Tuesday, February 03, 2015

St. Albertus Magnus Center 2015 Summer Course

For many years Unam Sanctam Catholicam has collaborated with the good folks of the Albertus Magnus Center for Scholastic Studies in Norcia, Italy, to promote their wonderful summer theology courses. The Center is happy to announce the theme for the 2015 course: "Light Unto the Mysteries of God: St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians." The substance of the course will be undertaking a thorough reading of the Letter, following St. Thomas's commentary upon the epistle as our guide. The Epistle offers the opportunity to explore in depth the subject of grace as it is found principally in the sacraments.The two week course will be held in Norcia, Italy, from July 12-July 25th. Cost is €675, which does not include airfare but does include lodging and two meals per day. The course also includes excursions to Assisi, Cascia, Norcia and Rome.

The Albertus Magnus center is an organization dedicated to the revival of higher studies in theology undertaken according to the mind and method of the great scholastics. The Albertus Magnus center is also a recognized 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization.

The mission of the Center is realized principally through the regular hosting of two-week long Summer Programs, in which participants are invited to an intensive course of studies in Catholic theology presented in the form of the great universities of the high Middle Ages. Unique to these programs is the combination of scholastic form and content, namely the study of St. Thomas Aquinas in the way that St. Thomas himself would have studied. Hence the dedication of the Center to his own teacher, St. Albert the Great. These programs thus take as their central focus the three tasks of the medieval masters of theology (praedicatio, lectio, disputatio) together with the course of studies undertaken by medieval students of theology, which involved commenting on the theological textbook of the day, e.g. the Sentences of Peter Lombard.

From the website of the Albertus Magnus center, describing how a typical day at the course is structured:

Praedicatio (preaching). In our programs, this task of the master of theology is generally fulfilled in the context of the daily Mass which participants are invited to attend.

Lectio (lecture). One or several keynote speakers are invited to fulfill this task of the master of theology by delivering a series of academic lectures throughout the program on the principal academic topic, which varies each year.

Disputatio (disputation). The culmination and highlight of our Summer programs is the holding of an authentic scholastic disputation in which participants are invited to pose arguments and objections for and against a disputed question of theology, after which one of the masters organizes the arguments, presents his definitive respondeo (response), and answers each of the objections raised on either side.

Commentaria (commentary). The academic portion of our programs is then rounded out by two or three further courses in theology which consist of daily seminar style discussions of some of the great texts of the great masters in theology, principally Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologiae, which has long since replaced Peter Lombard's Sentences as the textbook for ‘beginners’ in theology.

In addition to the central academic focus, our programs seek to integrate a wider experience of the Church's culture and history. For this reason, while making sure that participants have plenty of time for careful and fruitful reading of the texts to be discussed in class, some days are set aside for excursions and cultural activities.

The folks of the St. Albert Center work on conjunction with the Benedictines of Norcia; the lay organizers are theologians in their own right from the International Theological Institute in Tramau, Austria, the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, and Wyoming Catholic College. They are also good friends of this blog and of myself personally. In fact John Joy, one of the Directors of the St. Albertus Magnus Center, has published two theology books exclusively available through Unam Sanctam Catholicam - Poena Satisfactoria (2011) on St. Thomas' doctrine of the atonement, and Cathedra Veritatis (2013) on the extension of papal infallibility.

You can visit their website here for more information or to register; I will also be featuring an advertisement on the sidebar of this blog throughout the year.

No comments: