“Aquinas the Biblical Theologian” at Ave Maria University

Following last year’s conference on Aquinas and the Greeks, the Aquinas Center at Ave Maria University (Florida), together with the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, founded by Scott Hahn, organized from February 7-9, 2019 another conference on Aquinas, entitled “Aquinas the Biblical Theologian”. The conference brought together more than seventy scholars from all parts of the United States, testifying to the importance of what is being called ‘Biblical Thomism’, the view that Aquinas’ Scriptural exegesis constitutes the soul of his theology and consequently is of vital importance for doing theology today. Or as John Boyle and Scott Hahn noticed in their lectures, such a gathering of scholars working on Aquinas’ biblical exegesis would not have been possible a few decades ago.

This large number of scholars, many of them PhD students and young academicians, analyzed virtually every aspect of Aquinas’ biblical exegesis in all of his biblical commentaries such as the meaning of revelation, prophecy, inspiration, the literal sense, etc. Many topics in theology were also covered such as Christ’s priesthood, the hypostatic union, the Eucharist, sin, creation, etc.

The plenary addresses were given by Michael Dauphinais (Ave Maria University) on the role of Christ in Thomas’ doctrine on revelation, Jörgen Vijgen (Nicolaus Copernicus University) on the use of Scripture to refute heretics, Michael Sirilla (Franciscan University of Steubenville) on the reading of Scripture in his theology and preaching, Randall Smith (University of St. Thomas, Houston) on the influence of biblical exegesis on Aquinas’ preaching, Steven Long (Ave Maria University) on predestination and reprobation, John Boyle (University of St. Thomas, Minnesota) on carnal and spiritual readings of the Bible, Michael Waldstein (Franciscan University of Steubenville) on Aquinas’ division of Scripture and Brant Pitre (The Augustine Institute), arguing that Aquinas’ solution to the question of the date of the Last Supper is congruent with contemporary insights.

The keynote lectures were given by Matthew Levering (Mundelein Seminary), stressing the importance of St. Paul’s and St. Thomas’ insights on sin for the life of the Church today, and Scott Hahn (Franciscan University of Steubenville), emphasizing, on the basis of Thomas’ commentary on Romans, how Aquinas’ thoroughly biblical theology can shape our understanding of the faith.

The many parallel sessions forced one to make difficult choices. Particularly insightful were Mark Foudy’s analysis of Aquinas’ often overlooked commentary on Lamentations, Marcus Peters’ analysis of Christ’s priesthood in his commentary on Hebrews, Veronica Arntz analysis of the biblical sources of the hymn ‘Pange lingua gloriosi’, Michael Hahn’s analysis of the influence of Augustine’s Contra Faustum regarding Christ’s fulfillment of the Old Law, etc.

During the conference the spirit and zeal to work with St. Thomas for the good of the Church was palpable and for this only the organizers at Ave Maria and the St. Paul Center are to be highly commended. Undoubtedly such events are a stimulus for all scholars to continue this line of research. It is to be hoped that a selection of the papers will be published.

Jörgen Vijgen

Information regarding the International Conference “Thomas Aquinas and the Church Fathers”, Torun, April 4-6, 2019

In the coming weeks we will publish the schedule of our upcoming conference. The keynote lectures will be held by:

Serge-Thomas Bonino O.P. (Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome) : The Place of the Church Fathers in the Angelology of St. Thomas Aquinas

Carmelo Conticello (CNRS-Paris) : “Theophylactus latinus. The Thomist Reception of Theophylact of Bulgary”

– Dominic Legge O.P. (Dominican House of Studies, Washington D.C.)

Enrique Alarcón (University of Navarra, Pamplona) : “Albert the Great and the Reception of Pseudo-Dionysius’ Metaphysics of Being in Thomas Aquinas”

Anton ten Klooster (Tilburg University): “Aquinas’ adaptation of Augustine’s interpretation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit”

Martin Morard (CNRS – Paris) : “Catena aurea electronica. New Perspectives on the Catena, its history and sources in light of the ongoing scientific edition”

Practical information :


As with our previous conference, we intend to stream online the   plenary sessions and record all papers in order to facilitate the participation of scholars interested in this topic.


The fee for participants is 50 euros, which includes the opening-dinner (Thursday evening), refreshments and printed material. We will send you more details later regarding the payment of the fee.


Papers should be 20 min. long. All facilities for PowerPoint presentations are available.

Your journey to Torun

The nearest airport is Bydgoszcz (50 km from Torun) which has one  daily flight from Frankfurt and is also a destination for Ryanair. An  alternative is to fly to Warsaw and continue by train (2,5 hours – for the timetable: http://rozklad-pkp.pl/en)

Venue of the conference

Nicolaus Copernicus University, ul. Gagarina 37, 87-100 Torun, Poland  (www.teologia.umk.pl) & Centre of Dialogue John Paul II, Frelichowskiego 1, 87-100 Torun (http://www.bibdiec.pl/kontakt).


Torun, whose historical center is on the World Heritage List of the  UNESCO, is a popular place for tourists. Moreover, during our  conference, the city will host the 2019 Fencing World championship. We would, therefore, recommend you to book your stay as soon as possible.

Nearby the venue of the conference, there is the “Dom Pielgrzyma”  (House of Pilgrims), with double rooms (135 PLN per night). If you are  interested in booking one of these rooms (a limited number available),  please contact the secretary of the conference Mr. Jan Wolkowski  (jan.wolkowski@gmail.com).

Publication of the papers

We would also like to inform you about our journal Biblica et  Patristica Thoruniensia  (http://apcz.umk.pl/czasopisma/index.php/BPTh/index) which devotes one  issue each year to ‘Biblical Thomism’ and in which papers from  previous conferences have been published.

Call for papers for the Conference on “Thomas Aquinas and Church Fathers”, April 4-6, 2019

The rehabilitation of tradition, as developed in its most influential form by Gadamer, occurred simultaneously with the rediscovery of the patristic sources of the most influential Christian thinkers. This Ressourcement movement in theology, beginning in the first half of the twentieth century, argued for the importance of a renewed interest of patristic authors and texts in order to understand the Christian faith.

Simultaneously, scholars of the works of Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274) began to approach his works from a similarly historically-oriented perspective, reading his works as a series of philosophical and theological reflections in which Aquinas progressed over the years, in significant part due to Aquinas’ own active search for and renewed understanding of the patristic sources.

This commitment and interaction between tradition and speculative reason has led some to claim Aquinas’ theology might be characterized as “being ad mentem patrum”. The details of this undertaking, however, remain to be researched.

The primary objective of this conference is to increase our knowledge of the patristic sources of Thomas Aquinas and of the way in which Aquinas used these sources in developing his own position.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

* From an historical perspective: Aquinas’ sources and methods in acquiring and receiving patristic texts; the relation of his sources to the Glossae literature and his own Catena aurea; comparative analyses between Aquinas and (Greek and Latin) Church Fathers; comparative analyses between Aquinas and his immediate predecessors and contemporaries with regard to the use and influence of the Church Fathers.

* From a systematical perspective: the influence of the Ressourcement movement on contemporary Thomism; the contemporary (ecumenical) relevance of studying the Fathers in developing speculative theology; comparative studies between patristic and Thomistic views on theological issues etc.

Papers may be given preferably in English and the presentation should take 20-25 minutes. To submit a proposal, please send an abstract of approximately 300 words (along with your name, academic affiliation and contact information) to piotrroszak@umk.pl by December 1, 2018. Notification of acceptance will be given by December 15, 2018.

The keynote and other main lectures will be given by Serge-Thomas Bonino O.P. (Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome), Carmelo Conticello (CNRS-Paris), Dominic Legge O.P. (Dominican House of Studies, Washington D.C.), Enrique Alarcón (University of Navarra, Pamplona), Paul van Geest (Tilburg University) and Martin Morard (CNRS – Paris).

Venue of the conference: Nicolaus Copernicus University, ul. Gagarina 37, 87-100 Torun, Poland. www.teologia.umk.pl  & Centre of Dialogue John Paul II, Frelichowskiego 1, 87-100 Toruń

Date: April 4-6, 2019

Organizing committee:

Dr. Piotr Roszak, Dr. Jörgen Vijgen (principal organizers)



“Thomas Aquinas and Church Fathers”

Thomas Aquinas and the Greek Fathers, January 26-27, 2018

On January 26-27, 2018 an international conference was held at the Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Florida (USA), organized by The Aquinas Center for Theological Renewal at Ave Maria University and The Thomistic Institute in Washington D.C. The conference, entitled “Thomas Aquinas and the Greek Fathers” aimed at exploring and analyzing the renewed interest in the Greek Church Fathers as an important source of St. Thomas’ thought. For St. Thomas, the study of Sacred Scripture as the “soul of theology” (Vatican II, Dei Verbum 6), is inextricably connected to the study of the Church Fathers: “One not only has to conserve what has been given in Sacred Scriptures but also what has been said by the saintly Doctors who have conserved Sacred Scripture in its integrity.” (In Div. Nom. 2, l. 1, no. 125).

It has long been argued that Aquinas both had a remarkable knowledge of a wide range of the Greek Church Fathers but also that he was actively engaged in acquiring new material from hitherto unknown Fathers, in particular when composing his Catena Aurea. Due to Thomas’ profound commitment to these Greek patristic sources, he was not only able to draw on the rich tradition of the past but also explore new possibilities and solutions. How all this concretely was developed by St. Thomas remained to studied, however.

The conference brought together more than fifty scholars, Catholic and Orthodox, mostly from the United States, but also from Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, Croatia and France. The keynote lectures were given by Prof. Joseph Wawrykow (University of Notre Dame), who magisterially drew together Thomas’ engagement with the Greek Fathers on the participation in the Eucharist, and by Notre Dame Professor Fr. Khaled Anatolios of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, who examined the compatibility of St. Thomas and St. Athanasius with regard to the salvific work of Christ.

John Damascene was studied by ten scholars and Maximus the Confessor and his relation to St. Thomas was the object of no less than seven papers. Other Greek Fathers included Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Nanzianzus, John Chrysostom, Pseudo-Dionysius, Ignatius of Antioch, Irenaeus of Lyon but also later authors such as Theophylact of Bulgaria, Gregory Palamas and Manuel Calecas received attention. I myself had the privilege to deliver a paper on St. Thomas’ reception of Origen.

One cannot but be impressed by the astonishing interest of all these scholars in St. Thomas’ engagement with his Greek sources. This conference, whose proceedings will undoubtedly become highly influential, has demonstrated Thomas’ commitment and interaction between the Greek tradition and speculative reason and has resulted in a significant corroboration of Marcus Plested claim that “one might even go so far as to characterize his theology as being ad mentem patrum.” (Marcus Plested, Orthodox Readings of Aquinas (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2012, 20).

It also emphasizes the importance of and concurs entirely with the research project ‘Identity and Tradition. The Patristic Sources of Thomas Aquinas' Thought’ (2017-2020), funded by the National Science Centre (Poland) (UMO-2016/23/B/HS1/02679), which is currently being directed by Prof. Piotr Roszak at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland.

As part of this research project an international conference on Thomas and the Church Fathers will be organized in April of 2019.

Jörgen Vijgen

Preliminary Conference Schedule

“Towards a Biblical Thomism: Aquinas and the Renewal of Biblical Theology”

International Conference, Faculty of Theology, Nicolaus Copernicus University, April 24-26, 2017

Monday, April 24th

8.00 – Holly Mass in the Chapel of the Seminary of Toruń
Chair (Jörgen Vijgen, Thomas Institute, Utrecht, Netherlands)
9.00 – Introduction
9.15 – Michael Sherwin OP (University of Fribourg, Switzerland): Thomas Aquinas and the Problem of the Biblical Conception of Love
10.00 – Enrique Alarcόn (University of Pamplona, Spain): Aquinas’ Harmonization of Evangelical Morality and Philosophical Ethics
10.45 – Discussion
11.15 – Coffee Break
11.30 – Round table session (Chair: Mateusz Przanowski OP, Thomistic Institute Warsaw, Poland)

11.30 – Stefano Zamboni SCJ (Alphonsianum, Rome, Italy): Natural Law, Divine Law and Revealed Moral. Continuity and Tentions
12.15 – Cajetan Cuddy OP (The University of Fribourg, Switzerland): The Bible and Morality: Aquinas on the Natural Law
12.45 – Paul M. Rogers (Emmanuel College University of Cambridge, United Kingdom): Prophecy and the Moral Life in Thomas Aquinas’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians

13.15 – discussion
13.45 – Lunch (Faculty of Theology, room 55)
15.00-15.30 – Book Presentation (10′ each book + questions)

Michael G. Sirilla, The Ideal Bishop: Aquinas’s Commentaries on the Pastoral Epistles (Thomistic Ressourcement Series), CUA Press, Washington D.C., 2017 (presented by Jörgen Vijgen)
Wykład pierwszego listu do Tymoteusza. Super primam epistolam b. pauli ad Thimotheum lectura, red. P. Roszak, E. Alarcόn, tłum. M. Hanusek OP, Scholastica Thorunensia 2, Toruń 2016 (presented by …)

15.30-17.30 – Paper presentations (Chair: Michał Mrozek OP, Thomistic Institute Warsaw, Poland)
15.30 – Juan-Carlos Inostroza Lanas (The Catholic University of the Most Holy Conception, Chile): St. Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther and Karl Barth to Romans 9
16.00 – Anthony Giambrone OP (The Ecole Biblique, Jerusalem, Israel): „Haec doctrina tota de gratia Christi: The Prologues to Aquinas’ Commentaries on the Letters of St. Paul”
16.30 – Piotr Goniszewski (University of Szczecin, Poland): The men redeemed or not-redeemed? The interpretation of Rom 7,14-25 in the Thomas Aquinas Super Epistolam B. Pauli ad Romanos lectura and modern exegesis
17.00 – discussion

18.00 – Concert (Centre of Dialogue, CD): Włodzimierz and Iwan Gajdyczuk: “Classics for two accordions” (Fryderyk Chopin, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Antonio Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, Aram Khachaturian, Michał Kleofas Ogiński, Johann Strauss – father and son)
19.00 – Opening dinner (CD)

Tuesday, April 25th

Chair (Dariusz Iwański, Nicolaus Copernicus University,UMK, Toruń)
9.00 – Giuseppe De Virgilio (Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome, Italy): Hermeneutics of the “Revealed Morality” in the Pontifical Biblical Commission’s Document “The Bible and Morality. Biblical Roots of Christian Conduct”
9.45 – Michele Mazzeo OFM (Antonianum, Rome, Italy): Sacredness, dignity and mystery of human life: from the Bible to our times
10.30 – Discussion
11.00 – Coffee Break
11.15 – Round table session (Chair: Jan Perszon, Nicolaus Copernicus University,UMK, Toruń)

11.15 – Mateusz Przanowski OP (Thomistic Institute Warsaw, Poland): Formam servi accipiens (Phil 2:7) or plenus gratiae et veritatis (Jn 1:14)? The apparent dilemma in Aquinas’ exegesis.
11.45 – Janusz Kręcidło (Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, UKSW, Poland): Aquinas’s exegetical mastery in Super Evangelium S. Ioannis Lectura. A case study of John 21
12.15 – Jörgen Vijgen (Thomas Institute, Utrecht, Netherlands) The intelligibility of Aquinas’ account of marriage as remedium concupiscentiae in his commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:1-9

12.45 – discussion
13.15 – Lunch (Faculty of Theology, room 55)
14.30-15.00 – Book Presentations (10′ each + questions)
Matthew Levering, Pismo Święte i metafizyka. Tomasz z Akwinu i odnowa teologii trynitarnej, Poznań 2016 (presented by …)
Michele Mazzeo, La cura della vita. Bibbia e bioetica, Bologna 2015 (presented by Wojciech Pikor)

15.00-17.00 – Paper presentations – parallel in 2 groups:

Group I (Chair: Damian Dorocki, Nicolaus Copernicus University,UMK, Toruń)

15.00 – Krzysztof Bardski (Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, UKSW, Poland): „Allegoriae in universam Sacram Scripturam” attributed to Garnier of Langres as a pre-thomistic biblical summa symbolorum”
15.30 – Stefan Mangnus OP (Tilburg School of Catholic Theology/Thomas Institute, Utrecht, Netherlands): Reading one Gospel in three ways
16.00 – Joseph Arias (Christendom College, Alexandria, Virginia, USA): “Justifying Abraham: The Fruits of Saint Thomas’s Favorable Reading of the Patriarchs Revisited in Light of Magisterial and Canonical Sources”
16.30 – discussion

Group II (Chair: Jan Wółkowski, Nicolaus Copernicus University, UMK, Toruń)
15.00 – Mirosław Mróz (Nicolaus Copernicus University, UMK, Toruń): “Be Strong in the Lord” (Eph 6:10). The Role of the Virtue of Fortitude in Christian Life in the Light of the Commentary on the Epistle to the Ephesians by St. Thomas Aquinas
15.30 – Michał Mrozek OP (Thomistic Institute Warsaw, Poland): How Aquinas Reads the Scripture in relation to Aristotle’s Philosophy in the Treatise on the Habitus (Summa Theologiae, 1-2, q. 49-70)?
16.00 – Andrzej Kubanowski (Nicolaus Copernicus University, UMK, Toruń): The Traces of Aquinas’s Theology of the Church in his Commentary on Ephesians
16.30 – discussion

17.00 Guided Tour – Medieval Toruń

Wednesday, April 26th

Chair (Janusz Kręcidło, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, UKSW, Poland)
9.00 – Matthew Levering (Mundelein Seminary, Illinois, USA) The Context of Christ’s Resurrection: The Old Testament in Aquinas’s Commentary on John 20-21
9.45 – Paweł Krupa OP (Thomistic Institute, Warsaw, Poland) The four meanings of the Bible: a classical tool in the hands of St. Thomas Aquinas
10.30 – Discussion
11.00 – Coffee Break/ Finger food
11.15 – Round table session (Chair: Piotr Roszak, Nicolaus Copernicus University, UMK, Toruń)

11.15 – Michael G. Sirilla (Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, USA): The Theological and Pastoral Purposes of Aquinas’s Biblical Commentaries
11.45 – Marian Hanusek OP: Les défis et les devoirs des supérieurs de l’Eglise dans le Commentaire de la Première Epître à Timothée
12.15 – Marcin Trepczyński (University of Warsaw, Poland): Aquinas’ exegesis of Ps. 50 as a tool of Christian education?
12.45 – Dariusz Iwański (Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland): The wise reading of Job – Aquinas vs. modern exegetes

13.15 – discussion + Plenary session/discussion
14.30 – Lunch and End of Conference





Practical information 2017 Conference

Welcome to all the participants of our 2017 Conference Towards a Biblical Thomism. Thomas Aquinas and the Renewal of Biblical Theology, which will take place April 24-26 in the beautiful city of Torun, the birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus and a Unesco World Heritage Site. We are looking forward to a most interesting conference with scholars from Poland, the United States, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Chile, Switzerland, etc.

Awaiting the conference schedule, which we hope to publish in the coming weeks, we can already inform you about the following:

Venue of the Conference

Nicolaus Copernicus University, Faculty of Theology, ul. Gagarina 37, 87-100 Torun, Poland and Centre of Dialogue John Paul II, Pl. Frelichowskiego 1, 87-100 Torun, Poland http://www.umk.pl/en/


There are four airports nearby Torun: Warsaw Chopin Airport (distance 220 km), Warsaw Modlin Airport, Bydgoszcz Paderewski Airport (distance 50 km), Gdansk Lech Walesa Airport (distance 170 km), Poznan Lawica Airport (distance 180 km).

The most convenient way for those coming from abroad is to fly to one of the airports in Warsaw. From the Central Train Station in Warsaw one has a direct connection to Torun (duration: appr. 2h 45 min). We would advise to book a train ticket beforehand because the queue at Warsaw Central Station can sometimes be rather long. See http://www.polrail.com/en

Suggested hotel accommodations

Hotel Meeting *** http://hotelmeeting.pl/ (5 min. on foot) (Special price for participants 120 zloty)

Hotel Gotyk *** http://www.hotel-gotyk.com.pl/ (downtown in the historical center, half an hour on foot, 10 minutes by public city transport) (Special price for participants 150 zloty)

You can make a reservation by contacting the hotel directly or, for more questions, contact fr. Piotr Roszak (piotrroszak@umk.pl).


Registration fee is €50 and covers conference materials, opening dinner, lunches. Payment can be made on-site at the start of the conference or by bank transfer to:

Fundacja Pro Futuro Theologiae

PL35 1160 2202 0000 0002 7369 3725

Call for papers for the 2017 Conference

Towards a Biblical Thomism. Thomas Aquinas and the Renewal of Biblical Theology

International Conference

Faculty of Theology

Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń (Poland)

April 24-26, 2017

Call for Papers

For many years now, scholars have recognized the importance of Aquinas’ biblical commentaries and exegetical methods for understanding Aquinas’ integral thought as well as advancing contemporary theology, biblical studies and ecumenical dialogue.

Meanwhile, contemporary biblical theology is striving toward an integration of the historical-critical method with the patristic-medieval exegetical approach.

The aim of this conference is to develop our understanding of Aquinas’ biblical exegesis, it’s influence on modern and contemporary exegetical approaches and explore ways in which Aquinas’ thought and contemporary biblical exegesis can mutually enrich each other towards an integration of biblical exegesis and speculative theology with special reference to recent magisterial documents .


Possible topics to be treated (among many others) are:

* From an historical perspective: the relation of Aquinas’ exegetical approach compared to his predecessors; the influence of this approach on the history of exegesis and theology.

* From a systematical perspective: the relation between the theological doctrine of Aquinas and his biblical exegesis; the relation between exegesis and preaching; the contemporary relevance for ecumenical dialogue; differences and similarities between Aquinas’ exegesis and recent magisterial documents (e.g. the Pontifical Biblical Commission), in particular the reception of the PBC’s document “The Bible and Morality” (2008) from the perspective of Aquinas’ thought (esp. natural law, conscience, personhood)

Papers may be given preferably in English and the presentation should take 25 minutes. To submit a proposal, please send an abstract of approximately 300 words (along with your name, academic affiliation and contact information) to piotrroszak@umk.pl by January 31, 2017. Notification of acceptance will be given by the end of February 2017.

The keynote and other main lectures will be given by Michael Sherwin O.P. (University of Fribourg, Switzerland), Matthew Levering (Mundelein Seminary, United States), Enrique Alarcon (University of Pamplona, Spain), Giuseppe De Virgilio (Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome), Stefano Zamboni SCJ (Alphonsianum, Rome), Pawel Krupa O.P. (Thomistic Institute, Warsaw) and Michele Mazzeo OFM (Antonianum, Rome).

Venue of the conference: Faculty of Theology, Nicolaus Copernicus University, ul. Gagarina 11, 87-100 Torun, Poland. www.umk.pl/en/

Organizing committee:

Faculty of Theology, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun

Thomistic Institute, Warsaw

Dr. Piotr Roszak, Dr. Jörgen Vijgen, Prof. Dr. Wojciech Pikor (principal organizers)