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Thomistic Summer Conference

Faith & Reason | Thomas Aquinas College, California | June 18-20, 2020

The profound contributions of St. Thomas Aquinas to theology and philosophy have been repeatedly affirmed by the magisterium over the centuries. In his encyclical Fides et Ratio, Pope St. John Paul II describes St. Thomas as “an authentic model for all who seek the truth.” Thomas Aquinas College invites those who seek the truth in the footsteps of the Angelic Doctor to join other scholars for three days of lectures and conversation regarding the relationship between faith and reason, the theme of this summer’s inaugural Thomistic Summer Conference.

What have faith and reason to say to each other? Is there a tension between them? Can reason dispose us to faith or deepen our understanding of it? Does faith complete or perfect reason? How are we to approach the myriad of questions today’s world asks about the relationship between natural science and divine revelation? Join us to consider these questions and others in the light of the thought of St. Thomas, a champion of the essential harmony between faith and reason. As John Paul II writes, “In his thinking, the demands of reason and the power of faith found the most elevated synthesis ever attained by human thought, for he could defend the radical newness introduced by revelation without ever demeaning the venture proper to reason.”



Paper proposals are welcome pertaining to any aspect of the relationship between faith and reason in the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. For more information and for suggested topics, see the online form for submitting proposals. To have your paper considered, please submit a titled, 500-word abstract by March 7, 2020.


Featured Speakers


Rev. Michael Sherwin, O.P.Michael Sherwin, O.P., is Professor of Fundamental Moral Theology at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. He has also taught at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, where he received his initial formation as a Dominican and was ordained a priest in 1991. Fr. Sherwin is director of the Saint Thomas Aquinas Institute for Theology and Culture and of the Pinckaers Archives, and author of numerous articles on the psychology of love, virtue ethics, and moral development. His monograph, By Knowledge and By Love: Charity and Knowledge in the Moral Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas (CUA Press, 2005), has been reissued in paperback. He recently published a collection of essays, On Love and Virtue (Emmaus Academic, 2018), that Alasdair MacIntyre has described as “theological reflection at its best.”

John O'CallaghanJohn O’Callaghan is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Jacques Maritain Center at the University of Notre Dame. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame. He has previously taught at Creighton University and the University of Portland. He has written or edited a number of books and articles in the area of Thomistic studies, including Thomist Realism and the Linguistic Turn (2003) and Recovering Nature (with Thomas Hibbs, 1999). He is a past President of the American Catholic Philosophical Association and is a permanent member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas (PASTA). 

Steven A. LongSteven A. Long is Professor of Theology at Ave Maria University. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the Catholic University of America. He has previously taught at the University of St. Thomas (MN), at St. Joseph’s College, Christendom College, and The Catholic University of America. He is the author of The Teleological Grammar of the Moral Act (Sapientia Press, 2007), Natura Pura: On the Recovery of Nature in the Doctrine of Grace (Fordham University Press, 2010), and Analogia Entis: On the Analogy of Being, Metaphysics, and the Act of Faith (University of Notre Dame Press, 2011). He is a permanent member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas (PASTA).

Michael A. AugrosMichael A. Augros is a tutor at Thomas Aquinas College. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Boston College in 1995. He is the author of Who Designed the Designer? A Rediscovered Path to God’s Existence (Ignatius, 2015), The Immortal in You (Ignatius, 2017), and Aquinas on Theology and God’s Existence (editiones scholasticae, 2019). After teaching for many years at the California campus of Thomas Aquinas College, he now teaches at the school’s New England campus in Northfield, Massachusetts.




  • Registration Fee: $95 if before March 31 and $120 afterward (covers all meals, including Saturday evening’s banquet dinner)
  • On-Campus Lodging: $200 single occupancy for three nights (Thursday, Friday, Saturday; private room with a shared bathroom in a single-sex dormitory; linens provided)
  • Off-campus lodging can be found at various nearby accommodations
  • To register and reserve accommodations, please visit our online form.



Thomistic Summer Conference poster

Thomas Aquinas College believes that to learn is to discover and grow in the truth about reality. It is the truth, and nothing less, that sets men free. And because truth is both natural and supernatural, our academic program aims at both natural and divine wisdom. In particular, we look to St. Thomas Aquinas, the Common Doctor of the Church, whose extensive writings testify to the natural harmony between faith and reason.

Thomas Aquinas College is truly unique among American colleges and universities. In place of textbooks, students here study the Great Books of Western civilization — the works that have shaped the course of history and guided the development of the major disciplines (mathematics and science, language and literature, philosophy and theology). With truth as their aim, our students engage in this four-year pursuit, attempting to answer the enduring questions raised by the authors of these great works, not in vast lecture halls, but in vigorous classroom discussions of 15-18 students.

This curriculum presents the arts and sciences of liberal education as a comprehensive whole. There are no majors, no minors, no electives, and no specializations. The works studied are arranged so as to build upon one another, and together they form a comprehensive and integrated whole. After four years of study, graduates are awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree, having completed the equivalent of 146 semester hours.