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St. Albert the Great: Medieval Wisdom for Modern Science

Nov 16 at 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Angelicum Thomistic Institute – Science & Religion Online Series

St. Albert the Great: Medieval Wisdom for Modern Science

Fr. Thomas Davenport, OP
Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas – Angelicum

16 November 2021
7pm CET / 6pm GMT / 1pm EST

Language: English

St. Albert the Great (1200-1280) was a Dominican priest, theologian, administrator, and bishop who was named a Doctor of the Church in 1931 and the patron saint of scientists in 1941. What does a mendicant friar who lived 300 years before the scientific revolution have to say to today’s scientists? This lecture presents the pivotal role that Albertus Magnus played in establishing the study of nature as a worthwhile and independent discipline, a fact that was not widely accepted by his predecessors. It also gives a taste of his own voluminous works on nature in general and in its minute detail. While the study of nature has far surpassed anything Albert could have imagined, the foundation for understanding what natural science is and how it relates to philosophy, whether a philosophy of the natural world or more proper metaphysics, and to theology, can best be answered using the ideas and tools that Albert laid down in his own day.

In his talk, Fr. Thomas Davenport references a lecture given by Fr. Aniceto Fernandez Alonso, O.P. who was a professor of Physical Science and Cosmology in the faculty of philosophy at the Angelicum from 1932-1950. The lecture was given here at the Angelicum at the inauguration of the academic year on November 14, 1935.

The original lecture, in Latin, is available here. The reference is: Fernández-Alonso, Anicetus. “Scientiae et Philosophia: Secundum S. Albertum Magnum.” Angelicum 13, no. 1 (1936): 24–59.

An English translation is available here. It was made by the Dominican friars of the Albertus Magnus Lyceum at the Dominican House of Studies in River Forest, Illinois around 1950.


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