In addition to providing an environment of philosophical dialogue (and therefore growth), the Lyceum Institute strives to ensure that wisdom is promoted in all its forms, not least of which, for the philosophically-minded means the publication of written works. On this page, you will find a list of books and journals authored, translated, or edited by Lyceum Institute Faculty or published with Lyceum Institute Support.
Education and Digital Life
Essays by Brian Kemple, Kirk Kanzelberger, Mark McCullough, Francisco Plaza, Daniel Wagner
Digital life allows for unique educational opportunity. For one needs to do more than merely read books or blogs or articles to become educated: education always being a matter of a certain training, which entails not only reading or passive consumption of information, but the interpretative processing of that which is received and—perhaps most importantly of all—a critical conversation with others through which that interpretation may be refined and improved. No mind lives and thrives all on its own, and while reading the works of great writers is an encounter with their minds, it is one-directional only. Something more is needed—other persons, who bring not only their own minds, but all the minds they have read, all the minds they have encountered, in some way to your own.
Reality: The Philosophy of Realism
Articles by Daniel Wagner, Brian Kemple, Francisco Plaza, Brian Jones, Kirk Kanzelberger, Michael Dodds OP, Jim Capehart, and Matthew Minerd.
This first issue of REALITY—The Philosophy of Realism—like most publications and especially those of a collaborative effort, signifies innumerable hours of effort. The goal of our journal is simple: to reinvigorate an intelligent discussion about realism as a philosophical approach. By a realist approach, we mean not simply as pertains to theories of knowledge, but rather a kind of thinking that perfuses itself throughout all philosophical inquiries: all questions of truth, of meaning and purpose, of good, of human action, the political, the physical and the metaphysical, of thought and thing, and anything else about which one might ask, “What does this mean?” To clarify this pursuit of reality, and expound on its importance, our first issue asks the question: what is realism? It is an important question, not simply for our purposes here, but for philosophy as a whole, and thus an important question for all human beings. Without maintenance of a sound answer—which must be sustained dialogically—philosophy wilts into one or another sophistical theory that begins by denying some aspect of the real; and a small error in the beginning becomes great in the end.
Thomas Aquinas: Teacher of Humanity
Essays by John Boyer, Brian Kemple, and many more
Pope John Paul II bestowed upon St. Thomas Aquinas the accolade of Doctor Humanitatis, or “Doctor of Humanity,” because he was ready to affirm the good or value of culture wherever it is to be found. Thomas is a teacher for our time because of his “assertions on the dignity of the human person and the use of his reason.” (“Inter Munera Academiarum,” 1999). This collection of papers explores the various philosophical and theological aspects of the thought of both Thomas Aquinas and John Paul II pertaining to this theme of “teacher of humanity.” The topics discussed here include the political praxis of Karol Wojtyla; Gadamer on common sense; prudence and subsidiarity; embodied cognition; the knowledge of God; the commandment of love; Pope Francis on the Beatitudes; the new evangelization; Thomism and modern cosmology; and the challenges of transhumanism and gender ideology.
The papers were presented at a conference held in Houston, Texas, USA, in 2013, cosponsored by the Center for Thomistic Studies, the John Paul II Forum, and the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. This work will help to realize in its small way the hopes of Saint John Paul II concerning St. Thomas Aquinas: “It is to be hoped that now and in the future there will be those who continue to cultivate this great philosophical and theological tradition [of Aquinas] for the good of both the Church and humanity.” (Fides et ratio §74) Additionally, it will undoubtedly be of interest to all participants in the cultivation of the thought of Thomas Aquinas, John Paul II, and the dialogue between Thomism and the modern world.
Scott Randall Paine, Faculty Fellow
The Universe and Mr. Chesterton
The Bible’s opening words “In the beginning”—later echoed in St. John’s Gospel—suggest an affinity between the Christian project of saving the world and the philosophical project of understanding it. Philosophy too ponders the beginnings, the principles of our knowledge and our universe. Although G.K. Chesterton was hardly a professional philosopher, he did turn a particularly alert mind to those beginnings—not with treatises on metaphysics or ethics, but with the example of a life of writing that gave eloquent witness to the theoretical and moral principles of Western thought at its best. That witness not only invites us to take a more objective look at the claims of Christianity, but also to welcome the lessons of wisdom implicit in sense experience. If this stance put Chesterton at odds with much of modern philosophy, it was only because it put him face to face with a world many philosophers could no longer see, but only scrutinize. In the present book, Chesterton’s way of looking at the universe generates as much existential impact as a religious conversion. And conversions—whether religious or philosophical—redirect our easily distracted mind to a universe that is naturally evident only by being supernaturally significant.
The Other World We Live In
A Catholic Vision of Angelic Reality
Of all the invisible realities we live among — from virtual networks to rays of sunshine — none are more overlooked than the world of angels, which most relegate either to fundamentalist religion or to elitist cults. But there is another option. We stand with all three Abrahamic faiths (as well as with the majority of the world’s traditions) in acknowledging that God’s creation consists in a threefold, ascending order: cosmic, human, and angelic. This hierarchy may seem to dethrone our sensitive egos from the pinnacle of creation, but in truth it assigns our human nature a far more dignified, intermediate station that Aquinas calls a “marvelous connection,” serving to join the world of matter and the realm of pure spirit. Furthermore, the vexing problem of evil takes on a new dimension when we realize there is mischief not only in us but in the spiritual order as well. When angelic reality is factored into our view of creation and our moral struggles, that view matures and broadens. The “plane” of humankind and cosmos will lack three-dimensionality until intersected by the companion world of the pure spirits.
A Philosopher Island-Hops Through The World
This short book is a philosophical and religious travelogue about seven islands I visited over the years between 1998 and 2014. Those visits were parts of more extensive trips to some 50 plus countries. The islands, however, were not toured in the order presented, but have been sequenced so as to reflect the logic of the meditations my visits occasioned. In the Galápagos Islands, I was led to reflect on the contributions and limits of Darwin’s celebrated theory; on Easter Island, I pondered the role orality has played in the majority of history’s cultures and languages; on Tierra del Fuego, I inquired as to the mysterious meaning of the world’s overpowering oceans; on Iona, I look into Christianity’s singularity and unusual link with philosophy; on Zanzibar, I dare to ask what the religion of Islam, and any faith of comparable claims, might imply in terms of the search for ultimate truth; on Sri Lanka, I ask the same thing regarding Buddhism, and on Bali, regarding Hinduism. I conclude with an epilogue regarding the “mobile island” of the Jewish people, their outnumbered but unmistakable presence in history, and their counterintuitive survival.
A Catholic Mind Awake
The Writings of Bernard Kelly
Edited with an Introduction by Scott Randall Paine
Significant insights into metaphysics, spirituality, poetry, and social questions are lights usually sought in the work of at least four different competencies. A Catholic Mind Awake, however—“catholic” in both upper and lower case—presents us with an impressive array of such insights, all from a single mind. That Bernard Kelly was not a specialized academic (he worked as a bank clerk), makes the wellspring of these insights even more intriguing. A humble and thoughtful man, Kelly possessed a mind that moved with ease through philosophical queries ranging from Europe to India and back again, with a heart at home in the folds of contemplative prayer and Christian devotion, and a muse that sang with one of the most remarkable poets of modern English. He was also passionately committed to the problems of a world tottering between the contending behemoths of capitalism and communism. Both broad in its conspectus and penetrating in its analysis, the present collection allows this forgotten voice to speak again.
Matthew K. Minerd, Faculty Fellow
The Science of Sacred Theology
Emmanuel Doronzo, O.M.I., introduction by Matthew K. Minerd
The four books (Introduction to Theology, Revelation, The Channels of Revelation, The Church)— conveniently gathered in this volume titled The Science of Sacred Theology—were written by the great but sorely neglected theologian, Fr. Emmanuel Doronzo, O.M.I. (1903–1976), as abbreviated texts of his Theologia Dogmatica, a two-volume work totalling over 2,000 pages. These four books were originally published by the Notre Dame Pontifical Catechetical Institute which was founded by Msgr. Eugene Kevane, dean of the school of education at the Catholic University of America.
A native of the city of Barletta in South-Eastern Italy, a graduate of the Gregorianum and the Angelicum (where he was a student of the great Thomist master, Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange), Fr. Doronzo taught for decades in Europe and the United States, first in Turin, Italy, then at the scholasticate of the Oblates of Mary in San Antonio, Texas, and finally at the Catholic University of America. He was a two-time recipient of the Catholic Theological Society of America’s Cardinal Spellman Award, receiving it, along with several other recipients, in 1947 (the first year this award was conferred) as well as a second time in 1951.
These four books will introduce the reader to important foundational themes in fundamental theology and ecclesiology. In them, Fr. Doronzo clearly sets forth the traditional Thomistic teaching concerning the nature of theological science, the supernaturality of faith, the nature of revelation, the rational credibility of revelation, a clear summary of the various sources of theology (in the tradition of Melchior Cano’s De locis theologicis), and a thoroughly documented introduction to ecclesiology. These texts will be of use to both teachers and students who are interested in the recovery of a traditional and robust Thomistic theology.
Made by God, Made For God
Catholic Morality Explained
In Made by God, Made for God: Catholic Morality Explained, Catholics will find a fresh approach to the timeless moral teachings of the Catholic Church. Steeped in Scripture and Catholic tradition, this book reveals the beauty of Catholic morality in a relatable and easy-to-understand way.
Often, Catholic morality is seen as a list of things we can’t do. But what it actually presents is a way to live that brings us closer to God and makes our joy complete.
Catholic morality is a roadmap that shows us the way of life God intended for us. Life is better when we follow God’s plan!
Made by God, Made for God presents the beauty of living life according to Church teaching, which the Church received from Christ, and it doesn’t shy away from tough topics. Have you ever wondered how to explain the Sunday Mass obligation, why exactly we fast, or what the logic of Catholic sexual ethics is? This is the book for you.
On Divine Revelation
The Teaching of the Catholic Faith: Two Volumes
Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., translated by Matthew K. Minerd
In On Divine Revelation—one of Garrigou-Lagrange’s most significant works, here available in English for the very first time—he offers a classic treatment of this foundational topic. It is an organized and thorough defense of both the rationality and supernaturality of divine revelation. He presents a careful yet stimulating account of the scientific character of theology, the nature of revelation itself, mystery, dogma, the grace of faith, the powers of human reason, false interpretations thereof (rationalism, naturalism, agnosticism, and pantheism), the motives of credibility, and much more.
Though written a century ago, On Divine Revelation will restore confidence in theology as a distinct and unified science and return focus to the fundamental questions of the doctrine of revelation. It also serves as a salutary corrective to contemporary theology’s anthropocentrism and concern with what is relative in revelation and religious experience by reorienting our theological attention to what is most certain, central, and sure in our knowledge of divine revelation: the Triune God who has revealed his inner life and salvific will.
The Order of Things
The Realism of the Principle of Finality
Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., translated by Matthew K. Minerd
The Order of Things: The Realism of the Principle of Finality is an exploration of the metaphysical principle, “Every agent acts for an end. “
In the first part, Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange sets forth the basics of the Aristotelian metaphysics of teleology, defending its place as a central point of metaphysics. After defending its per se nota character, he summarizes a number of main corollaries to the principle, primarily within the perspective established by traditional Thomistic accounts of metaphysics, doing so in a way that is pedagogically sensitive yet speculatively profound.
In the second half of The Order of Things, Garrigou-Lagrange gathers together a number of articles which he had written, each having some connection with themes concerning teleology. Thematically, the texts consider the finality and teleology of the human intellect and will, along with the way that the principle of finality sheds light on certain problems associated with the distinction between faith and reason. Finally, the text ends with an important essay on the principle of the mutual interdependence of causes, causae ad invicem sunt causae, sed in diverso genere.
Thomistic Common Sense
The Philosophy of Being and the Development of Doctrine
Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., translated by Matthew K. Minerd
Despite living in an “information age,” we are confronted by the clash of ideologies and a crisis of universal knowledge. The Church is not unaffected by the world’s weariness and similarly faces what Fr. Mauro Gagliardi describes as “the lack of truth, or perhaps better, the disinterest in it.” Today’s philosophical and doctrinal decline are the results of the loss of first principles and a relativistic view of doctrinal development.
This first-time English translation of Fr. Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange’s Le sens commun: La philosophie de l’ être et les formules dogmatiques by the acclaimed translator Matthew Minerd couldn’t come at a better time. This book sees the great Dominican master address a variety of fundamental topics that we need to return to and relearn in our day: the relationship between common sense and both philosophy and faith; the proper defense for philosophical realism; the subordination and coordination of philosophical first principles; our natural capacity for knowing God’s existence; and, at length, the problem of dogmatic development.
The Sense of Mystery
Clarity and Obscurity in the Intellectual Life
Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., translated by Matthew K. Minerd
The Sense of Mystery highlights what is clear and what retains the character of mystery in the traditional and Thomistic solution concerning the great problems pertaining to our knowledge in general, to our knowledge of God (whether naturally or supernaturally attained), and to questions pertaining to grace. St. Thomas has fear neither for logic nor for mystery. Indeed, logical lucidity leads him to see in nature those mysteries that speak in their own particular ways of the Creator. Likewise, this same lucidity aids him in putting into strong relief other secrets of a far superior order those of grace and of the intimate life of God, which would remain unknown were it not for Divine Revelation.
Philosophizing in Faith
Essays on the Beginning and End of Wisdom
Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., collected and translated by Matthew K. Minerd
Philosophizing in Faith is an expansive collection of essays by Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., on epistemology, logic, and moral and political philosophy, as well as critiques of modernism and presentations of the proper relationship between philosophy and theology. Translating twenty of these twenty-one essays into English for the first time and meticulously editing and annotating the texts, Matthew K. Minerd makes abundantly clear the universal value of Garrigou-Lagrange’s thought and invites scholars and students alike to consider its character and claims in their own right and on their own terms.
The fifth volume in the Thomist Tradition book series, Philosophizing in Faith: Essays on the Beginning and End of Wisdom is a genuine act of service to the truth, certain to become an enduring contribution to a right understanding of both philosophy and theology.
Catholic Dogmatic Theology: A Synthesis
Vol I: On the Trinitarian Mystery of God | Vol II: On the Incarnation and Redemption
Jean-Hervé Nicolas, O.P., translated by Matthew K. Minerd
Every discipline, including theology, requires a synthetic overview of its acquisitions and open questions, a kind of “topography” to guide the new student and refresh the gaze of specialists. In his Synthèse dogmatique, Fr. Jean-Hervé Nicolas, OP (1910-2001) presents just such a map of Thomistic theology, focusing on the central topics of Dogmatic Theology: The One and Triune God, Christology, Mariology, Ecclesiology, the Sacraments, and the Last Things. Drawing on decades of research and teaching, Fr. Nicolas synthetically presents these topics from a faithfully Thomistic perspective. While broadly and genially engaging the theological literature of the 20th century, he nonetheless remains deeply indebted to the Thomistic school that would have formed him in his youth as a theologian. This provides the reader with an unparalleled theological vision, masterfully bringing forth, at once, what is new and what is classical.
Serving as a professor for decades, including at the University of Fribourg, Fr. Nicolas was at once a profound scholar and a masterful pedagogue. Gathering the work of a lifetime into a single pedagogical narrative, Fr. Nicolas’s Catholic Theology: A Dogmatic Synthesis provides a resource for students and scholars alike. In view of the hyper-specialization of theology today, this series of volumes provides readers with a synthetic and sapiential overview of the fundamentals of dogmatic theology from a robust and profound Thomistic perspective.
Volume II expected February 2023
The True Christian Life
Thomistic Reflections on Divinization, Prudence, Religion, and Prayer
Although not well-known in the English-speaking world, Fr. Ambroise Gardeil, OP (1859-1931) was a Dominican of significant influence in French Catholic thought at the turn of the 20th century. Conservative theologians like Frs. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, OP, Michel Labourdette, OP, Jean-Hervé Nicolas, OP and many others hailed him as a careful expositor of the supernaturality of faith, a defender of the theological nature of rational apologetics, and a spiritual master. In his controversial Le Saulchoir: Une école de théologie, Fr. Marie-Dominique Chenu, OP praised Fr. Gardeil as an important Dominican initiator of reforms in historical theology, presenting the latter as a kind of precursor to one of the streams of what is now referred to historically as the “Nouvelle Théologie.” And one cannot read the words of Fr. Gardeil’s contemporary Fr. Antoine Lemonnyer, OP, without hearing echoes and re-echoes of common cause regarding our lofty spiritual vocation, resounding within the halls of the Saulchoir. With such a broad appeal, it is no surprise that in private correspondence, a young Yves Simon, writing to Jacques Maritain, referred to Fr. Gardeil as “The Great Gardeil.”
In his In memoriam written after the passing of Fr. Gardeil, Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange emphasized Fr. Gardeil’s ability to meditate on a given topic’s central principles, like someone who sees the highest peaks that give structure to the entire mountain range of theology. In this volume, the reader will find a clear and rhetorically striking presentation of the central mysteries of the spiritual life, presented with stirring and beautiful rhetoric by a theological master from the Thomist tradition.
Four Thomistic Treatments
Benoît-Henri Merkelbach O.P., Reginald Beaudouin O.P., and Michel Labourdette O.P., translated by Matthew K. Minerd
Conscience: Four Thomistic Treatments presents a series of distinct essays by the Thomistic scholars Benoît-Henri Merkelbach, Reginald Beaudouin, and Michel Labourdette. Expertly compiled and translated by Matthew K. Minerd, these essays confront the difficulty of assessing the proper locus of conscience in moral theology—a difficulty as palpable today as when debates over casuistry and probabilism raged. Introduced by Minerd’s own expansive overview of conscience, the volume comprises Merkelbach’s “Where Should We Place the Treatise on Conscience in Moral Theology?” (1923) and “Treatise on Conscience in General” (1946); Labourdette’s Comments on Conscience (1940s); and Beaudouin’s De Conscientia (1911).
The seventh volume in the Thomist Tradition series, Conscience: Four Thomistic Treatments offers a technically rigorous, deeply insightful examination of a crucial aspect of moral theology.
Brian Kemple, Executive Director
Ens Primum Cognitum in Thomas Aquinas and the Tradition
The Philosophy of Being as First Known
Ens Primum Cognitum in Thomas Aquinas and the Tradition presents a reading of Thomas Aquinas’ claim that “being” is the first object of the human intellect. Blending the insights of both the early Thomistic tradition (c.1380–1637) and the Leonine Thomistic revival (1879–present), Brian Kemple examines how this claim of Aquinas has been traditionally understood, and what is lacking in that understanding.
While the recent tradition has emphasized the primacy of the real (so-called ens reale) in human recognition of the primum cognitum, Kemple argues that this misinterprets Aquinas, thereby closing off Thomistic philosophy to the broader perspective needed to face the philosophical challenges of today, and propose an alternative interpretation with dramatic epistemological and metaphysical consequences.
The Intersection of Semiotics and Phenomenology
Peirce and Heidegger in Dialogue
Many contemporary explanations of conscious human experience, relying either upon neuroscience or appealing to a spiritual soul, fail to provide a complete and coherent theory. These explanations, the author argues, fall short because the underlying explanatory constituent for all experience are not entities, such as the brain or a spiritual soul, but rather relation and the unique way in which human beings form relations. This alternative frontier is developed through examining the phenomenological method of Martin Heidegger and the semiotic theory of Charles S. Peirce. While both of these thinkers independently provide great insight into the difficulty of accounting for human experience, this volume brings these insights into a new complementary synthesis. This synthesis opens new doors for understanding all aspects of conscious human experience, not just those that can be quantified, and without appealing to a mysterious spiritual principle.
Introduction to Philosophical Principles
Logic, Physics, and the Human Person
The expanded second edition of this book introduces and attempts to make clear and accessible—without denigrating their importance or difficulty—the most important principles for conducting any systematic philosophical inquiry, and therefore for building any serious philosophical habit. These principles are broken down into three sections: logic, physics, and person; or, the basic encounter with thought, with the world, and the nexus of thought and world. Although the work draws on the traditions of Thomism, Semiotics, and Phenomenology, readers are not introduced to the history of philosophy in any tradition nor given extensive dialectical arguments. Rather, this book should be considered an introduction to philosophical questioning in the pursuit of developing a philosophical habit: that is, the habit of routinely examining human life and the experiences had within it. This book is intended, in other words, to be a helpful series of guideposts not only as to the kind of material you should engage if pursing a philosophical mentality, or the sorts of questions you should ask—which would be an introduction to the cultural phenomenon of philosophy—but to how the very process of philosophy is carried out. It may not always help, and the farther you progress in questioning thoughts, the world, and the nexus of the two, the less likely you will be to find a complete answer here, either as to content or as to method: but it is to be hoped that this will provide a solid basis for that progress. The expanded second edition includes approximately 50,000 words of new material, including additional glosses, a bibliography, and an index.
A Classical and Semiotic Course in Grammar & Composition
This book intends to serve one principal end: instructing students, of sufficiently mature mind, how to compose thoughtful and insightful essays in the English language. Accomplishing this rather specific end, however, requires a broad range of study: a study much broader than that comprised by a simple question of “how to write”. That is, we cannot write well unless we understand the instruments whereby writing is accomplished; or, to employ one of those instruments—the metaphor—the fruits of composition are nourished best through growing deep the roots of grammar. As we will see, this linguistic growth requires some knowledge also of logic and rhetoric: for although this book intends an introduction into the first study of the liberal arts, all three arts of the Trivium are nevertheless inseparably convergent in the flourishing of our natural human ability for linguistic signification.
We will combine some use of all the Trivium, however abecedarian our talents in these arts may still be, by the time we reach the final chapter. While we will draw upon logic and rhetoric, however, the focal study of grammar, as pursued in this book, forms not only the foundational but rather the central part of this non-trivial pursuit of the Trivium.
This aim is carried out through various readings, exercises, investigation of literature, philosophy, and more.