Alumna to Give 2016 Aquinas Lecture
Date published: Jan. 27, 2016
Eileen Sweeney, Ph.D., BA ’79, will give the 2016 Aquinas Lecture on Thursday, Jan.
28, at 7:30 p.m in Lynch Auditorium. A reception will follow the lecture.
Titled “Aquinas as Ecstatic Aristotelian: Literary Reflections on the Summa theologiae,”
Sweeney’s lecture will explore the ways in which Aristotelian and biblical authorities
are deployed and intertwined in the Summa -- stretching, sometimes beyond the breaking
point, the Aristotelian notions that function as the primary vehicle of explanation
of the ideas of will, passion and virtue.
Sweeney is an expert on medieval philosophy, with an emphasis on the thought of the
12th and 13th centuries. She has written three books and approximately 30 articles
on medieval philosophers, especially St. Anselm and St. Thomas Aquinas. After graduating
from UD in 1979, she went on to obtain her doctorate from the University of Texas
at Austin and is now a full professor at Boston College.
“Professor Sweeney is one of the most distinguished alumnae of the University of Dallas,”
said Professor and Chair of Philosophy Philipp W. Rosemann, Ph.D. “The Philosophy
Department is honored to welcome her back home.”
In addition to the public lecture, Sweeney will have lunch with the Philosophy Club
at noon in SB Hall on Friday, Jan. 29; there will then be a graduate seminar at 2
p.m. in Gorman Faculty Lounge.
The Aquinas Lecture series, begun in 1983, is an annual event sponsored by the UD
Philosophy Department. It features distinguished contemporary thinkers who address
topics in the spirit of St. Thomas Aquinas. In recent years, Aquinas Lecturers have
included luminaries such as Father Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., president of the Magis Center of Reason and Faith
(Irvine, California), Robert George from Princeton University, William Desmond from the University of Louvain
(Belgium), Thomas Hibbs from Baylor University, Timothy Noone from the Catholic University
of America and John Milbank from the University of Nottingham (United Kingdom).