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| Dr. Peter Kreeft Gives Annual Aquinas Lecture |
Dr. Peter Kreeft, known as one of the premier apologists in America today, will present the 2011 University of St. Thomas Aquinas Lecture, titled “Thomas Aquinas on Sexuality: Has Metaphysics Anything to do with Sex.” The lecture, hosted by UST’s Center for Thomistic Studies, will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 27, on the UST campus, Jones Hall, 3910 Yoakum.
Kreeft has famously linked the decline of sexual morality with the decline of liberal education towards “utilitarian, pragmatic, and instrumental” ends. If the ideal woman is no longer Dante’s Beatrice, but Barbie, not the Madonna, but Madonna, it is because we no longer pursue knowledge for the sake of truth, but for the sake of power.
Just as “the subjective experience of the sexual "high" is our culture's substitute for the mystical experience”, so truth, instead of the child of wonder, “is now a prostitute, bought and sold for the money of power over nature.” Bacon’s notion of “putting nature to the [torture] rack” could not become an emblem of scientific inquiry without implying an ideal of sexual domination and exploitation as well. The underlying cause of both transformations is that “metaphysics has gone into the garbage can.” If, then, our culture is to recover joy, both in the search for knowledge and for sexual love, we must first recover metaphysics. For this recovery and restoration to health, Kreeft turns to Thomas Aquinas.
Dr. Kreeft, who is described as a witty and insightful communicator, is a convert to Catholicism, received his Artium Baccalaureatus from Calvin College in 1959, his Master of Arts degree in 1961 and his doctorate in 1965 from Fordham University. He is currently professor of philosophy at Boston College and at the King's College in New York City. Dr. Kreeft is the author of more than 59 books including A Shorter Summa: The Essential Philosophical Passages of Saint Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica, Christianity for Modern Pagans, and I Surf, Therefore I Am: A Philosophy of Surfing. Dr. Kreeft’s latest works include a novel titled An Ocean Full of Angels and a commentary on the relationship between Christianity and Islam entitled Between Allah and Jesus.
The Aquinas lecture is held each year, usually in the spring semester. A distinguished scholar is asked to give a lecture on some aspect of the Thomistic tradition. Previous speakers include Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, Msgr. John Wippel and Cardinal Avery Dulles.
The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Valerie Hall at 713-525-3519.