In addition to the successful completion of coursework and various other requirements for the degree completion, an important measure of success for graduate students is their participation in various academic conferences and colloquia. In these conferences students have the opportunity to present the product of their research before an audience of scholars and be challenged to improve and hone their ideas. Often times, papers presented at conferences will go on to be submitted for publishing, another important aspect of academic success.
This summer, three AMU graduate students will present their papers at a Colloquium at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, Person, Soul and Consciousness: Philosophical and Theological Perspectives. This colloquium will enable the students to engage with professional theologians and philosophers regarding some to the most profound issues regarding the human person.
Therese Villaca, who just graduate this May from the MA program, will present her paper, “Brain Death: A Valid Definition, or a Useful Euphemism?” Villaca argues that current medical evidence suggests that brain death is not a valid definition of death, especially when understood in relation to Christian anthropology, which includes an understanding of the soul as the form of the body.
Also presenting are two PhD students, Daniel Lendman and Sean Robertson who just completed their first year in the Phd program. Daniel Lendman will present his paper, “A Thomistic Consideration of the Mystery of Death and its Implications for the State of the Separated Soul.” Lendman’s paper argues that a properly Christian understanding of death argues very strongly against the idea that the separated human soul is properly called a person and that for the baptized physical death brings about a certain perfection to the spiritual death in the dissolution of the person, just as physical resurrection brings about a certain perfection to spiritual resurrection.
Finally, Sean Robertson will present his paper, “’Cogitationes cordis ejus in generatione et generationem’: The Soteriological Role of Christ’s Beatific Knowledge According to St. Thomas.” The purpose of his paper is to examine the soteriological implications of Christ’s beatific knowledge. In particular, he argues in favor of Christ’s beatific knowledge through an examination of its fittingness with respect to Christ’s salvific actions, especially His Passion and death on the Cross, by following closely the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas in the Summa Theologiae.