Monday, January 29, 2007

Aquinas Loves a Sunday Afternoon

So I spent yesterday afternoon at the inaugural Aquinas Lecture at the Newman Center here. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, except that the speaker was an Aquinas scholar from St. Louis University.

The Dominicans who run the Newman Center here were very happy to be hosting a talk on Aquinas, because he is one of their own, even if the speaker did come from a Jesuit University. (A fact that Fr. Bob just had to mention, we'll allow them their little digs, we can take it)

Anyway, the Speaker was Dr. Eleonore Stump, a Professor of Philosophy. She dove right in and gave an amazing lecture on Aquinas' philosophy of love and how that philosophy relates to forgiveness. I took tons of notes, and it cleared up quite a few misconceptions I had about how Aquinas came to understand human emotion and interaction. All in all it was an afternoon well spent.

The last half hour of her time was spent in a Q&A, which amounted to the audience asking her many questions that stretched their understanding of not only Aquinas, but how he relates to how we live today and how decisions are made, or not made in contemporary society.

I really think the lecture exceeded Fr. Bob's expectations for a lecture of this type. The most amazing part was the age range of the audience. I would guess that the youngest person in the audience was probably a 19 year old student (someone I recognized who is currently in the RCIA program on Wednesday nights) and the oldest was well into retirement age. Everyone was engaged in the lecture and discussion.

This is why I love living in a University town. Which is not to say that something like this might not happen at a Catholic church anywhere, but the chances of it happening in a University setting are a bit greater.

God is so good, I can add what I learned yesterday to what I am reading these next few months before I actually have to take the Medieval Philosophy class next summer, and I won't feel so ill prepared. So long as I continue to do the hard work that is.


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