Moral Theology and St. Thomas Aquinas – the comeback

From ZENIT:

Vatican Official Considers Aquinas’ Comeback

Recalls How Morality Was Scorned in the 60s

By Antonio Gaspari

ROME, DEC. 3, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Moral theology based on St. Thomas Aquinas is among one of theology’s most popular branches today, says a Vatican official, but this popularity has come about only after decades of disdain.

Archbishop Jean Louis Bruguès, secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, spoke about his journey with moral theology when he delivered an address at a conference last Friday in Rome, which marked the 30th anniversary of the St. Thomas Aquinas International Society.

Archbishop Bruguès contended that "after May of ’68, moral theology, at least in France, fell into profound neglect.[Not just in France.]

"During two years, the seminarians of Toulouse received no classes on this subject, considered disagreeable and boring, as no one was found who was willing to teach them," he said. It fell to then Father Bruguès, a young priest with a doctorate in morality, to take up these courses.

The prelate recalled that his spiritual assistant, Father Michel Labourdette, tried to encourage him with these words: "You are concerned with a subject that today is disparaged, but have patience: The day will come when it will be envied by others."

Indeed, Archbishop Bruguès noted, by the beginning of the 80s, many issues referring to ecology and the development of medical techniques began to be at the center of attention of bioethics.

"So, from one day to another, ethicists — that dreadful neologism coined to avoid saying ‘moralist,’ [Interesting.] as the word ‘morality’ still caused fear — were in demand everywhere," he said. "My professor had understood [the situation] well. Moral theology was becoming the most appreciated subject, the only branch of theology that was really taken into account in a secularized society."

Archbishop Bruguès pointed out that in the 60s students were characterized by an essentially critical mentality.

"The very idea of making reference to the masters of Tradition stirred in them allergic reactions," he quipped. "It was impossible even to mention the name of Thomas Aquinas: One ran the risk of having people plug their ears."  [no kidding!]

Father Labourdette also offered advice in this regard, the Vatican official remembered, encouraging him to "always teach [Aquinas] but without mentioning his name."

"Hence, for years I practiced so to speak an ‘amphibious Thomism," recalled the archbishop, until "finally, one day […] they asked me for classes on the moral theology of St. Thomas: The time of ‘clandestine’ Thomism had ended."

Archbishop Bruguès commented that "the generation of May ’68, which described itself as critical, rejected the transmission of Christian culture and tradition. The following generation was practically deprived of any Christian culture — it knew that it didn’t know. This led to not sharing the prejudices of their predecessors; now we can start again and share the great masters."

The prelate proposed the Catechism of the Catholic Church as the text that best reflects this change.

The "Catechism is based on a conviction that further reflection is necessary: The great institutions of St. Thomas’ morality are the best instrument of critical dialogue with modernity," continued the secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education.

"The theory of virtue will stimulate a renewal of moral theology," he affirmed, and thus "the teaching of moral theology stemming from the great institutions of Thomism, still has a luminous future before it."

 

I remember how, when Veritatis splendor was in the works there was a war in certain circles over the document because the first drafts were too Thomistic.

In any event… let’s us consider the following from the 1983 Code of Canon Law:

Can. 252 §1. Theological instruction is to be imparted in the light of faith and under the leadership of the magisterium in such a way that the students understand the entire Catholic doctrine grounded in divine revelation, gain nourishment for their own spiritual life, and are able properly to announce and safeguard it in the exercise of the ministry.

§2. Students are to be instructed in sacred scripture with special diligence in such a way that they acquire a comprehensive view of the whole of sacred scripture.

§3. There are to be classes in dogmatic theology, always grounded in the written word of God together with sacred tradition; through these, students are to learn to penetrate more intimately the mysteries of salvation, especially with St. Thomas as a teacher. There are also to be classes in moral and pastoral theology, canon law, liturgy, ecclesiastical history, and other auxiliary and special disciplines, according to the norm of the prescripts of the program of priestly formation.

It’s right there in the book.  So… how much attention does Aquinas receive?

I’m just askin’.

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32 Responses to Moral Theology and St. Thomas Aquinas – the comeback

  1. supertradmom says:

    I raised my hand in Philosophy class in the ’70s, at a Catholic University, working on a Philosophy degree, I asked when we were going to study Aquinas. The priest answered, “Oh, Aquinas is passe” (Cannot do the accent on my computer). Thank God for Thomas Aquinas College and Thomas More College for reinstating this great saint’s works after so much neglect. We need more Catholic universities and colleges to require the rational and beautiful works of this our wonderful saint.

  2. sacerdosinaeternum says:

    Thanks be to God and His Divine Grace, my studies in Moral Theology were thoroughly imbued with St Thomas Aquinas. At the Angelicum, I was taught by Fr Giertych, OP (now Papal Theologian) and others. Those courses truly changed my life. Our text was the Summa and Fr Servais Pinckers’ The Sources of Christian Ethics. There was no clandestine Aquinas in my studies! However, at other institutions, this isn’t so. Other seminarians tell me that at their seminaries, the situation described above still exists.

  3. Peter says:

    I studied Theology in Toronto at the end of the 70′s – early 80′s…. St. Thomas was not passee…it was almost anathema…but we certainly studied every other trend floating around out there…most of which were quite heterodox…I felt and still feel robbed…

  4. Virgil says:

    This may sound a bit odd, but I know two people with PhD/STD in Thomistic theology, and both are on the Left fringe: one an outspoken feminist who eventually got herself “ordained” by the Womenpriests, another who was a professor of moral theology who regularly trashed Humanae Vitae on Thomistic grounds.

    Personally, I never saw how Thomas would get you to the conclusions of thise two. I’m glad that the broader Church is re-claiming this part of our patrimony!

  5. When I was in the seminary we were told that there is no ‘perennially valid’ philosophy, despite the phrase being stated at Vatican II (Optatam Totius #15) and reiterated in the 1983 Code of Canon Law (#251). Fortunately, I had been trained in classical Thomism thanks to Fr. Levis and my old philosophy professor, Sr. Dominic Twohill, OP, so I knew scholastic metaphysics, epistemology, logic, et al. Unfortunately, the Catechism of the Catholic Church did not exist until 1992, four years after Father Brighenti and I were ordained. Hence, we were ‘taught’ such things as consequentialism, probabilism, situational ethics, etc. (as well as a good dose of liberation theology).

    With the tutelage of orthodox priests like Father Levis and those from Opus Dei, I and others preserved our Catholic morality. My doctoral dissertation was “Thomistic Renaissance – the Natural Moral Law: the Reawakening of Scholasticism in Catholic Teaching as Evidenced by Pope John Paul II in Veritatis Splendor”

    It is no coincidence or accident that once Charles Curran & Co. defected from Magisterial teaching by dissenting from Humanae Vitae, the floodgates of moral reletavism hit the Church like a Tsunami. Note, too, the preponderance of sexual abuse by clergy occurred during the time of bad moral theology being taught in Catholic colleges and seminaries. Once the Natural Moral Law was repealed (in their minds), the deviants felt empowered to act out their inclinations. Bad moral and doctrinal theology (i.e., heterodoxy) was accompanied by bad liturgy (ireverence, abuses and illicit innovations). These two combined only encouraged bad moral behavior. Promiscuity, pornography, adultery, fornication, and even sexual deviancy and perversion were ‘rationalized’ as being true to oneself (until the lawsuits and Dallas Charter changed everything).

  6. Tim Ferguson says:

    It should be noted, respective of Fr. Z’s quotation of canon 252, that St. Thomas is the only person mentioned by name in the Latin Code, other than the Blessed Virgin and the Lord himself.

  7. Bo the Okie says:

    Well, I was in seminary at Duke Divinity School when I converted to Catholicism…and I can tell you one of the main reasons was because Thomas Aquinas meant a great deal to the protestants there.

    Of course, there are plenty of very anti-Thomas and anti-Catholic things going on there as well, but on the whole, you’d be surprised. Also, you get very strange versions of Thomas. The biggest push by Duke protestants (who prize themselves on how important liturgy and the Church Fathers are…two big reasons I converted as well!) is to try and make Karl Barth and Thomas Aquinas match up as much as possible. I of course am a huge skeptic of this enterprise, but I will not bag on my professors who I can say mostly with good intentions tried to understand how two people they found convincing could reconcile with each other.

    Again, I don’t think it works. But it was because Thomas is willing to be taught by Protestants in a way I know some Catholic schools are unwilling to do the same that lead me to the Church.

    Of special note at Duke should be Reinhard Huetter, a convert from Lutheranism, who was a Thomist before he converted, and this I think lead him to convert to Catholicism. I had multiple classes with him that were wonderful. Whether it was allowing Gilsonian reads of Thmas on simplicity, (if not against the Stump/analytical reading, at least in dialouge with it), or comparing La Grange vs. de Lubac’s understanding of Thomas on Nature and Grace (now La Grange IS passe, but I, along with Huetter, think he is pretty great!), we really dug our heels into Thomas. Alas, nothing like a standard Thomistic/Scholastic moral formation in the pure sense occured there, but then again, Stanley Hauerwas at Duke was formidable in bringing Thomas’s understanding of virtue and moral vision back on the table for protestants and even certain Catholics alike in the late 70′s…

    Another school that is Protestant but has a monumental Thomist presence is the University of Tulsa, although this is based almost entirely on Russell Hittinger, the great defender of the Natural Law. He splits his time between Tulsa and Rome, and we here in Oklahoma are quite blessed to have him around. The undergrads there don’t even know how fortunate they are!

  8. Pete says:

    Virgil wrote: “..another who was a professor of moral theology who regularly
    trashed Humanae Vitae on Thomistic grounds.”

    It is likely that the trashing/critique of HV on Thomistic grounds places the
    professor on the far right. The personalism of Karol Wojtyla runs deep in the
    novelty of the arguments supporting the core truth contained in HV. Thus a
    Thomist would find much to stratch his head about.

    Pete

    P.S. I tool feel robbed as St. Thomas was all too lacking in my own undergrad
    studies at two Catholic Universities.

  9. Jason Keener says:

    The disdain some Catholic philosophers and theologians have for Aquinas is another example of a serious rupture in the life of the Church since the Second Vatican Council. How Aquinas could go from being the greatest role model of Catholic thinkers to being almost totally ignored is another fact of post-Vatican II life that boggles the mind.

    In any event, I think the surest way forward for future priests and philosophers is to again study and promote the idea of a perennial philosophy. The perennial philosophy is a way of doing philosophy that acknowledges that man can come to know the truth about many things. A perennial philosophy also recognizes that there are certain fundamental principles of philosophy that never change like the principle of non-contradiction, etc. Every priest should be totally grounded in the metaphysical realism of St. Thomas Aquinas.

    Too much time in colleges and seminaries is wasted on the contradictory, self-refuting, and absurd roads of Modern Philosophy. (Been there, done that.) I have nothing against modern thought, but it must be done in continuity and cooperation with what has been found to be true in the past and with what remains true.

    As an aside, I have trouble supporting the more Novus Ordo oriented seminaries because they rarely offer their seminarians any solid grounding in metaphysical realism and Aquinas. How can these seminarians be expected to serve the Church well if they have been marinated in the manure of relativistic philosophies, etc., for years? On the other hand, the traditional seminaries (Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, etc.), continue to train seminarians in Aquinas. As is so often the case, we can take our cue from Traditional Catholicism on how to move forward in the best way.

    ITE AD THOMAM! (Go to Thomas!)

  10. Ryan says:

    Here at the seminary, there is certainly a renewed interest in St. Thomas. Our academic dean teaches from a thoroughly Thomistic perspective and most of our philosophy classes are taught by a monk who is a fairly strict Thomist (he also frequently cites Pope Benedict’s Regensburg Address). I’ve also heard the phrases “Say the Black, Do the Red” (even a few times from my own bishop) and “hermeneutic of continuity” from the faculty.

  11. a catechist says:

    Forgive anecdote rather than data—but I can usually spot a priest with such a background by his preaching. Does he define terms carefully? Does he always use theological terms correctly? Is his exposition orthodox and systematic? When I hear a preacher who meets those criteria & inquire, he almost always had conspicuous St. Thomas. I’ve certainly known several priests ordained in the last ten yrs. who’d studied St. Thomas. For one of them, St. John of the Cross led to a study of St. Thomas.

  12. KJ MacArthur says:

    May I mention the University of St. Thomas in Houston, TX. The great majority of its philosophy faculty are Thomist and it is the home of the Center for Thomistic Studies, a graduate program (offering both the MA and PhD degrees) that focuses on Thomistic philosophy.

  13. LCB says:

    So we stopped teaching Aquinas and the impact on our culture was…?

    We stopped using Aquinas as part of priestly formation and the impact on Catholic Culture and the Priesthood was…?

    We let the people who stopped using Aquinas and supported everything BUT Aquinas rework the Mass and the impact on Catholicism and mass attendance was…?

    Despite what the trendy thought may claim, it seems that Thomas ISN’T the problem, but the solution to the problem.

  14. A Random Friar says:

    Well, being a Dominican, I got a nice size helping of ol’ Thomas. But what really excites me are the lay theologians and writers who take their cue from St. Thomas and have written good, solid works in moral theology and ethics. They go where friars will not be listened to so easily.

    Of course, being trained in Thomism can be frustrating… mostly when you deal with academics (even philosophy profs) who deny the principle of non-contradiction… which take a lot of patient, difficult dialogue to overcome.

  15. Michael says:

    Those interested in the contemporary developments of the Natural Law theory, fully loyal to the Magisterium should consult the works of Grisez (The Way of the Lord Jesus/ Vol. I: Christian Moral Principles) and Finnis: Aquinas: Moral, Political and Legal Theory, Finnis: Fundamentals of Ethics; Finnis : Moral Absolutes, Finnis: Natural Law and Natural Rights; and relatively easier approach in May: Moral Theology – An Introduction. They are all laymen, primarily philosophers, but also moral theologians.

  16. NY Priest says:

    The Moral Theology taught at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, in the Archdiocese of New York is and has been essentially that of St. Thomas.
    We were fortunate to have Msgr. William B. Smith. (Some of his fundamental moral theology lectures can be found on at Keep the Faith).

    As to Michael’s suggestion…while Grisez and Finnis are certainly loyal to the magisterium they do take a new slant on St. Thomas. While they certainly claim to be following Aquinas, one might argue they begin with certain Kantian presuppositions.
    I’d instead recommend Msgr. Glenn’s ”A Tour of the Summa” (TAN) a very readable condensed version of St. Thomas’ Summa Theologiae, Servais Pinckaers’ short and clear ”Morality the Catholic View”, F.C Copleston’s perennial ”Aquinas”, and Ralph McInerny’s slim but dense ”Ethica Thomistica” to get a good feel for the Angelic Doctor’s Moral Theology.
    Pinckaer’s ”Sources of Christian Ethics” is a large volume on the history of moral theology but it has played a large part in the revival of interest in St. Thomas.
    Finally, for a very good, affordable, and readable work on the topics of moral theology from an Aristotlean-Thomistic perspective try Fagothey’s ”Right and Reason” (TAN). [N.B. You'll want the 2nd edition from 1959 which is the TAN reprint. The most recent edition is to be avoided at all costs.]

  17. Bo the Okie says:

    Not trying to be confrontational, since we all pretty much agree, but I will argue that Hittinger (Chair of Catholic Studies…he is very much Orthodox Catholic…just want to make sure if the U of Tulsa bit threw you off) is the best way to wrap around understandings of Natural Law. Just look him up in the archives of First Things or get his book “The First Grace.”

    As far as other very interesting Thomists, Matthew Levering is WONDERFUL. His “Sacrifice and Community” and “Temple and Torah in Thomas Aquinas” are some of the best works I have read by a living author in a long, long time. very insightful understandings of Thomas and theology of the Sacrifice of the Mass and its place in line with the Temple in salvation history…

  18. Boko says:

    Last summer, I thought I detected the beginning of the rehabilitation of Pere (Reginald)Garrigou-Lagrange. A biography was recently published and First Things had a good article (I think by Reno). A reassessmahn of la nouvelle theologie (and a complete trashing of the chaos that followed in its wake) would be a welcome development.

  19. Boko says:

    “Bo the Okie”? Are we related? Agreed on Levering and Hittinger.

    –Bo the Oko

  20. Jayna says:

    To think that my parish is the way it is and yet the church is called St. Thomas Aquinas. I’m reasonably certain that if my fellow parishioners actually read any of his writings, they’d petition the pastor to change the name.

    As to its popularity, I have to say that even here at Georgia State in their relatively brand new Religious Studies dept (started in 2005), they have a philosophy class on Aquinas. Not a single other course having anything to do with Christianity, but there it is.

  21. sacredosinaeternum says:

    NY Priest…you are right on! Grisez and Finnis are not substitutes for Aquinas. Sadly, in some places, their teaching of Moral Theology supplants that of St. Thomas. Their Natural Law ethics which begins with Kantian presuppositions should only be studied once one has understood Aquinas well. St. Thomas Aquinas’ teaching is based upon virtue and the call to beatitude. This is why it needs to be the base of anything that follows. Of course, St. Thomas is not restricted to Moral Theology. His illuminated teaching should thoroughly inform all of the Sacred Sciences. Sanctae Thomae, ora pro nobis!

  22. beware the Transcendental Thomist in scholastic clothing

  23. Professor Kwasniewski says:

    Supertradmom (and others),
    Don’t forget that Wyoming Catholic College includes readings from the works of St. Thomas in 7 out of 8 semesters of theology — even more than Thomas Aquinas College has. The intellectual culture here is permeated with a joyful, integrative Thomism — the sort one can also find in the Theology Department of Ave Maria University and its redoubtable Aquinas Center for Theological Renewal.

  24. Professor Kwasniewski says:

    I should have also mentioned that key questions, lectiones, or opuscula of St. Thomas are also read in all five semesters of Aristotelian philosophy that the Wyoming Catholic students must take — Philosophy of Nature, Philosophy of Man, Ethics, Politics, and Metaphysics. We are looking here at the elements of a thoroughly sane and Catholic formation.

  25. Hunter says:

    Our parish pastor references Aquinas all the time in his homilies, as well as the other doctors of the church and many saints. His homilies are at such an intellectually high level, they are sometimes almost like mini college lectures. This inspired me to buy the “Shorter Summa” book, the easier version for laypeople that Aquinas wrote toward the end of his life.

    Nothing can explain Aquinas like simply reading the source! His logic is clear and beautiful, at times it’s tiresome, and then at times I find a paragraph I read over and over because it’s so incredibly illuminating in so many directions.

    Now I can say I do believe all Catholics should read Aquinas, at least some excerpts. It is not like reading ANY of the other saints. It is like entering a whole new world.

  26. Michael says:

    While I cannot get involved in discussions beyond my pay grade, I think that what ultimately matters is which Moral Theory is best suited to counter the challenge which motivated John Paul II to write the Veritatis Splendor. It seems to me that the central sections of the Encyclical couldn’t have been written on the basis of St. Thomas alone, nor can they be defended on that basis; and that, as well as the unhealthy situation in moral theology after Vatican II, were the reason why Grisez et. al. undertook their work. They, as laymen, stood up for what the priests were and are busy to undermine.

    In my view, those who feel competent enough to write a better manual of Moral Theology, loyal to the Magisterium, be they priests or laymen, should – do it, not merely repeat what St. Thomas has written, still less repeat the classic manuals with their legalism, minimalism and rationalism. If according to NY PRIEST the works of Grisez et al. “are certainly loyal to the magisterium”, I see no reason why
    SACREDOSINAETERNUM says: “Sadly, in some places, their teaching of Moral Theology supplants that of St. Thomas”, particularly because it doesn’t supplant but supplements.

    St. Thomas isn’t with us today to tell us how he would respond to the present challenge. No doubt, he should be studied, and Grisez et al. did it – Grisez obtained MA and PL at the Dominican College of St. Thomas Aquinas; and the title of the most recent book by Finnis speaks for itself – which is evident from their writings, and they are more than indebted to him (see Grisez’ references to S.Theol. and SCG alone, pp. 966-971) but still St. Thomas is not the Magisterium.

    “On some important matters, the unfolding teaching of the Church seems to require positions incompatible with those of St. Thomas. In such cases, one must be better friend of St. Thomas by disagreeing with him, for he cared far more about the truth of the Catholic Faith than about his own theological positions.” (Grisez, XXVIII)

    What I found unusual is that there is no chapter on virtues in Grisez’ Vol. I. If I didn’t get it all wrong, it is because the virtues are not moral principles, but habits acquired by living according to the moral principles.

    Regarding the alleged “Kantian presuppositions”, I see no trace of it. Grisez refers to him several times (see Index, p. 938), and there is an essay on Kant’s theory of moral principles (pp. 108-109) – all seem critical of Kant.

    And finally: “This works itself includes errors. Vatican II’s call for renewal is an overwhelming challenge. I hope no error here will be found contrary to faith and that none will seriously harm anyone. I ask that those who are more able to call my attention to any error they find. In what I have written here, as in everything I write – everything I think – I submit gladly and wholeheartedly to the better judgement of the Catholic Church” (XXX).

  27. Seminarian says:

    As a seminarian, I don’t receive much of St. Thomas’ theology in my courses. I have been very fortunate, however, to have studied St. Thomas in a solid Aristotelico-Thomistic school before entering the seminary. Thank God for that! The more I read the modern theologians, the more I thirst for and go back to St. Thomas. His theology cannot be outdone in terms of clarity, succinctness, and profundity. These are three qualities which I feel are sorely lacking in modern theology: it often tends to be fuzzy, verbose and superficial. Of course, this is not true of all the modern theologians. But even amongst them, I find the best ones to be those who were nourished on the Angelic Doctor’s writings.

    When I want to have a survey of what theologians think and are saying, I read the moderns; when I want to know unequivocally what the Catholic Church professes and teaches, I read St. Thomas. A good Dominican used to say to us in our classes very often, “The problem with modern theology is that it has abandoned metaphysics”. I think that he hit the nail right on the head! When you give up your sharpest philosophical instruments, is it any surprise that the quality of your theology diminishes as a result?

  28. Rev. Br. Andrew, OP says:

    Aquinas is what I teach in my high school Moral Theology class. The comeback is in full swing.

  29. Hierothee says:

    Some sort of synthesis is called for of the neo-patristic element in contemporary theology and Thomism. The Holy Father, though by no means anti-Thomist, is himself not a Thomist. That is a good thing, in my opinion, because his papacy consecrates the Augustinian and Bonaventurian strands of the tradition. Many good and holy theologians were formed in this tradition, which, historically speaking, Thomists could often be dismissive of.

    On the other hand, the Holy Father has very competent and informed discussions of Thomas in his works on eschatology and on the sacraments. He puts Thomas in the best light that he can in these works.

    Still, the Holy Father is not a Thomist in any strict sense, and the realm of questioning that he focuses on in his theological writings reflects this fact.

    So, for instance, the Holy Father does not separate philosophy and theology the way that modern Thomism has done. So, for instance, the intertwining of history and cosmos are of the utmost importance in his thinking. He is a theologian of cosmic liturgy, as he puts it himself in the preface to the recently published first volume (in German) of his collected theological writings. He finds inspiration in many of the Church Fathers, even beyond Augustine. The tradition of Pseudo-Dionysius is especially important to him and is reflected in his works on liturgy.

    Of course, Thomas found inspiration in the Church Fathers as well. His theology is suffused with the inspiration of Saint Augustine and of Pseudo-Dionysius, among others (John of Damascus, for instance). He is not purely and simply an Aristotelian. His theology of divine ideas, for instance, is essential to his metaphysical perspective. He is a proponent of participationist metaphysics. In epistemology, he sees the importance of divine illumination in the act of knowledge. These reflect the Augustinian or Christian Platonist elements of his thinking and were sometimes missed or eschewed by pre-conciliar Thomists.

    As a note on this last point, Edith Stein, after having translated Thomas’s “De Veritate,” was shocked that Jacques Maritain did not have a place for participationist metaphysics in his rendering of Thomas’s thought.

  30. terra says:

    My theology courses mostly followed St Thomas – except when it came to moral theology! It wasn’t heterodox (it included reading Veritatis Splendor and other key texts), just not grounded in the basics. Instead of the Summa we were served up large chunks of Pinckaers Servais interspersed with theology of the body. Neither do much for me.

    Although Pinckaers has stimulated some revival in Thomism, it is very much in the the hermaneutic of rupture school as far as I can see – much of his history of moral theology is about why everything written in the last 600 years or so is wrong, bad or destructive. Some of his concepts have been very influential in the post Vatican II world – but I don’t think St Thomas would have recognised them. Bring back Garrigou-Lagrange!

  31. Mike B. says:

    At the risk of being stoned to death by the residents of my region (the buckle of the Protestant bible belt)–not to mention my university’s administration–I frequently mention St. Thomas in my lectures on American literature. I find myself tallking about him the most when I teach the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne, as Hawthorne frequently wrote about ethics and morality. I’m always certain to make my remarks “relevant” to the discussion at hand, and will always proudly mention St. Thomas when the need arises. Funny, but any number of students during the semester approach me to say that they are Catholics who have never heard of Thomas Aquinas.

    Pax,

    Mike

  32. Elise says:

    Interested in Thomism and the resurgence of scholastic teaching? Go here:
    http://www.societyofscholastics.org/