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UST Co-hosts US Aquinas Conference

By Bridget Hardy, University of St. Thomas
February 12th, 2013
University of St. Thomas (stthom.edu)

The University of St. Thomas Center for Thomistic Studies and the John Paul II Forum have joined forces to host the first U.S. Conference of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas, on Oct. 18-19, 2013 in Houston, Texas.

The theme of the conference, "Thomas Aquinas: Teacher of Humanity," will explore the teachings of St. Thomas on what it means to be human and what he contributes to contemporary understandings of that concept. 

Cardinals, bishops and scholars associated with the Pontifical Academy around the world have been invited to attend.  Among the confirmed guests are the Most Rev. Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, who will be opening the conference, Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, the Chancellor of the Papal Academies and the Secretary of the Pontifical Academy, and Sister Prudence Allen, author of "The Concept of Woman."

Dr. Mary Catherine Sommers, director of the Center for Thomistic Studies and an organizer of the event, said the conference will be a forum for exchanging ideas and research and tackling the problems associated with defining "humanity" in a world with many cultures, traditions and technologies.
 
Dr. John Hittinger, UST professor of philosophy and founder of the John Paul II Forum, said the conference will be an opportunity for the local Catholic community to hear from international scholars and Vatican officials. 

"To the community-at-large, it's the play of ideas involving these questions of human nature and humanism that is interesting," Hittinger said. "The thought of Aquinas has things to teach us in the 21st century."

Pope Leo XIII founded the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas in 1879 to encourage the study of St. Thomas' philosophy in Catholic universities and seminaries. One of the Pontifical Academy's new initiatives, the Thomistic Legacy of Blessed John Paul II, unites the mission of the Center for Thomistic Studies with that of the John Paul II Forum.

The Center for Thomistic Studies is the only center in the nation that grants a doctorate in the thought of Thomas Aquinas. The John Paul II Forum was created to promote the understanding of the thought of Pope John Paul II.

A registration fee will be required, but UST students will receive a special discount. Cardinal DiNardo will celebrate a Mass for participants at 5 p.m. on Oct. 19 in the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, 1111 St. Joseph Parkway, followed by a banquet. 

Find out about the call for papers on the CTS website or contact the Center at thomistic_center@stthom.edu.

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