sacramental Theology addresses a current lacuna in English-language theological literature. Bernard Leeming's highly respected book Principles of Sacramental Theology was published more than sixty years ago. Since that time, there has been a noted decrease, especially in English-language sacramental theology, in treatments of the basic topics and principles—such as the nature of the sacraments of signs, sacramental grace, sacramental character, sacramental causality, sacramental intention, the necessity and number of the sacraments, sacramental matter and form, inter alia—which apply to all of the sacraments.

Rather than deconstruct the Church's tradition, as many recent books on the sacraments do, Roger Nutt offers a vibrant presentation of these principles as a sound foundation for a renewed appreciation of each of the seven sacraments in the Christian life as the divinely willed means of communion and friendship between God and humanity. The sacraments bestow and nourish the personal communion with Jesus Christ that is the true source of human happiness. Recourse to the patrimony of Catholic wisdom, especially St. Thomas Aquinas, can help to highlight the sacraments and their significance within the plan of salvation.

This book will be of use in seminary, graduate, and undergraduate courses. It is further offered as a source of hope to all those seeking deeper intimacy with God amidst the confusion, alienation, and disappointment that accompanies life in a fallen world. The sacraments play an irreplaceable role in pursuing a Universal Call to Holiness that is so central to Vatican II's teaching.

Roger W. Nutt is associate professor of theology at Ave Maria University, Florida

This book will help priests and laity alike to gain a fuller understanding of the worth and power of the sacraments. Prof. Nutt helps to move the conversation about the sacraments forward in a much-needed way in our day.
— Paul Keller, OP, The Athenaeum of Ohio

New Book: Thomism and Predestination

A new book entitled Thomism and Predestination: Principles and Disputations is now available from The Catholic University of America Press. See below for more details. 

 

"There is perhaps no aspect of traditional Thomistic thought so contested in modern Catholic theology as the notion of predestination as presented by the classical Thomist school. What is that doctrine, and why is it so controversial? Has it been rightly understood in the context of modern debates? At the same time, the Church's traditional affirmation of a mystery of predestination is largely ignored in modern Catholic theology more generally. Why is this the case? Can a theology that emphasizes the Augustinian notion of the primacy of salvation by grace alone also forego a theology of predestination?

Thomism and Predestination: Principles and Disputations considers these topics from various angles: the principles of the classical Thomistic treatment of predestination, their contested interpretation among modern theologians, examples of the doctrine as illustrated by the spiritual writings of the saints, and the challenges to Catholic theology that the Thomistic tradition continues to pose. This volume initiates readers―especially future theologians and Catholic intellectuals―to a central theme of theology that is speculatively challenging and deeply interconnected to many other elements of the faith.

ABOUT THE EDITORS

Steven A. Long is a professor of Theology at Ave Maria University and author of Teleological Grammar of the Moral Act (Sapientia Press of Ave Maria University Publications). Roger W. Nutt is an associate professor of Theology, codirector of the Aquinas Center for Theological Renewal, and editor-in-chief of Sapientia Press of Ave Maria University. Thomas Joseph White, OP, is the director of the Thomistic Institute at the Domincan House of Studies. He is the author of several books including The Incarnate Lord: A Thomistic Study in Christology (CUA Press), and coeditor of the theological journal Nova et Vetera."

Call for papers: Conference on biblical Thomism in Poland

Our distinguished contributor Jörgen Vijgen has informed us of a call for papers for an upcoming conference entitled: "Towards a Biblical Thomism: Thomas Aquinas and the Renewal of a Biblical Theology." The conference will take place April 24-26, 2017 at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland. Abstracts of approximately 300 words should be submitted by January 31, 2017 to Piotr Roszak at piotrroszak@umk.pl. It is preferred that papers be in English.

The conference's keynote and other main lectures will be given by Michael Sherwin OP (University of Fribourg, Switzerland), Matthew Levering (Mundelein Seminary, United States), Enrique Alarcon (University of Pamplona, Spain), Giuseppe De Virgilio (Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome), Stefano Zamboni SCJ (Alphonsianum, Rome) and Michele Mazzeo OFM (Antonianum, Rome).

For further information check out the conference blog or download the CFP flyer.

Free access to the first 43 years of the Revue thomiste

There are a lot of good things that you can access for free at Gallica, a digital text archive of the Bibliothèque National de France. Two years ago I reported that the first 14 volumes of the Archives d’histoire doctrinale et littéraire du Moyen Âge are available there.

A month or so ago I discovered that you can also access all of the volumes of the Revue thomiste from 1893 to 1936 at Gallica. This is incredibly useful. Go here for the complete listing of the available volumes.

While you're there, you might want to spend a little time exploring the rest of Gallica to see what other treasures it yields.

UPDATE: I just realized that there are some gaps in the Revue thomiste volumes at Gallica. Three of those gaps (1915, 1916, 1917) I assume are due to suspension of publication during a part of World War I. I don't know what the explanation is for the other two gaps (1920, 1926). I had originally put "first 39 years" in the title of this post. 39 is the actual number of years that Gallica has volumes for between 1893 and 1936. 43 is simply the number of years between 1893 and 1936. I've decided to go with 43 but with the qualification about the gaps that I mention in this update.

A Word about the Word - DSPT Aquinas Lecture 2016

Fr. Olivier-Thomas Venard, OP, Professor of New Testament and Vice Director of the École Biblique et Archéologique Française de Jérusalem, will deliver the 2016 Aquinas Lecture at the Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology in Berkeley, California. In his presentation, “Life, Language and Christ: A Thomistic Approach,” Venard will posit that Aquinas sees a deep analogy, even a participation, between the Word and our words. The event, to be held Tuesday, February 23rd, at 7:30 pm PST (10:30 pm EST), will be available via live-streaming.

A trove of digitized Garrigou-Lagrange texts

Not long ago there were not (as far as I know) many of Garrigou-Lagrange's writings available electronically online. Last month I discovered that there are now over a dozen available at the Internet Archive. They are all English translations, but for those whose French or Latin is poor or non-existent, this is quite a resource. Obviously, it will also be useful for professors who would like to incorporate some of Garrigou's texts in their classes.

There are now a total of fourteen texts up. You can find them here. Also included is the hitherto hard to obtain English translation of Garrigou's famous (for some, notorious) 1946 Angelicum article "La nouvelle théologie: oú va-t-elle?" Here's what's available as of this posting:

Beatitude: A Commentary on St. Thomas' Theological summa, Ia IIae, qq. 1-54

Christian Perfection & Contemplation

God: His Existence and His Nature (vol. 1)

God: His Existence and His Nature (vol. 2)

The Love of God and the Cross of Jesus (vol. 1)

The Love of God and the Cross of Jesus (vol. 2)

The Mother of The Savior and Our Interior Life

Our Saviour and His Love for Us

Predestination

The Last Writings

The Priest in Union with Christ 

The Three Ages of the Interior Life (vol. 1)

The Three Ages of the Interior Life (vol. 2)

“Where is the New Theology Leading Us?”

There were two other entries that I did not include in this list because I'm not sure what they are. They are supposed to be an index and a bibliography to The Three Ages of the Interior Life. When I clicked on the links, however, I was led to blank pages. 

We certainly owe a debt of gratitude to whoever made the effort to put all of this up.

Thomism and hermeneutic violence: five Dominicans respond to Adriano Oliva

A few weeks ago on Thomistica.net one of our contributors, Tom Osborne, shared some brief thoughts on Adriano Oliva's new book Amours. Oliva, a Dominican, is the president of the Leonine Commission. In Amours he argues for a number of controversial theses, including the moral goodness of some homosexual acts and the permissibility of the reception of communion by divorced and civilly remarried Catholics. He enlists Aquinas in making these arguments.

Prior to Osborne's negative evaluation there was also a highly critical review by Thibaud Collin in La Croix, which you can find here. One of Collin's criticisms has to do with Oliva's reading -- or radical misreading, rather -- of ST, Ia-IIae, q. 31, a. 7. His comments are sharp:

Une telle argumentation repose sur des contresens qu’il convient de manifester. Il semble y avoir ici une lecture sélective du texte de saint Thomas. On rompt la cohérence interne de la doctrine thomasienne pour mieux ensuite piocher ce dont on a besoin afin de reconstruire sa propre théorie, plus proche de celle de Michel Foucault que celle du saint dominicain.

Now, five Dominicans -- Bernhard Blankenhorn, Catherine Joseph Droste, Efrem Jindráček, Dominic Legge, and Thomas Joseph White -- have responded to Oliva at First Things. Like Collin, they also charge Oliva with a radical misreading of Aquinas (among other things). You can find their comments here. I can only (not without sadness) concur with their judgments.