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Dr. Randall Smith to Deliver Paper on Decalogue
4/13/2012
Photo: Randall SmithDr. Randall Smith, University of St. Thomas associate professor of moral theology, will deliver a paper on the Decalogue at a conference held April 16-17, at Trinity College, Oxford, England. The interdisciplinary conference titled, “The Influence of the Decalogue: Historical, Theological and Cultural Perspectives,” features 18 international speakers.

The Decalogue, the Ten Commandments or the “Ten Words”, as they are called in Hebrew, have constantly been received, taught and transformed over two and a half millennia, not only in religious catechesis and exegetical interpretation, but also in art, music, film, philosophy and in the history of law. The two tablets of the law have become a fundamental religious icon in both Judaism and Christianity. The Decalogue is one of the most intensely used texts in world history. The conference will systematically consider the history of its influence.

At the Trinity Collge conference, Smith will present, “Thomas Aquinas and the Medieval Interpretation of the Decalogue in Terms of the Natural Law.”

Smith, who is on sabbatical from University of St. Thomas, is serving as the 2011-12 Myser Fellow at the University of Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture. At Notre Dame, he will finish a book titled, “Divine Order, Human Justice: Themis and Dike in Homer.” This book is part of a larger project on “The Roots of the Natural Law Tradition from Homer to Cicero.”

Born and raised near Pittsburgh, Pa, Smith also lived in Philadelphia and Chicago before attending college in Mount Vernon, Iowa, graduating with a BA in Chemistry from Cornell College. There he converted to Catholicism and decided to undertake studies in theology. He earned his M.A. in theology from the University of Dallas and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame in Medieval Studies and Philosophy.

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