Dr. Deely Earns Aquinas Medal for Excellence in Christian Philosophy
Dr. John Deely, who holds the Rudman Chair of Philosophy in the Center for Thomistic Studies at the University of St. Thomas, won two prestigious medals for his world-wide scholarly achievement. He received the Aquinas Medal for Excellence in Christian Philosophy at the international Gilson Society meeting in Baltimore, Oct. 1-3, and the Maritain Medal for scholarly achievement, awarded at the annual meeting in Houston, Oct. 22-24 by UST Associate Professor Fr. Ted Baenziger, CSB, on behalf of the American Maritain Association.
Etienne Gilson and Jacques Maritain were the two foremost Thomists of the 20th century, and they had close teaching connections with the Basilians at the Pontifical Institute for Medieval Studies in Toronto. Maritain is also an honorary member of the UST Center for Thomistic Studies.
Deely’s prolific single-authored books and voluminous editorial enterprises include two opuses and a classic, Basics of Semiotics, which is in its sixth edition and has been translated into more than 10 languages, including Japanese and Chinese. One of his five books published in 2009, Augustine & Poinsot, has been on window display at the University of Paris Sorbonne. His work, as Professor Anne Hénault of the Sorbonne puts it, “opens horizons of thought absolutely essential for the 21st century.”
“Dr. Deely is a pioneer in demonstrating the implications of Thomistic thought for problems today,” said Padre Roberto Busa, SJ, Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and creator of the Index Thomisticus database. “He maintains the thought of St. Thomas as a living force in the intellectual culture, rather than simply as a kind of museum piece among the exhibits of history, making that thought come to the attention of thinkers who would not in the normal course of events have any particular interest in Thomism at all.”
Reflecting on Deely’s legacy in opening frontiers within and beyond the Catholic world, famous novelist and Latin philosopher Umberto Eco concludes, “John Deely has not only paid attention to the Second Scholasticism, and (while dealing with questions that are at the center stage of contemporary culture, and working across all the disciplines, both the humanities and the sciences) he has contributed to expand the knowledge of the Thomistic tradition beyond the confines of the Catholic world.”
The more than 400-page Deely Reader, Realism for the 21st Century (University of Scranton Press, Pa.), edited by Paul Cobley, London, was published in late October 2009.
In the words of Benedict Ashley, OP, professor emeritus, Aquinas Institute of Theology at St. Louis University, “No current thinker has carried out a more penetrating advance into a genuine post-modernism . . . than John Deely, and this collection gives us the heart of his work.”
Scheduled for publication later this year is Deely’s Semiotic Animal (St. Augustine’s Press, South Bend, Ind.).