800th Jubilee: Saint Thomas Aquinas and Law

January 23, 2016

Anyone who reads the Summa theologiae of Saint Thomas Aquinas finds many objections. The Saint, known as the Common Doctor, was familiar with the disputatio—of the back-and-forth of agreement/disagreement, in an effort to defend the truth. Saint Thomas Aquinas formed the best objections to his own arguments, and it seems Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court of the United States likes Aquinas’ style. Within the tradition of the disputatio, Justice Scalia offered point and counter-point in a lecture on “Saint Thomas Aquinas and Law” at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC on January 7, 2016, in honor of the 800th Jubilee of the Order of Preachers. The evening continued with Solemn Vespers for the Memorial of Saint Raymond of Peñafort (the patron saint of lawyers), followed by a reception and dinner with the community, which included an address by Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. of the Supreme Court of the United States on “Being Catholic in Public Life.” Please see the introductory remarks to Justice Scalia’s lecture here and see photos from the event here.

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