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Symposium on "The Light that Binds: A Study in Thomas Aquinas's Metaphysics of Natural Law"

Apr 13, 2022
Swift Hall, 3rd Floor Lecture
1025 E 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Stephen L. BrockPontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome

Russell HittingerLumen Christi Institute

Matthew LeveringUniversity of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary

Candace VoglerUniversity of Chicago

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A symposium on The Light that Binds: A Study in Thomas Aquinas's Metaphysics of Natural Law by Fr. Stephen L. Brock (Wipf and Stock, 2020). 

Free and open to the public. Registration is required. Cosponsored by Wipf and Stock Publishers, the Department of History at the University of Chicago, and the Seminary Co-op Bookstore.  Contact us with any questions.

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

If there is any one author in the history of moral thought who has come to be associated with the idea of natural law, it is Saint Thomas Aquinas. Many things have been written about Aquinas's natural law teaching, and from many different perspectives. The aim of this book is to help see it from his own perspective. That is why the focus is metaphysical. Aquinas's whole moral doctrine is laden with metaphysics, and his natural law teaching especially so, because it is all about first principles. The book centers on how Aquinas thinks the first principles of practical reason, which for him are what make up natural law, function as laws. It is a controversial question, and the book engages a variety of readers of Aquinas, including Francisco Suarez, Jacques Maritain, prominent analytical philosophers, Straussians, and the initiators of the New Natural Law theory. Among the issues addressed are the relation between natural law and natural inclination, how far natural law depends on knowledge of human nature, what its obligatory force consists in, and, above all, how it is related to what for Aquinas is the first principle of all being, the divine will.

You can purchase the book from our partners at the Seminary Co-op Bookstore.

 


This convening is open to all invitees regardless of vaccination status and, because of ongoing health risks, particularly to the unvaccinated, participants are expected to adopt the risk mitigation measures (masking and social distancing, etc.) appropriate to their vaccination status as advised by public health officials or to their individual vulnerabilities as advised by a medical professional. Public convening may not be safe for all and carries a risk for contracting COVID-19, particularly for those unvaccinated. Participants will not know the vaccination status of others and should follow appropriate risk mitigation measures.
 
If you are not currently affiliated with the University (enrolled student, faculty, or staff) it is expected that you review the University‚Äôs COVID mitigation efforts. The University expects every event attendee to adopt precautions designed to mitigate the risk of viral transmission.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Stephen L. Brock is a priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei.  He is Ordinary Professor of Medieval Philosophy at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome. He earned a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Chicago and a PhD in Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto.  Brock writes widely on Thomas Aquinas and action theory, ethics, and metaphysics. He is the author of The Philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas. A Sketch (Wipf & Stock, 2015), Action & Conduct: Thomas Aquinas and the Theory of Action (T&T Clark, 1998), and most recently, The Light that Binds: A Study in Thomas Aquinas's Metaphysics of Natural Law (Pickwick Publications, 2020).  He is currently a visiting scholar in the Philosophy Department at the University of Chicago.


Russell Hittinger is Senior Fellow at the Lumen Christi Institute, visiting professor at the University of Chicago Law School, and Professor Emeritus of Catholic Studies and Law at the University of Tulsa. He is also Ordinarius of the Pontifical Academy of the Social Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. Hittinger is the author of many books, including A Critique of the New Natural Law Theory, The First Grace: Rediscovering Natural Law in a Post-Christian Age, Thomas Aquinas and the Rule of Law, and most recently Paper Wars: Catholic Social Doctrine and the Modern State (forthcoming).


Matthew Levering is the James N. and Mary D. Perry, Jr. Chair of Theology at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He holds a B.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, M.T.S. from Duke University, and a Ph.D. from Boston College. Levering is the author of numerous books, including Engaging the Doctrine of RevelationEngaging the Doctrine of the Holy SpiritProofs of GodThe Theology of Augustine, and Ezra & Nehemiah in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible series. He serves as coeditor of the journals Nova et Vetera and the International Journal of Systematic Theology and is a member of the Academy of Catholic Theology and of Evangelicals and Catholics Together.

 


Candace Vogler is the David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor of Philosophy and Professor in the College at the University of Chicago.  She has authored two books, John Stuart Mill's Deliberative Landscape: An Essay in Moral Psychology (Routledge, 2001) and Reasonably Vicious (Harvard University Press, 2002), and essays in ethics, social and political philosophy, philosophy and literature, cinema, psychoanalysis, gender studies, sexuality studies, and other areas.  Her research interests are in practical philosophy (particularly the strand of work in moral philosophy indebted to Elizabeth Anscombe), practical reason, Kant's ethics, Marx, and neo-Aristotelian naturalism. She was also a Principal Investigator on "Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life," a project funded by the John Templeton Foundation from 2015 to 2018.