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UST Professor Named to Pontifical Academy

Photo: Dr. John HittingerUniversity of St. Thomas philosophy professor Dr. John Hittinger was appointed recently to the Vatican-based Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Hittinger was notified in December that he will serve as one of the Academy’s corresponding academicians, who augment the research and teaching work of the core group of scholars at the Academy.

He is director of the UST-affiliated John Paul II Forum for the Church in the Modern World and also part of the University’s Center for Thomistic Studies.

Hittinger’s expertise in both Thomistic philosophy and the thought of John Paul II make him a notable addition to the Academy. He will travel to Rome in April to help plan a 2013 conference the Academy will sponsor in Houston on the philosophies of Aquinas and John Paul II. He will also present a paper at the Academy’s annual conference this summer, when he will be formally welcomed into the Academy and presented with a diploma.

The Academy was established by Pope Leo XIII in 1879 and reorganized by Pope John Paul II in 1999 with his apostolic letter Inter Munera Academiarum. Its mission is to explore, defend and disseminate Aquinas’ philosophy on faith, reason and the dignity of the human person. In particular, the Academy studies and promotes the modern relevance of the 13th century saint, philosopher and Doctor of the Church.

Hittinger completed undergraduate work at the University of Notre Dame and a master’s and doctorate in philosophy at the Catholic University of America. He has previously served as philosophy professor at the United States Air Force Academy, dean of St. Mary’s College of Ave Maria University and as vice president for Academic Affairs at UST.

His research and academic publications have focused on political philosophy, natural philosophy and the philosophy of John Paul II.

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