Published by the Center for the Study of The Great Ideas (founded in 1990 by Mortimer J. Adler and Max Weismann)
In association with the The Adler-Aquinas Institute and Aquinas School of Leadership
A Founding Member of the Alliance for Liberal Learning

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Aquinas Leadership International Update: August 2018

Dr. Peter A. Redpath emails with news of Aquinas Leadership International and other organizations.


  • As part of the 150th Anniversary Celebration of the Founding of École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris, Drs. Piotr Jaroszyński and Richard Fafara will be Presented with the Prestigious Aquinas Medal for Excellence in Christian Philosophy during a Special IPHE-Sponsored International Colloquium on:
"Étienne Gilson (1884–1978), Medievalist and Philosopher, Man of Faith and Man of Action"
Dates: 19 and 20 September 2018, 9:30 am-7:00 pm
Location: The Sorbonne (Liard Amphitheater).
Organized by: Michel Cacouros  (, Maître de conférences Habilité, Sciences Historiques et Philologiques
Scientific Committee: Michel Cacouros, EPHE, PSL; Patrick Henriet, EPHE, PSL; Christophe Grellard, EPHE, PSL.
Honorary Committee: Hubert Bost, President of the EPHE; Olivier Boulnois, EPHE, PSL; James K. Farge, CSB, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto; Ruedi Imbach, Univ. Sorbonne Paris 4; Thierry-Dominique Humbrecht, O.P., Catholic Institute of Toulouse; Gilles Pécout, Rector of the Île-de-France Academic Region, Rector of the Paris Academy, Chancellor of the Universities of Paris.
Participants : I. Agostini (Centro Internazionale di Ricerca su Descartes and Il Seicento, Lecce, Italy); J. Chr. Bardout (University of Rennes 1); Mr. Borghesi (Università di Perugia); O. Boulnois (EPHE, PSL); Mr. Cacouros (EPHE, PSL);H. Donneaud op (Catholic Institute of Toulouse); RJ Fafara (International Étienne Gilson Society, USA); JK Farge CSB (Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto); Mr. Fourcade (Univ Paul-Valery Montpellier 3); Ch. Grellard (EPHE, PSL); P. Henriet (EPHE, PSL); Th.-D. Humbrecht, op (Catholic Institute of Toulouse); F. Jacquemain (Paris); P.-Ph. Jandin (International College of Philosophy, Paris); J. Lagouanère (Univ Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3); P. Jaroszynski (International Étienne Gilson Society, Poland; University of Lublin, Poland); F. Michel (Panthéon-Sorbonne University Paris 1); FA Murphy (Indiana University, USA); J. Prévotat (Univ Charles de Gaulle Lille 3); P. Redpath (International Étienne Gilson Society, USA); Mr. Veuille (EPHE, PSL).
For more information about this international colloquium, see:

  • Copy of Richard Fafara's 2017 Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies Étienne Gilson Lecture Now Available
To obtain a copy of Richard Fafara's 2018 PIMS Gilson Lecture, please email Megan Jones ( at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval studies in Toronto. For more information about the lecture and publication, see:

  • The Angelicum Academy Great Books Program Announces It is Now Enrolling Students for Its REVOLUTIONARY: 
"Angelicum Academy at Holy Apostles College"
Among other reasons, this Program is Revolutionary because:
1) It enables students to acquire an Associate's degree in the Great Books totally online by the end of 12th grade and a Bachelor's degree as little as two years later.
2) Thanks to the agreement between the Angelicum Academy and Holy Apostles College, total tuition cost for the BA degree is under $30,000, while the average total cost of a four-year BA in private colleges is $180,000+.
3) This program includes 12 credits of online Theology courses developed for the Angelicum Academy by Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J.
COLLEGE CREDITS: Angelicum Academy students may earn from 1-75 college credits while home schooling (in grades 9-12) or while in high school, or later. They may earn their accredited Associate’s degree (from Holy Apostles College requires 60 credits) while in high school or home school (grades 9 –12, or later), or they may take individual college-level courses for transfer elsewhere – to other of the hundreds of colleges and universities that accept ACE recommended credits. Students who earn their Associate’s degree while in home school (grades 9–2) or high school, may earn a further 15 credits then as well, enabling them to complete 75 credits toward their accredited bachelor’s degree (requires 120 credits)--that is nearly 2/3rds of their bachelor’s degree, for a fraction of the cost elsewhere.
For more information about this program, see: 
  • Some YouTube Videos from the Hugely Successful 5th Annual Aquinas Leadership International World Congress Now Available for Viewing
To view these videos, including the Memorial Tribute to Our Colleague Eric McLuhan, go to the following link on the Aquinas School of Leadership's "Events"
  • The Institute of Catholic Theology Announces a New "All Access Pass" Call for Fall Programs:
The theme for this semester is Liturgy and will feature presentations by Fr. Keith Kenney, Fr. Daniel Cardó and Fr. Robert Bolding. The All Access Pass includes admission to the September and October Saturday Lectures Series, the new Tuesday night Seminars in Catholic Theology, First Saturdays with the Saints, as well as the November Southwest Biblical Conference. 
For more information about this program, see:
  • Announcing a Call for Papers for the 2018 and 2019 Telos-Paul Piccone Institute Conferences
— Israel Conference Call for Papers:
Topic: “Asummetricality, the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, and the Abrahamic Peace”
Location: University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel 
Days: Sunday to Tuesday
Dates: 18–20 November 2018
For more details about this conference, see:
Scholars of all disciplines are invited to submit a 250-word abstract, along with a short CV, to by 15 August 2018
— New York City Conference Call for Papers:
Topic: “Political Theology Today as Critical Theory of the Contemporary: Reason, Religion, Humanism”
Date: February 1517, 2019
Location: New York, NY

Conference Details: 

Across the globe the liberal logic of capitalism and technocracy has seemingly triumphed, and with it a culture of secularism, now the dominant ideology of the liberal establishment that prefers progress to tradition, an individualized identity to a sense of shared belonging, and free choice to common purpose. As much as this regime has produced wealth, it has also generated inequality and dissatisfaction. The populist insurgency that is sweeping the West is in large part a repudiation of this secular politics, opening the space for a post-liberal political theology. A resurgence of religion is underway that marks the failure of the secularization thesis and the need for alternative cultural resources, beyond positivism, to understand the place of humanity within the cosmos. Is this our new "Great Awakening"?
Amid the crisis of rationalism, critical theorists such as Jürgen Habermas have sought to rescue the project of a reasonable humanism from the twin threats of religious fundamentalism and secular naturalism. Yet Habermas's conception of postsecularity remains residually secularist because he does not permit faith to make any substantive or critical contribution to public discussion that could undermine the primacy of formal, procedural reason. In response Pope Emeritus Benedict invoked Adorno and Horkheimer's dialectic of enlightenment because the slogan "reason alone" leads to the dissolution of reason—to the conclusion that only will and power have any reality. The only way to avoid this outcome is to recall—so Benedict's argument in his much-commented but poorly understood 2006 Regensburg address—that the West's commitment to humanist reason is grounded in the classical and Christian idea that human rationality participates in the infinite reason of transcendence. Otherwise the rational is but the illusion of our own and of nature's will to power.

Meanwhile, new movements such as "accelerationism" appeal to "the dark enlightenment" in an attempt to reclaim nihilism as the ultimate logic of liberation from the limits of history, tradition, and nature. Its response to the crisis of secularism is to double down on the destruction of tradition in the pursuit of an explicit post-humanism. Accelerationism may therefore only be an extension of liberalism, not an alternative. In that case, only political theology—advocacy of a transcendent dimension that upholds humanity against nihilism—remains as today's critical theory.

The 2019 Telos Conference invites contributions on political theology as critical theory of the contemporary: the reappearance of faith in civic life. The focus will not be on intellectual history but rather on how faith is reshaping politics and culture today.

One area of interest will be the changing status of religion and politics in the "secular" West itself: changing understandings of First Amendment issues in the United States, the role of faith-based organizations in civic life, and the significance of tradition and religious identities in the populist movements across Europe. Of vital importance in this discussion is the role of the African American churches in the contemporary political field.

At the same time, these developments in the area of religion may require us to rethink our "secular" social and political institutions. If nationalism has often functioned as a kind of state religion, it will be important to understand the relationship between nationalism and religion, as well as to explore the ways in which different faiths either stabilize or undermine state administrative structures. As these structures have generally enforced a particular perspective on the sacred foundations of the state, it will be important to understand the ways in which these structures might respond to change in this area.

A second concern goes beyond the West to explore the global resurgence of religious allegiances, including the spectacular growth of charismatic movements in Christianity as well as other world religions, and the questions it raises about modernity: for example, in what ways is the present religious awakening an intensification of modern thought and practice or a rupture with it? How can we understand the transformations of Islam, the rise of Hindu nationalism, but also the spread of Pentecostalism and evangelical Protestantism in, for example, Latin America? How will Africa redefine Christianity and challenge liberalism? What are the consequences for political structures and economic activity?

A third issue is the growing bifurcation—within and across different faiths—of traditional, orthodox traditions, on the one hand, and modernizing creeds, on the other hand. Examples of this paradoxical development include the opposition between more liberal and more conservative wings in the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion or the religious resistance to unbridled "free-market" capitalism and secular liberal democracy that is shared by various faiths. Can one speak of similar political theological divides between orthodox and reform wings of Judaism in comparable terms?

Furthermore, the conference seeks to examine the juxtaposition of confessions, whether in terms of "clashes" or the issues at stake in conversions—the sectarian tensions and conflicts between different denominations, including Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant but also Shia versus Sunni and political versus apolitical Hinduism and Buddhism. One question that arises is whether forms of literalist extremism are mirror images of rigid secularism and what they mean for political theology today.

The specific topics of the conference include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • religion as a source of post-liberal community
  • liturgy and the critique of positivism
  • tradition as a source of meaning and orientation
  • political theology of secularism and liberalism
  • new nihilism: accelerationist philosophy and transhumanist technology
  • faith, feeling, and habit in the public political sphere
  • the nature of the present religious revival and its relationship to modernity
  • bifurcation within and across political religion
  • the clash of confessions and "secular sectarianism"
  • the role of the sacred in state structures
  • the relationships between religious and political movements
Abstract Submissions 

Please note: Abstracts for this conference will only be accepted from current Telos-Paul Piccone Institute members. In order to become a member, please visit the Telos membership enrollmet page.   Telos-Paul Piccone Institute memberships are valid until the end of the annual New York City conference.

Scholars from all disciplines are invited to submit a 250-word abstracts along with a short c.v. to by September 30, 2018. Please place "The 2019 Telos Conference" in the email's subject line. The criteria for selecting abstracts are as follows:
  • relevance to the conference concern with contemporary ramifications
  • original analysis and argument (not summary or description)
  • focus (conference presentations should be no longer than 15 minutes)
For regular updates about the 2019 Telos Conference, please visit the Conference website.
  • Conference and Journal Announcements from the Arts and Humanities Division of ATINER
The Arts and Humanities Division of ATINER would like to announce that the 6th Annual International Conference on Humanities & Arts in a Global World ( has been planned and will take place on 0and 04 January 2019 in Athens, Greece. You are more than welcome to submit a proposal for presentation. If you plan to attend, you may also send us a stream proposal to be organized as part of the conference. If you need more information, please let me know and our administration will send it to you.
 You can also always consider the possibility of submitting papers for publication in our academic journals or take part in these publication projects by reviewing papers. Journal publication does not require attendance at our conferences, and it is free of submission and publication charges. For details, see our Journal Policy at
Dr. Nicholas Pappas, Honorary President, ATINER & Professor, Sam Houston State University, USADr. David Philip Wick, Director, Arts and Humanities Division, ATINER & Professor, Gordon College, USA
  • Announcing a Call for Papers for the 2019, Fourth International Conference on Communication & Media Studies on: 
"The Future of Democracy in the Digital Age"
Dates: 26–28 September 2019
Location: University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.

Proposals are invited for paper presentations, workshops/interactive sessions, posters/exhibits, colloquia, virtual posters, or virtual lightning talks.
Go too the following link to submit a proposal: 
  • Call for Papers,  Scientia et Fides Journal 
The journal Scientia et Fides (a joint-venture, open-access, online journal published twice a year by the Faculty of Theology of Nicolaus Copernicus University, in Torun, Poland, in collaboration with the Group of Research “Science, Reason, and Faith” [CRYF], at University of Navarra) seeks rigorous research works regarding different aspects of the relationship between science and religion. SetF articles are not confined to the methodology of a single discipline and may cover a wide range of topics, provided that the interdisciplinary dialogue between science and religion is tackled. The Journal accepts articles written in English, Spanish, Polish, French, Italian, and German, which will be evaluated by a peer-review process.
For further information about publishing articles in SetF, see:
  • The Catholic Answers 2018 National Conference, San Diego
The Catholic Answers announces that its 2018 National Conference topic will be: "Faith and Science"
Dates: 27 to 30 September, 2018
Location: Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine, San Diego, California 
For Conference details, contact the link immediately below:
  • Call for Papers, Metaphysical Society of America 2019 Annual Meeting
Dates: 28 to 31 March 2019
Topic: Metaphysics and Political Thought
The theme of the 2019 Metaphysical Society of America Annual Meeting in Seattle (March 28-31, 2019) will be “Metaphysics and Political Thought.”  Papers on any aspect of this wide topic are welcome.  Possible paper topics can be either thematic or historical.  Regarding the former, consider the following questions that can be raised regarding democratic political theory:
---Is a metaphysics of radical contingency required to support (in a nonfoundational way) democratic political theory, as Rorty thinks?
---Is democracy by its very nature metaphysics-less or metaphysics-poor?
---Or, by way of contrast, is democratic political theory and political liberalism actually hyper-metaphysical, as Rawlsians think, in that the political beliefs of citizens can be inserted into many different comprehensive doctrines or metaphysical systems?
---Do human (or animal) rights require a metaphysical concept of the person?  If so, are many contemporary defenses of rights living off of the interest earned throughout the Judeo-Christian ages, but without having to pay any premium, as Habermas suggests?
Many other questions could be imagined that deal with the relationship between democratic political theory and metaphysics.  The same could be said regarding the relationship between other political theories and metaphysics.  For example:
---To what extent is Marxist political philosophy dependent on metaphysical materialism?  Can it be supported by other metaphysical views?
Regarding historical figures, the topic of Metaphysics and Political Thought has rich potential.  In the ancient period Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics, among others, developed influential political philosophies that are intertwined with their metaphysical views:
---Does Plato’s hierarchical metaphysics necessarily require social hierarchy and/or the noble lie (gennaion pseudos) told to those who are not capable of metaphysical truth?
---To what extent does Aristotle’s metaphysics of form/matter composite make it easier than in Plato’s view to defend democratic political theory?  Or is Aristotle’s view irredeemably tainted by his defense of slavery? 
The theme of the conference also has implications for the influential figures in the Middle Ages and its aftermath: St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin.  For example:
---To what extent, if any, does Thomistic metaphysics provide guidance in political philosophy?  Further, to what extent, if any, are the political views found (whether explicitly or implicitly) in the Treatise on Law based on his metaphysics?
In the modern period several major figures in the history of political thought also developed metaphysical positions.  For example:
---What is the relationship between Hobbes’ metaphysical materialism and his very influential political philosophy?  Does his political philosophy flourish as well when based on metaphysical views different from his own?
---What exactly is the relationship between Locke’s very influential political philosophy and his metaphysics?  Is his political philosophy mostly informed by his epistemology or does his metaphysics also play an important role?
---To what extent, if any, are Spinoza’s political views an extension of his metaphysical views?  What exactly is the relationship between his metaphysics and his political philosophy?
---To what extent does the political conservativism of Burke or the political conventionalism of Hume rest on metaphysical (or anti-metaphysical) assumptions? 
---What exactly is the relationship between the political writings of Kant that cluster around the second and third critiques and the metaphysics (or anti-metaphysics) of the first critique?  Is Kant, as Rawls alleges, a comprehensive (i.e., a metaphysical) rather than a political liberal?
---Given the wide range of political views that Hegel’s thought has inspired, how are we to understand the role of Hegel’s metaphysics in interpreting both his own political philosophy and the political philosophies developed by his followers?
The theme of the conference also has rich potential regarding the political thought of several contemporary thinkers.  For example:
---To what extent is Nussbaum’s influential capabilities approach at least implicitly built on an Aristotelian metaphysics of the person?  To what extent is her capabilities approach Rawlsian in the sense that it can be inserted into various different metaphysical theories?
---What connection is there, if any, between postmodern political views (e.g., of Derrida, Foucault, Butler, Ranciere, Deleuze, Agamben, Mouffe, etc.) and metaphysics?  Are such views necessarily anti-metaphysical or post-metaphysical?  Are post-metaphysical views implicitly metaphysical?
---To what extent is the tension between nationalism and (Appiah-like) cosmopolitanism ultimately due to debates in metaphysics?
---What exactly is the relationship between the political thought of Strauss (and the Straussians) and metaphysics?
---To what extent are issues in critical race theory and issues in gender studies reactions against various stances taken in the history of metaphysics?  To what extent are positions taken in these contemporary fields themselves implicitly metaphysical?
---Do the various sorts of ecoholism defended by environmentalists require metaphysical support in the effort to avoid an implicit individualism?
---What is the relationship between metaphysics and political thought in comparative philosophy where east/west and north/south comparisons are highlighted?
---Finally, there is the explosive question regarding the relationship between the metaphysical (or anti-metaphysical) views of Nietzsche and Heidegger and their respective political views (and those of their followers).
From the above it should be clear that papers are welcome that deal with either the metaphysical presuppostions of political thought or the political presuppositions of metaphysical thought.
500 word abstracts should be distributed electronically by September 1, 2018 to: Daniel Dombrowski, Professor of Philosophy, Seattle University at:
Those whose abstracts are chosen by the Program Committee should submit completed papers by January 15, 2019 to allow review by commentators and publication of the program.  Further information on the conference will become available at:
Aristotle Prize: Papers submitted by persons who have not yet earned a Ph.D. or who have received a Ph.D. within five years of the submission date will be considered for the Aristotle prize, if the Program Committee is made aware of their eligibility.  The prize carries a cash award of $500, inclusion in the program, and assistance with the costs associated with attending the meeting.  Graduate students and relatively recent Ph.D.s are encouraged to apply.  Full papers must be submitted for the prize by September 1, 2018.
Travel Grants: Thanks to the generous support of past presidents of the MSA and a grant from the Hocking-Cabot Fund for Systematic Philosophy, we are pleased to offer travel grants to graduate students whose papers are selected for the program for our annual meeting.  More information and an application can be found on the Society’s website.
  • The University of South Africa and the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin Thomistic Studies Research Doctoral Programs:
The University of South Africa in Pretoria has an online research doctoral program (PhD) in Philosophy that includes Thomistic studies. The Aquinas School of Leadership in the US is helping to promote this program for students contemplating, or currently, pursuing a graduate Master’s degree in Thomistic Studies and link this degree from the University of South Africa to  a follow-up, second Ph. D. degree from the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin.
The costs of the program include 7,840 South African Rand for the research proposal, which equals $643 US Dollars, then, 15,400 South African Rand per year, which equals $1,263 US Dollars per year. The time limit for completion of the Pretoria program is 6 years.
For information about this program, contact Dr. Peter A. Redpath at:
  • Aquinas School of Philosophy Site: Rich in Resources related to St. Thomas
For anyone interested in studying, or teaching courses on, St. Thomas, the Aquinas School of Philosophy site offers a wealth of educational information you might want to check out. See:
Also, see a list of thought-provoking articles by Aquinas School of Philosophy founder Dr. Dennis Bonnette at this site:
  • The International Étienne Gilson Society, Studia Gilsoniana
The IEGS again congratulates Fr. Pawel Tarasiewicz and his Editorial Staff for the exceptionally high quality of the recent issue of the Studia Gilsoniana journal. Go to this link to see the April to June 2018 issue:,49
If you are not yet a member of the IEGS, please consider joining to support our ongoing work. If you are a member and have not yet paid your annual dues, please do so.
See the following link to join or pay dues:
See the following link to make a donation to the work of the IEGS:
  • From The Center for the Study of The Great Ideas
Give Someone a Present of a Membership in the Center. See: 
to post information on the Center’s blogspot:
  • Aquinas and “the Arabs”
For information about Richard Taylor's "Aquinas and the 'Arabs'" International Working Group and upcoming conferences and seminars hosted by this organization, see:
  • En Route Books & Media and St. Augustine’s Press
Check out the following links for recent publications by En Route Books & Media and St. Augustine Press:


If you would like us to post something related to your organization, please email your request to:

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