Saturday, January 27, 2018

Announcing the 2018 Norcia Summer Theology Program

William Blake, Job
From June 17–28, 2018, the Albertus Magnus Center for Scholastic Studies, in partnership with the Monastero San Benedetto, will hold its seventh summer theology program in Norcia, Italy.

This summer’s program will be: “Human Suffering and Divine Providence: Thomas’ Commentary on the Book of Job.” We will do a close reading of Thomas’ Commentary on Job, considered one of the saint’s finest and most interesting Biblical commentaries, written about an Old Testament book that has always been a favorite with preachers, moralists, and artists.
The affliction of just men is what seems especially to impugn divine Providence in human affairs. For although it seems irrational and contrary to Providence at first glance that good things sometimes happen to evil men, nevertheless this can be excused in one way or another by [invoking] divine compassion. But that the just are afflicted without cause seems to undermine totally the foundation of Providence. Thus the varied and grave afflictions of a specific just man called Job, perfect in every virtue, are proposed as a kind of theme for the question intended for discussion. (From Aquinas’ Prologue)
This year, the program is pleased to welcome as a guest tutor Dr. Michael Sirilla, director of the graduate theology program at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Additionally, Fr. Thomas Crean, OP, of the Dominican priory in Leicester, England, and Fellow of the AMCSS, will be joining us. Fr. Crean is currently teaching at Newman College, Ireland. Besides the daily seminars and lectures offered by the tutors, there will be a guest lecture by Fr. Benedict Nivakoff, OSB, Prior of the monastery, as well as Fr. Cassian Folsom, OSB, its founder. The two-week program culminates in an authentic scholastic disputation, moderated by one of the tutors.

In addition to the academic program, there is the opportunity to participate in the daily life of worship of the Benedictine monks who live and pray in the mountains overlooking the birthplace of SS. Benedict & Scholastica. Optional excursions include a trip to Orvieto, where St. Thomas lived while he was writing the Commentary on Job. 

Participants are encouraged to plan for extra time before or after the program in order to explore Rome, the glorious foundation seat of the Church. Indeed, the program ends on the day before the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, so participants could attend the Papal Mass at St. Peter’s on that day. Tickets will be arranged for all who are interested.

For more information, including costs and registration, visit the Summer Program details page.

The St. Albert the Great Center is dedicated to the revival of theology undertaken according to the mind and method of the great scholastics, and in particular, the work of St. Thomas Aquinas. All are welcome to apply, including graduate students, seminarians, clergy, and religious. The AMCSS will issue an official transcript with a grade for any who requests it.

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