News in the Field from October

King’s College London is advertising another lectureship (effectively, a permanent junior faculty position), “in Late Medieval / Early Modern Philosophy in any of the Christian, Islamic and Jewish traditions, especially in the History of Ethics and the Philosophy of Action.” The application deadline is November 15, 2022.

Next week, there’s a conference in Parma on Logic and Modalities in the Late Middle Ages. It will be held in person but also accessible on zoom (Oct. 17-19, 2022).

This year’s Journée thomiste will be on the subject Obéissance et autorité au Moyen Âge (Paris, December 3, 2022).

An international conference on the History of Logic in the Islamic World is planned for this March in Tehran, featuring a distinguished list of keynote speakers. The conference will be run in a hybrid format, partly in person and partly virtual (March 6-8, 2023). The cfp deadline has been extended until Oct. 31, 2022.

LMU Munich is organizing a conference for this coming May on Animals in Greek, Arabic, and Latin Philosophy (May 18-20, 2023). The cfp deadline is Oct. 31, 2022.

The Avicenna Study Group continues next fall: its fourth meeting will concern Avicenna’s “minor works” (Aix-en-Provence, Sept. 13-15, 2023).

The annual SIEPM colloquium for next year will be in Trento (Italy), on the subject Medieval Debates on Foreknowledge: Future Contingents, Prophecy, and Divination (Sept. 13-15, 2023; cfp deadline Jan. 31, 2023).

Alfred Freddoso continues to make progress on his complete online English translation of the Summa theologiae. He’s now approaching the end of the 2a2ae. This is by far the best complete translation available, and for anyone who’s still learning to read scholastic Latin, you really couldn’t do better than to work through this translation side by side with Aquinas’s Latin, available at the Corpus Thomisticum. Fred tells me that, if you are using this translation and find mistakes in it, he’d love to know about them.


End of Summer News

Next month, the Eleventh International Thomistic Congress will begin in Rome. For those who can’t make it there in person, the plenary talks will be live-streamed (September 19-24, 2022).

Next spring, also in Rome, a conference will be devoted to The Concept of ‘Ius’ in Thomas Aquinas (April 21-22, 2023; cfp deadline is December 15, 2022).

Another travel opportunity for Thomists is in Nigeria, next January: a conference on Thomas Aquinas: Medieval Thinker in the 21st Century Global Village (Ibadan, January 25-26, 2023; cfp deadline is October 31, 2022).

Oleg Bychkov (St. Bonaventure Univ.) has asked me to let readers know that the journal he edits—the long-standing, widely indexed peer-reviewed journal Cithara—is looking for articles for its fall issue. They publish essays in the “Judaeo-Christian tradition,” and so would be a good venue for many topics in our field.

Tobias Hoffmann (Paris) has been industriously cataloging. He’s updated his longstanding Scotus bibliography, which has changed its web address and is now here. He’s also pulled together–with the help of some students–an 82-page booklet containing information about books in medieval philosophy published over the last several years. That’s here.

With that list of new books in hand, you might like to know that Brill is advertising a 50% sale on (almost) all its books until the end of September. Offer here.

If you’ve got no money for buying books, you might like to know that Claus Andersen (South Bohemia) has gone to the trouble of hunting down all of the volumes of the Vatican edition of Scotus that are available at the Internet Archive, and provided a master-page linking to them all. (He’s found all but six of them.) The Internet Archive doesn’t let you download the documents as a pdf, but this is still quite a useful resource. (Thanks to Lee Faber at The Smithy for the pointer.)

In a post last month, I mentioned some good news regarding junior hires, and that brought me further good news: Brett Yardley has been appointed as an assistant professor at DeSales University (Pennsylvania), and Nathaniel Taylor has accepted a tenure-track position at The Catholic University of America.

In a recent post, Peter Adamson (Munich) talks to the APA about the academic scene in Europe.

The XVth International Congress of the SIEPM is finally about to begin—next week in Paris. As of yet the schedule of talks does not seem to be available, but it will presumably be posted here at some point. (I myself am sorry to be missing the big event. I’ll be home in Colorado, teaching our first week of classes.)

Fall 2021 News

The deadline for applying for the SIEPM One-to-One Stipend is September 30th, 2021. This stipend of 1,500 EUR supports junior researchers to visit and work with a senior researcher. See details here.

Monika Michałowska (Łódź) has organized a conference on The Oxford Calculators and Their Milieu on Ethics. It will be held online, March 10–11, 2022. The cfp deadline is October 30th, 2021. 

In addition to the big SMRP conference in early October, Notre Dame is hosting a conference next May 20-22, 2022 on medieval philosophy and theology. One way to get onto the program is to submit an abstract to the SMRP, before the end of November, 2021. Contact Fr. Philip-Neri Reese.

The SMRP awarded the 2021 Founder’s Prize for best paper by a younger scholar to André Martin (McGill University) for his paper “The Activity of the Soul and the Causality of its Object: Gonsalvus of Spain and the Influence of Peter John Olivi.”  Honorable mention went to Hashem Morvarid (University of Illinois at Chicago) for his paper “The Muʿtazila’s Arguments against Divine Command Theory.”

Peter Adamson has recently published an essay in the New Statesman, “Are Islamic Philosophers Critical of Authority?”

News for a Cold Planet

Globally, we’re in no position to object to cold weather but, still, it’s cold here! It’s also, unaccountably, been a long time since I posted anything, so here’s an attempt to catch up:

A online conference showcasing the work of female scholars working in medieval philosophy is being held on July 8-10, 2021. It’s being organized by folk at KU-Leuven. Details here. The cfp deadline is March 1.

The SIEPM has two colloquia tentatively scheduled for this summer, which may or may not happen in person (details here):

  • June 7-9, 2021, in Ramat Gan, Israel, on “Dialectic in the Middle Ages: Between Debate and the Foundation of Science”;
  • June 14-15, 2021, in Porto, on “Per cognitionem visualem. From the Visual Exegesis to the Visualization of Cognitive Processes in the Middle Ages and Beyond” (originally scheduled for 2020).

The International Congress of the SIEPM, which meets only once every five years, is scheduled for August 23-27, 2022, in Paris. Further details to come.

There’s an online summer school scheduled for July 5-9, 2021, organized out of Groningen, on Methodologies in the History of Philosophy. Applications are due by March 14.

Thomas Hibbs (University of Dallas) is directing a summer program for PhD students on Justice in Thomistic Ethics (July 18-24, 2021, in Washington DC). Application deadline March 31.

The American Philosophical Association has announced an annual Alvin Plantinga Prize, awarded for “original essays that engage philosophical issues about or in substantial ways related to theism.” The prize money is significant, but you must be an APA member. The deadline is March 30, 2021.

Scott Williams (UNC Asheville), in collaboration with Gordon Wilson, has created an extremely useful webpage on Henry of Ghent, complete with extensive links to online texts, an up-to-date account of where the critical edition stands, and a comprehensive bibliography.

There’s an interview with Ana Maria Mora Marquez (Gothenburg) at the blog 3:16.

I’ve got more material to share, but that’s all for this post. Will be back soon.

This Week’s News

  • The Università della Svizzera Italiana (Lugano) is offering a new MA program, in English, focusing on a mix of analytic philosophy and the history of philosophy. Some quite distinguished scholars are involved, including, in our field, John Marenbon and Pasquale Porro. They expect to hold lectures on campus this fall. For application instructions go here. Some scholarship support is available and although some deadlines have passed, I am told interested students may be able to get an extension to that deadline.
  • I’ve recently discovered the website of the Red Latinoamericana de Filosofía Medieval, which contains a great deal of useful information about their activities, members, et cetera.
  • The University of South Bohemia, in beautiful České Budějovice, hopes to host a conference on February 11-13, 2021, on Cognitive Issues in the Long Scotist Tradition. The Cfp deadline is the end of July 2020. Let’s all hope the Scotists will be drinking their fill of Budweiser in February.
  • Peter Adamson’s latest column in Philosophy Now argues for the value of studying minor figures in the history of philosophy.

Various Online Opportunities

  • Jeffrey Brower (Purdue) is giving an online talk tomorrow (May 26, 2020) at 15:30 in Berlin, to the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. For information about how to participate, contact
  • The Lumen Christi Institute is sponsoring an online panel discussion on Christians in Times of Catastrophe: Augustine’s City of God, featuring Jennifer Frey (Univ. South Carolina), Russell Hittinger (Lumen Christi Institute), and Michael Sherwin (Fribourg). That’s on June 9, 2020.
  • Lydia Schumacher‘s (King’s College London) conference on thirteenth-century Franciscans has moved online, and will run over a series of 4 Fridays in late July and early August. For details see here.
  • There’s a one-week online Latin paleography course being offered this July through the Central European University, for a reasonable tuition. It’s offered at both a beginning and an intermediate level, and there’s also two levels of Greek paleography available. July 6-10, 2020.
  • Scott Williams’ newly-published collection of papers on Disability in Medieval Christian Philosophy and Theology (Routledge, 2020), is available as a free ebook until June 11th, here.
  • There is — believe it or not — a Roger Bacon Research Society. Perhaps there has always been such a society, since 1292, and it has only recently emerged from its long occultation. At any rate, note that they sponsor an online reading group.
  • Definitely not in occultation is Christina Van Dyke (Calvin College), who has been making philosophical videos since March for her online courses. The chef d’oeuvre is perhaps part two of the Julian of Norwich series. Take-home quote: “She doesn’t need to be a Zombie queen to be interesting.”

Upcoming Conferences and More

Here are various news items that I’ve gathered. This will probably be my last post until the end of the summer.

  • There’s a special issue of Theoria in the works, devoted to medieval skepticism. The deadline for submissions is September 1, 2019.
  • The 24th Annual Colloquium of the SIEPM will take place in Varna (Bulgaria) this coming fall, on the subject of the Dionysian Traditions (September 9-11, 2019).
  • The Aquinas and ‘the Arabs’ International Working Group is sponsoring a meeting in Pisa, June 18-21, 2019, on “Intellect, Experience and More.” Details here.
  • There’s an interview with Peter Adamson (LMU Munich) at the What Is It Like … series.
  • The Albert the Great Center is holding a week-long summer theology program on St. Paul’s epistle to the Galatians, drawing on Aquinas’s commentary. Details here (Wausau, Wisconsin, Aug. 12-16, 2019).
  • The University of Pennsylvania libraries are advertising one-month visiting research fellowships for 2019-2020, aimed at their large collection of premodern manuscripts. The application deadline is May 15, 2019. Information here.
  • The Society for Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy is taking submissions for its annual Founders’ Prize, for the best paper in the field by an emerging scholar. The deadline is May 1, 2019. Details here.
  • I’m sorry to report that Loome Theological Books, in Stillwater, Minnesota, formerly the world’s greatest bookstore for medieval philosophy, has gone out of business.

Various Opportunities

Here are some random opportunities and happenings that I’ve been collecting for a while now:

  • Students who might be interested in pursuing a career teaching high school Latin in the United States should check out the Quintilian Society. (Thanks to Caleb Cohoe for the pointer.)
  • For some months now, Loome Booksellers in Stillwater, Minnesota has been running a Go Fund Me drive, in an effort to keep open the world’s greatest bookstore for medieval philosophy and theology. You can support it here.
  • There’s a new open access journal in the works, The European Journal for the Study of Thomas Aquinas. It is a joint initiative of  the Thomas Instituut Utrecht, the Faculty of Theology of Nicolaus Copernicus University of Toruń, and the Saint Thomas Aquinas Institute for Theology and Culture of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Fribourg. Issues will appear annually.
  • The Lumen Christi Institute has announced its slate of summer seminars, and as always there are things here for medievalists. There’s a seminar for undergraduates, led by Russell Hittinger, in Oakland, on Augustine on Self, God, and Society, and a seminar in Chicago, for PhD students, on Metaphysics and the Soul in Thomas Aquinas, led by Stephen Brock. Bear in mind that these programs offer generous funding. Details here.
  • UC Louvain is advertising a one-year postdoc, tied to their project studying commentaries on Avicenna’s Qaṣīdat al-nafs. Candidates must have strong Arabic and the ability to work with manuscripts. I have not found information on the web, but queries can be sent to cile Bonmariage.
  • The SIEPM has just announced an interesting initiative: “a stipend to support junior individual researchers (up to and including the postdoc level) to visit and work with senior individual researchers. Each year, two Stipends are available. The amount for each Stipend is € 1.500.” See further details here. Note that both scholars, junior and senior, must be members of SIEPM. Note as well that, if you’re a junior SIEPM member, and looking for a senior scholar to visit, I’m always glad to have visitors in Boulder! (Having said that, I guess I’d better pay up my membership.)

A Slow Medieval Course, with Christine de Pizan

Here’s a guest post on the medieval survey class from Scott Williams (UNC Asheville). Scott sent me an email with some of these thoughts, and I thought it was so interesting that I asked him to write it up in a form I could post.

I have been enjoying Bob’s series of posts on syllabi in Medieval Philosophy. When the call went out for these I was teaching a course called “Islamic Philosophy” and so I sent in that syllabus. I also teach a course called “Medieval Philosophy” that’s more general. I want to say two things about what I learned recently in teaching the Medieval Philosophy course.

First, in the past I taught this course by covering lots of authors from different times and traditions (Pagan Neo-Platonists, Christians, Jews, and Muslims). In Spring 2018 I tried an experiment – I slowed things way down. This decision was inspired in part by the book The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy that I had read with other faculty members in other departments. I developed a short list of authors, and students spent more time on those authors than they would have in a standard survey. When the course was over and I read the Course Evaluations, I found that students gave the course the highest scores that can be given in numerous categories. Students wrote that they really really appreciated the slow approach. They were tired of “whiplash” courses. In my judgement, these students came to understand the authors much more than past students had. They came to see how different parts of a philosopher’s texts fit together. It’s one thing for students to learn discrete facts about e.g., Al-Farabi on the moral virtues, it’s another thing for students to see how this moral theory fits into an overall model of the place of human beings in the cosmos and in political life. So, instead of having students read only Part 1 (as found in Philosophy in the Middle Ages) of Al-Farabi’s The Political Regime (also called The Principles of Existing Things), they read Part 1 and Part 2.

Here’s one way, among many ways, that slowing down the medieval philosophy course can look. There are many other authors/texts that can be used. (Note: I teach Maimonides in my Islamic Philosophy Course and in some semesters he’s in the general Medieval Phil. course.) This is but one suggestion:

Required Texts:

  1. Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy. Trans. Joel C. Relihan. Hackett, 2001.
  2. Christine de Pizan, The Book of the City of Ladies and Other Writings. Trans. Ineke Hardy. Hackett, 2018.
  3. Al-Farabi, The Political Writings, Volume 2. Trans. Charles E. Butterworth. Cornell University Press, 2015.
  4. Thomas Aquinas, Treatise on Happiness, Treatise on Human Acts, Trans. Thomas Williams, commentary by Christina van Dyke and Thomas Williams. Hackett, 2016.
  5. John Marenbon, Medieval Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford Univ. Press, 2016
  6. Document on Moodle (includes Porphyry’s Isagoge. I am contemplating whether to have 2 weeks on Porphyry in the future; we’d likely read On Abstinence from Killing Animals. This contrasts nicely with Boethius’s Treatise Against Eutyches and Nestorius on the rationality condition for ‘persona’).


  • 1 1/2 weeks on Augustine, with 1 day on Porphyry
  • 2 1/2 weeks on Boethius (we read all of The Consolation of Philosophy, and, Treatise Against Eutyches and Nestorius (personhood is the main topic; in a forthcoming publication I argue that Boethius likely invents personhood as a distinct general category (it’s in Person: A History, ed. Antonia LoLordo (OUP))
  • 2 weeks on Christine de Pizan (read most of The Book of the City of Ladies, plus selections from other texts- see the powerpoint for references)
  • 3 weeks on Al-Farabi (we read all of The Political Regime, plus other texts)
  • 6 weeks on Aquinas (we read all of the Treatise on Happiness, Treatise on Human Acts with Commentary)


Second, in most standard surveys of Medieval Philosophy we find no women taught.  (I found no women in Bob’s earlier posted list of commonly taught authors, for example.) This is not good, and for several reasons. My attempt to address this was to spend a week on the early 15th c. philosopher Christine de Pizan. Many of my students loved reading her. And, her texts allowed me to address some of the social contexts of medieval (esp. scholastic) philosophers. The way I framed her The Book of the City of Ladies was that it is Christine’s “summa” in defense of the feminine sex against centuries and centuries of sexism. I had a very positive experience in teaching Christine and plan to continue to teach her in the future and more of her texts. (Hackett has recently published a new translation of Christine de Pizan; so we have a reasonably priced new text to assign.) (I gave a lecture to a general humanities course recently on Christine, and covered highlights of the sorts of things that I discussed in Medieval Philosophy. I’ve attached the powerpoint here.)

Peter Adamson has two podcasts on CdP, here and here.

I’m writing all this because Bob has been talking to/with those of us who teach Medieval Philosophy, and I thought I should say that we need to teach philosophers who happen to be women too. Not just because they are women, but because they have interesting and important things to say and that we need to learn. My students got more interested in medieval philosophy by reading e.g., Christine de Pizan. By keeping it a male-only affair, I believe we signal to our students that we professors are either ignorant of women philosophers or that we don’t believe they are important enough to teach.

Hopefully in a few years time we will find the most popular medieval philosophy textbook that is assigned in our survey courses to include philosophers like Christine de Pizan. It’s a good idea, and for many good reasons.