Aquinas Scholar to Deliver Second Annual Scherer Lecture
Date published: Feb. 29, 2016
Alfred J. Freddoso, Ph.D., philosophy professor and Aquinas scholar, will deliver
the second annual Scherer Lecture on “The Vindication of St. Thomas.” The event, which
will be held Friday, March 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the Art History Auditorium, is free
and open to the public.
Freddoso is the John and Jean Oesterle Professor of Thomistic Studies at the University
of Notre Dame. His academic interests center on metaphysics and ethics in the Catholic
"Like the great minds of the medieval period, who have been the focus of his research
and teaching for years, Professor Freddoso recognizes faith and reason as a pair of
wings elevating the human mind to the contemplation of truth,” said Associate Professor
of Philosophy Matthew Walz. “Thomas Aquinas in particular is exemplary for him, so
much so that Professor Freddoso has undertaken (and to a great extent completed) a
translation of Aquinas' entire Summa theologiae -- a monumental task, to be sure, but one for which he is particularly well-suited.
It will be a pleasure to hear his thoughts concerning Aquinas' surprising significance
in the contemporary philosophical scene."
Freddoso will discuss how, 50 years after the overthrow of St. Thomas Aquinas and
Thomistic scholasticism in Catholic intellectual life, we are now witnessing a surprising
revival of Aristotelianism and Thomism in a place where one would have least anticipated
it: secular Anglo-American analytic philosophy. One example of this trend can be found
in “philosophical anthropology,” the study of human nature and the human condition.
This revival, in both philosophy and Catholic theology, offers hope to a new generation
of intellectually mature Catholics.
“Professor Freddoso knows both Anglo-American analytic philosophy and the Catholic
philosophical tradition from the inside out,” said Associate Professor of Philosophy
Lance Simmons. “The connections he sees between them are real, and hearing him explore
them should make for an exciting evening.”
The Scherer Lecture honors the late Mary Scherer, daughter of Frank and Jean O’Brien
of St. Louis, longtime friends and benefactors of the university and parents of several
UD students. It is sponsored by the Politics Department and the American Public Philosophy
Institute (APPI), a group of scholars from various disciplines and universities that
seeks to give natural law theory a more salient expression in current scholarly and
public discussions. The APPI, which was founded in 1989, moved to the University of
Dallas in 2014.