Summer Learning: Upcoming College Seminars and Events

Posted: May 21, 2014

Conference: “Philosophy as Handmaiden to Sacred Theology”
June 19-20

This summer a number of faculty members, graduates, and fellow scholars from across North America will participate in the annual West Coast meeting of the Society for Aristotelian-Thomistic Studies. An international organization founded in 1974 “for the purpose of promoting friendship in the pursuit of wisdom,” the Society examines current issues of scientific or philosophic significance.

This year’s conference, which will focus on the theme “Philosophy as Handmaiden to Sacred Theology,” will feature lectures and question-and-answer periods with six scholars, including several alumni and tutors from the College. The talks will be given in the mornings and afternoons, followed on Thursday by a dinner in honor of the speakers. More information

Conference: “The Family and the State in Education”
June 20-22

Immediately following the Society for Aristotelian-Thomistic Studies’ conference will be the sixth annual Conference on the Social Doctrine of the Church, sponsored by The Aquinas Review. Attendees will take part in a series of three seminars concerning the principles underlying the Church’s teachings on economics and social justice. The theme of this year’s conference is “The Family and the State in Education.”

The inspiration of the late Dr. Ronald P. McArthur, founding president of Thomas Aquinas College, the seminars will examine relevant works of Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, Jacques de Monleon, and Pius XI. Attendees will split into small groups, led by members of the College’s teaching faculty, to analyze and discern the meaning of the texts. They will also come together for Mass, meals, and a lecture over the course of the weekend. More information

The 2014 Summer Seminars:
“Reading the Scriptures: The Wisdom of Genesis”
July 11-13 and July 18-20

Each July the president of Thomas Aquinas College hosts two Great Books Summer Seminar Weekends. These weekends take place on the College’s campus, nestled in the foothills of the Topatopa Mountains, just outside of Santa Paula, California. Attendees gain an inside look at the unique education the College provides its students, while enjoying good fellowship and forming lifelong friendships.

Under the guidance of the president, the dean, and senior faculty members, guests participate in a series of classroom discussions centered on timely and important themes. Between seminars they enjoy delicious meals served both indoors and outdoors. In addition, the College’s chaplains offer daily Mass and confession in Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel.

This year’s theme is “Reading the Scriptures: The Wisdom of Genesis.” After examining the first chapters of Genesis, participants will discuss St. Augustine’s commentary on Creation and St. Thomas’s commentary on the Fall. Cost is $750 per person or $1,200 per couple, including seminar, meals, lodging, and readings. (Space is limited. Priority will be given to members of the President’s Council.) More information

Seminar on Reason and Faith at the Napa Institute Conference
July 24

In his first encyclical, Pope Francis observes that many of our contemporaries think of faith as an illusion. For them, he says, faith appears “as an illusory light, preventing mankind from boldly setting out in quest of knowledge.” The Holy Father rejects this perception, insisting that faith has a coherence and objectivity that, when properly understood, enables it to be a light for all nations.

Some eight centuries earlier, St. Thomas Aquinas likewise defended the reasonableness of faith, while also noting the ways in which it is above reason. In his Summa Contra Gentiles, he challenges readers to consider the extent to which the human mind can comprehend the truths of faith. His writing bolsters Pope Francis’s call for faith to illumine all aspects of our lives, equipping us to bring the light of faith to the skeptical culture that the Holy Father describes.

President Michael F. McLean and Vice President Paul J. O’Reilly will host a complimentary breakfast and lead a seminar about St. Thomas’s thoughts on Reason and Faith. The seminar will kick off the Napa Institute’s 2014 conference, Catholics in the Next America, in Napa, Calif. The seminar and breakfast are open only to registered attendees of the Napa Institute Conference. More information