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Lecture Assesses ‘Capacious’ Aquinas

Photo: Rev FlanneryPeople are often called upon to make difficult choices. Both John Paul II and Benedict XVI have urged Catholics to return to the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas in making these decisions. The Rev. Kevin Flannery, S.J., professor of Philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, agrees there is good reason to follow Aquinas for guidance.

Father Flannery will present the University of St. Thomas Center for Thomistic Studies Aquinas Lecture on “The Capacious Mind of St. Thomas Aquinas,” at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 24 in Cullen Hall, 4001 Mt. Vernon St.  

Father Flannery will point out why familiarity with Aquinas’ thought is more relevant than ever before as people, both young and old, are confronted with an increasingly complex world of moral choices.

Dr. Mary Catherine Sommers, director of the Center for Thomistic Studies, said the topic is particularly pertinent for students and faculty at the Center because of the Center's mission to showcase “the perennial value of the thought of Aquinas as the new millennium proceeds.” She added that Father Flannery will touch on another of the Center's missions, to present a "constructive cross-cultural dialogue," which presents Aquinas' writing "as a model for the pursuit of truth across the ages.”

Father Flannery, Consultor of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas, entered the Society of Jesus in 1977. He was ordained as a priest in 1987 and took his final vows in 1999. Father Flannery received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Ohio State University in 1972, a Master of Arts in Anglo-Irish Studies from University College Dublin in 1974, a Master of Arts in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford in 1983. He also received a Master of Divinity in 1987 and a Licentiate of Sacred Theology in Patristics in 1989 from Weston School of Theology and a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Oxford in 1992.


He has published two books, including “Acts Amid Precepts: the Aristotelian Logical Structure of Thomas Aquinas’ Moral Theory” with Catholic University of America Press in 2001, and 60 articles. He has two books forthcoming: “Christian and Moral Action” and “Action and Character According to Aristotle: The Logic of the Moral Life.”


The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 713-525-3591.

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