Arthur Hyman (1921-2017)

Arthur Hyman died earlier this month. He taught at Yeshiva University in New York City for 55 years, and published groundbreaking research on Jewish, Islamic, and Christian medieval philosophy.

See the brief notice here, and the eulogy here, and the collection of interviews here.

Cultiver notre jardin

Here are two brief announcements about achievements in the field, one old and one newer.

  • The old news, from over the summer, is that Lodi Nauta (Groningen) has won the 2016 Spinoza Prize from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. The prize is worth 2.5 million euros. As with the similar Leibniz Prize in Germany (which medievalists have also done well with), the point of the funding is to support the creation of a research team, in this case to explore the territory between medieval and early modern philosophy. Some of the positions at Groningen advertised this fall are the result of this prize.
  • The newer news is that Therese Cory’s paper “Knowing as Being? A Metaphysical Reading of the Identity of Intellect and Intelligibles in Aquinas” has been selected as the winner of the American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly’s 2016 Rising Scholar Award. (Thanks to Gloria Frost for the information.)

Awards etc.

Here are a few news items, dating back to last year, about medievalists from around the globe:

  • Dag Hasse (Würzburg) has won the Leibniz Prize, worth 2.5 million Euros. Humanists in general don’t often win this prize, and so it’s a fortunate thing for the field that once again the award has gone to a distinguished medieval philosopher. (Dominik Perler won back in 2006.)
  • Jeffrey Hause (Creighton) has been named a “Professor of the Year” by the Carnegie Foundation, a group “chosen on the basis of their extraordinary dedication to undergraduate teaching.”
  • Ana María Mora-Márquez (Gothenburg) has been named a Wallenberg Academy Fellow, one of only four scholars in the humanities to win the prize this year.
  • Finally, I’m sorry to report, very belatedly, that David Lindberg, the great historian of medieval science, died last year in Madison, at the age of 79. (He died a year ago to this day, as it happens.)

Aquinas and Gay Marriage

Adriano Oliva (CNRS), Dominican friar and president of the Leonine Commission, has generated some controversy with a new book entitled Amours: L’église, les remariés, et les couples homosexuels (Cerf, 2015). The book makes the case, from a Thomistic perspective, for marriage within the Church for divorced and gay couples. According to Cerf’s blurb:

L’examen théologique de la naturalité de l’inclination homosexuelle, que Thomas d’Aquin reconnaît, n’ouvre-t-elle pas à des possibilités nouvelles d’accueil de couples de même sexe au sein de l’Église? … Telle est l’amitié la plus grande qui n’exclut pas plusieurs formes d’amour.

There’s a 24-minute interview with Oliva on YouTube.

The book has, of course, been met with dismay in some circles. See, e.g., here and here.