Thomas Aquinas and Church Fathers

Country: Poland

City: Toruń

Abstr. due: 15.11.2018

Dates: 04.04.19 — 06.04.19

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: Faculty of Theology, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland


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.

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