B.A., University of California, Irvine, 2009; M.A., historical theology, Westminster Seminary California, 2012; M.A., theology, Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies, 2014; Ph.D., theology, University of Notre Dame, 2020; Tutor, Thomas Aquinas College, 2020-.
As the son of Korean immigrants growing up in Diamond Bar, California, Dr. Joshua Lim had a yearning for truth, even in his earliest days. “I wanted to learn everything,” he says. His family attended a Presbyterian church with a Baptist-trained pastor, where he came to believe that if truth is what one seeks, there is only one place to find it — the Sacred Scriptures — a lesson he took to heart during his high school years. “I must have read the Bible for six hours a day,” he recalls. “I thought the only way to the truth was through Scripture, and that was the only truth worth knowing.” Through his devotion to the Word of God, he began to consider a life in ministry.
Around that time he also began to study theology outside the confines of the Bible. “While in college, I came to realize that there were books about the Bible and books about theology that improved my own understanding of the text, insofar as the people who wrote them knew more Greek and Hebrew than I did and were far smarter than I was,” he explains. “I saw that I didn’t need to find all the answers starting from scratch.”
After graduating from the University of California, Irvine, Dr. Lim enrolled at Westminster Seminary and began his theological studies in earnest. Yet rather than fulfill his yearning for truth, the cacophony of differing opinions made truth seem all the more elusive, raising new questions, such as, who has the authority to interpret Scripture definitively? And who has the authority to determine which books of the Bible belong in the canon?
Such theological questions accompanied deeper, philosophical ones. “After reading Kant, I started to wonder if I even could know the truth,” he observes. “Functionally, I became an agnostic, and I stopped praying, because I didn’t think I could pray.”
While attending an academic conference, however, Dr. Lim met a Dominican priest, Rev. Thomas Joseph White, O.P., who helped him find answers to these questions and more in the Catholic faith. Fr. White, in turn, introduced him to Rev. Sebastian Walshe, O.Praem. (’94) — a Norbertine priest, philosophy professor, and TAC alumnus. “I started meeting with Fr. Sebastian for private instruction to be received into the Catholic Church, even while I was still at the Protestant Seminary,” he remembers. “As a result of my conversion, I was excommunicated from my Protestant church, but the seminary still allowed me to graduate with a degree.”
Having been received into the Catholic Church, Dr. Lim went on to earn a master’s degree in theology at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C. He then entered the doctoral program in theology at the University of Notre Dame, during which time he met his wife, Mary Elizabeth. The couple married in 2015 and now has two boys and a girl, with another girl on the way.
As he was finishing his doctorate, Dr. Lim applied for a position on the TAC teaching faculty, which led him to read, for the first time, the College’s founding document, A Proposal for the Fulfillment of Catholic Liberal Education. Intellectually and professionally, he says, it was a game-changer for him: “After I read the Blue Book, I realized that I would be terribly unhappy anywhere else.”
“The Necessity of the Beatific Knowledge in Christ’s Humanity: A Re-Reading of Summa theologiae III, q. 9,” in The Thomist, forthcoming.
“‘An Encyclopedic Pico della Mirandola’? Re-Thinking Christ’s Infused Knowledge” in Nova et Vetera (English edition), Vol. 21, No. 1 (Winter 2023).
“The Principle of Perfection in Thirteenth-Century Accounts of Christ’s Human Knowledge” in The International Journal of Systematic Theology, Vol. 24, No. 3 (July 2022): 352–379.
- “Post tenebras Lux: Discovering the Fullness of Truth in the Catholic Faith,” chapter in By Strange Ways: Theologians and Their Paths to the Catholic Church (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2022).
Serge-Thomas Bonino, O.P., God, “He Who is,” De Deo ut Uno, translation of Dieu, "Celui Qui Est," De Deo ut Uno (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press), in review.
Three Pseudo-Bernardine Works, Edited by Ann Astell and Joseph Wawrykow (Athens, OH: Cistercian Publications, 2018). Contributed as a member of the Catena Scholarium.
- Alexis Torrance, Human Perfection in Byzantine Theology: Attaining the Fullness of Christ (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020), in Nova et Vetera (English edition), Vol. 21, No. 1 (Winter 2023).
Reginald M. Lynch, The Cleansing of the Heart: The Sacraments as Instrumental Causes in the Thomistic Tradition, Thomistic Ressourcement Series, Vol. 9 (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 2017), in Nova et Vetera (English edition), Vol. 20, No. 2 (Spring 2022): 696–700.
Shawn M. Colberg, The Wayfarer’s End: Bonaventure and Aquinas on Divine Rewards in Scripture and Sacred Doctrine(Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 2020), in The International Journal of Systematic Theology, Vol. 24, No. 1 (January 2022): 124–127.
Zena Hitz, Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2020), in Nova et Vetera (English edition), Vol. 19, No. 3 (Summer 2021): 995–997.
Leo Elders, Thomas Aquinas and His Predecessors: The Philosophers and Church Fathers in His Works (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 2018), in Nova et Vetera (English edition), Vol. 19, No. 2 (Spring 2021): 667–670.
Edward Feser, Five Proofs of the Existence of God: Aristotle, Plotinus, Augustine, Aquinas, Leibniz (San Franciscio, CA: Ignatius Press, 2017), published in Nova et Vetera (English edition) Vol. 17, No. 4 (Fall 2019): 1301–1304.
Kevin O’Reilly, The Hermeneutics of Knowing and Willing in the Thought of St. Thomas Aquinas (Leuven, Belgium: Peeters, 2013), published in Nova et Vetera (English edition) Vol. 16, No. 3 (Summer 2018): 1024–1027.
- "The Instrumental Causality of Christ's Humanity and the Angels: Ambiguities in Saint Thomas's Account," The Sacra Doctrina Project: Grace and Sanctification: Divine Causality, Human Action, and Supernatural Glory, Thomas Aquinas College, Northfield, MA, June 23–25
- “An Encyclopedic Pico della Mirandola?: Re-Thinking Saint Thomas’s Teaching on Christ’s Infused Knowledge,” Thomas Aquinas and the Crisis of Christology Conference, Ave Maria University, Ave Maria, FL, February 6-8, 2020
- “Saint Thomas on the Necessity of Christ’s Beatific Knowledge,” Faculty Lecture at Thomas Aquinas College, Santa Paula, CA, November 7, 2019
- “The Twofold Relation of the Human Mind: Aquinas’s Argument for the Infused Knowledge of Christ,” Aquinas and the Arabs International Working Group, Pisa, Italy, May 22–26, 2019
- “The Principle of Perfection in Thirteenth-Century Accounts of the Human Knowledge of Christ,” History of Christianity Area Conference, University of Notre Dame, May 14, 2019
- “Revisiting Jacques Maritain’s On the Grace and Humanity of Jesus,” presented at the American Maritain Association at Desales University, Center Valley, PA on March 28-30, 2019
- “What Saint Thomas Really Said: Jean-Pierre Torrell and Thomas Aquinas on Christ’s Human Knowledge,” The Theology of Thomas Aquinas: Sources, Insights, Influences, Theology Conference, University of Saint Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, IL, October 3, 2018
- “On Pseudo-Bernard’s Tractatus de praecipuis mysteriis nostrae religionis,” “Pseudo-Bernard: The Writers, Works, and Readers,” Conference on Cistercian and Monastic Studies at the International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, May 11-14, 2017
- “Basil of Caesarea and Thomas Aquinas Contra Eunomium: On Divine Simplicity and the Divine Names,” Center for Scriptural Exegesis, Philosophy, and Doctrine conference on "The Fathers of the Church Today," University of Saint Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, IL, October 19, 2016
- “‘Prima dispositio materiae’: Dimensive Quantity in Thomas’s Doctrine of Transubstantiation,” Eucharist in the Middle Ages panel, Patristic, Medieval, and Renaissance Conference, Villanova University, Villanova, PA, October 14-16, 2016