Exciting news! After some discussions with Dr. Mark Johnson, the founder of Thomistica, the Aquinas Center of Ave Maria University has handed over the ownership and management of this website to the founders of the Sacra Doctrina Project, many of whom have contributed articles here in the past. Please feel free to peruse their website to learn about the founders, senior advisors, and affiliate members - in addition to their mission and initiatives. You may also follow the Project on Twitter (@sacradoctrina) and Facebook (facebook.com/thesacradoctrinaproject).
Our esteemed contributors here at Thomistica will continue to post insightful articles and news pertaining to Thomistic scholarship, but the Sacra Doctrina Project will also endeavor to increase the frequency of posts, articles, and discussion, so stay tuned in the coming months; ite ad Thomisticam!"
Please notice the three job advertisements here:
Please note that all three are for permanent positions. They are not advertised on Jobs for Philosophers.
54th INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF MEDIEVAL STUDIES
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan
9—12 May 2019
There will be a total of 6 sessions devoted to Medieval philosophical and theological thought, especially that of Aquinas, sponsored by:
The Center for Thomistic Studies, c/o S.J. Jensen, Center for Thomistic Studies, University of St. Thomas (TX), 3800 Montrose, Houston, TX 77006-4696. FAX: (713) 942-3464. email: email@example.com . Three sessions will be devoted to any topic about the philosophy of Aquinas, his sources, or contemporary applications of his thought.
The Thomas Aquinas Society, c/o John F. Boyle, Department of Catholic Studies, 55-S, University of St. Thomas, 2115 Summit Ave, St. Paul, MN 55105. Fax: (651) 962-5710, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For these three sessions, proposals on any topic dealing with Aquinas are welcome.
Papers are 20 minutes in length.
Paper submissions must include a 300 word abstract and a completed Participant Information Form (attached)
Deadline for submissions: 15 Sep 2018.
The Kalamazoo conference is the largest congress for Medieval Studies in the world. Cost of room and board is quite moderate, and the atmosphere congenial to those interested in Aquinas.
In MacIntyre’s After Virtue, which was written in 1981, he argued that even though modern thinkers continued to possess a “simulacra of morality” they had actually “very largely, if not entirely” lost the theoretical and practical comprehension of morality. Indeed, Kantian deontologism and Enlightenment philosophy have both done their part to hinder modern man from an appreciation of the role of virtue and teleology. Thankfully, though, as virtue ethics has become more popular and as Thomists have begun to reassert the foundational role the human desire for happiness has in the moral life (by turning, time and again, to the beginning of the Secunda Pars), some of us moderns have found ourselves on the correct path. Nevertheless, despite the relative proliferation of works on the virtues since the time After Virtue was written, there has not been much work done on the beatitudes, which are, for Thomas, “acts of perfect virtue” (see II-II, q. 29 a. 4 ad 1 and q. 79 aa. 1 & 3) that are distinguished from virtues “not as habit from habit, but as act from habit” (I-II, q. 69 a. 1). It’s good to see that Fr. Anton ten Klooster is taking steps to fill this lacuna.
Click here for more info and ordering info.
With the digitalization of the journal Divus Thomas (Fribourg) from 1887 to 2016 by the Swiss website e-periodica the Thomistic community has yet another tool easily available for the historical and systematical study of Thomism in recent times.
One of the ways to implement Pope Leo XIII’s vision in Aeterni Patris (1879) was the founding of journals specifically devoted to the study of Thomism. Already in 1880 the Collegio Alberoni in Piacenza founded the journal Divus Thomas, which still exists today. In 1881, the recently founded Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas started the publication of its yearbook L'Accademia Romana di S. Tommaso D'Aquino. The Academy continues this tradition with the publication of Doctor Communis, containing the proceedings of their annual plenary session (the latest issue Dio creatore e la creazione come casa commune. Prospettive Tomiste inaugurates a new collaboration with the Urbaniana University Press). In Belgium, Désiré Mercier founded the Revue Néo-Scolastique in 1894 and the first issue of Revue Thomiste was published in the same year (the first decades are available online).
For the German speaking world, the Thomistic community owes an enormous debt of gratitude to Ernst Commer (1847-1928), who founded the Jahrbuch für Philosophie und spekulative Theologie in 1887. On the occasion of its tenth anniversary, Michael Glossner defines the goals of the journal as follows: the “Wiederhebung der Philosophie aus tiefem Verfall zu der ihr gebührenden Stellung als erste under den natürlichen Wissenschaften durch Anknüpfung an die gewaltsam unterbrochene Tradition, durch Wiedergewinnung einer sicheren Grundlage in allgemein anerkanntnen Prinzipien und ruhige kontinuierliche Weiterbilding auf Grund derselben.” (Jahrbuch 11 (1897), 2).
From the very first issue onwards, key features of the Thomistic synthesis are given their proper place, i.e. the real distinction between being and essence, the principle of individuation and in particular the doctrine of praemotio physica (e.g. Norberto del Prado’s De concordia physicae praemotionis cum libero arbitrio in the 1903 issue). Of equal importance are the many contributions in the field of biology and physics, e.g. the many articles by Joseph Gredt in the 1920’s on electrons and on Einstein’s theory of relativity.
In 1914 the journal changes its name to Divus Thomas and in 1922 the Fribourg Dominicans Gallus Häfele (1882-1960) and Gallus Manser (1866-1950) become its editors. One of the principal controversies to which the journal devotes extensive attention concerned the molinism of the Innsbruck Jesuit Johann B. Stufler, as expressed in his 1923 “Divi Thomae Aquinatis doctrina De Deo operante in omni operatione naturae creatae praesertim liberi arbitrii”. In these years the journal becomes the preferred place to publish the research of such Thomists as Joseph Gredt, Martin Grabmann, Santiago Ramirez, Gallus Manser and others. The 1953 issue contains an index for the years 1923-1953.
In 1954 the journal changes its name to its current one: Freiburger Zeitschrift für Philosophie und Theologie, officially to end the confusion that had arisen with the Italian journal of the same name. The change in name is however indicative for the declining influence of Thomism in these years, as becomes apparent from the indices of these years. Thomas Aquinas almost disappears from the journal with the exception of an issue devoted to him in 1974, containing important articles whose titles are indicative for that time (Y. Congar, Saint Thomas d'Aquin et l'esprit oecuménique; J. H. Nicholas, Liberté du théologien et autorité du Magistère).
Between 1982 and 2017 the journal published 35 articles on St. Thomas by scholars such as J.-P. Torrell (Frère Thomas d'Aquin prédicateur 29 (1982), 1/2, 175-188), John F. Wippel (The Latin Avicenna as a source of Thomas Aquinas' metaphysics 37 (1990), 1/2, 51-90), Ruedi Imbach (Notule sur le commentaire du "Liber de causis" de Siger de Brabant et ses rapports avec Thomas d'Aquin 43 (1996), 3, 304-323), Rupert Mayer (Stockwerkphilosophie gegen Stockwerktheologie : zum "desiderium naturale" bei Henri de Lubac und Thomas von Aquin 56 (2009), 1, 164-193) and Gilles Emery (Le mode personnel de l'agir trinitaire suivant Thomas d'Aquin 50 (2003), 3, 334-353).
The Faculty of Theology at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torún, Poland is organizing it’s third international conference on the thought of Thomas Aquinas in April 2019. The first in 2015 was entitled “Towards a Biblical Thomism. The biblical exegesis of Thomas Aquinas and its contemporary relevance” and its proceedings were published by Brepols. The second conference in 2017 was devoted to “Towards a Biblical Thomism: Aquinas and the Renewal of Biblical Theology” and its proceedings have been published recently by Eunsa.
The third conference, which will be held April 4-6, 2019, is entitled “Identity and Tradition. Thomas Aquinas and the Church Fathers”.
The keynote and other main lectures will be given by Serge-Thomas Bonino O.P. (Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome), Carmelo Conticello (CNRS-Paris), Dominic Legge O.P. (Dominican House of Studies, Washington D.C.), Enrique Alarcón (University of Navarra, Pamplona) and Paul van Geest (Tilburg University).
Papers may be given preferably in English and the presentation should take 20-25 minutes. To submit a proposal, please send an abstract of approximately 300 words (along with your name, academic affiliation and contact information) to email@example.com by November 15, 2018. Notification of acceptance will be given by December 15, 2018. For more info see http://biblicalthomism.umk.pl/ or the full Call for Papers here.
Pavel Kilbergr, Graduate Student, University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice,and Fulbright Scholar, University of St. Thomas (Houston), interviews Thomas Osborne, Thomistica Contributor!
Francis Beckwith, President of the American Catholic Philosophical Assocation, writes:
Philosophy is essential to a well-rounded college education. But it is especially so for academic institutions that claim to be custodians of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.
Unfortunately, over the past decade some colleges and universities, including Catholic ones, have changed (or have considered changing) their core curricula so that fewer philosophy courses are required and/or offered to their undergraduates.
To address this issue, my predecessor, Thomas Hibbs, convened a three member committee for the purpose of formulating and promulgating an official statement by the American Catholic Philosophical Association (ACPA). I am happy to report that the committee has succeeded in putting together an outstanding document. The ACPA has posted it on its website here.
Visiting Assistant Professor
The University of St. Thomas (www.stthom.edu), a private Catholic university committed to the liberal arts and to the religious an intellectual tradition of Catholic higher education, is seeking Visiting Assistant Professors (2) - one year sabbatical replacement, beginning August 2018. 4/4 course load. Ph.D. preferred; ABD considered.
Courses to be taught: Required courses in the university core: Human Person, Ethics, Metaphysics, Ancient Philosophy, Medieval Philosophy, Modern Philosophy. Required courses are taught from a Thomistic perspective.
AOS: Open, but candidates must have facility with the Latin texts of Thomas Aquinas;
Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.
For additional questions regarding the position, Please contact Dr. Steven Jensen, Philosophy Search Committee via firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications should address applicant's knowledge of the Thomistic tradition and support of the mission of Catholic higher education in light of Ex corde Ecclesiae and Fides et Ratio
To apply for this position, please send complete dossier, including a letter of interest, a statement concerning the mission of Catholic higher education in light of Ex Corde Ecclesiae and Fides et Ratio, curriculum vitae, and three letters of references to
Human Resources – Ref: Philosophy –Visiting Assistant Professor
University of St. Thomas
3800, Montrose Blvd
Houston, TX 77006
The University of St. Thomas is an Equal Opportunity Employer
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.
RJ Matava just brought my attention to a new book by Basile Valuet, OSB on St. Thomas's teaching on predestination, grace, and free will. It's the second volume of a projected four volume series that, according to a blurb from its publicity flyer, "cherche à déterminer quelle est l’authentique doctrine de l’Église catholique sur les rapports entre Dieu et la liberté humaine, essentielle quant à l’intelligence de notre destinée." The series title is Dieu joueur d’échecs? Prédestination, grâce et libre arbitre and the title of this second volume is Relecture de saint Thomas d’Aquin.
Fr. Basile is the prefect of studies at the Abbaye Sainte-Madeleine du Barroux. He was also recently appointed to the scientific committee of the Revue Thomiste. His series is published by the abbey's Éditions Sainte-Madeleine. You can purchase the second volume from the abbey bookstore here.