Thomas Instituut te Utrecht (Tilburg University)



Here is the definitive schedule for the upcoming conference of the Thomas Instituut, December 13-15 in Utrecht. Theme: Initiation and Mystagogy in Thomas Aquinas: Theological, Philosophical, Liturgical, and Pedagogical Perspectives. Organisation: Jörgen Vijgen and Jacco Verburgt. Registration for the conference is closed. Please contact the director by mail if necessary.

International Conference

Thomas Instituut te Utrecht (Tilburg University)






Utrecht, December 13-15, 2018

Ariënsinstituut, Keistraat 9, 3512 HV Utrecht (Plenary sessions)

Tilburg School of Catholic Theology, Martinushouse, Nieuwegracht 65, 3512 EH Utrecht (Paper presentations)


Thursday December 13


8.30 Mass, Chapel Ariënsinstituut, Cellar

9.00 Registration, Coffee, Tea

Chair: Henk Schoot

9.30 Words of welcome

9.45 Keynote lecture: From sacrament to reality: Aquinas and the mystagogy of the Holy Spirit – Daria Spezzano (Providence College, USA)

10.30 Discussion

10.45 Coffee, Tea

11.00 Lecture: Love’s Pedagogy: Thomas Aquinas on the Stages of Growth in Charity – Michael Sherwin O.P. (Université de Fribourg)

11.30 Lecture: “I Believe, Help My Unbelief!”: Growth in Faith and Charity for the Person in a State of Grace – William C. Mattison III (University of Notre Dame, USA)

12.00 Discussion

12.30 Lunch

14.00 Paper presentations (parallel, Martinushouse, Nieuwegracht 65):

Session I (Chair: Jörgen Vijgen; room 006)

14.00 Hannah Hemphill (University of Notre Dame): ‘Sub aliquibus sensibilibus figuris’: Mosaic Law as Mystagogical Approach to the Eucharist

14.30 Daniel K. Hess (Pontifical University of Saint Thomas, Angelicum, Rome): The Sacramental Initiation of Persons with Profound Cognitive Disabilities: Thomistic Considerations upon the Debates over Eucharistic Participation

15.00 Innocent Smith O.P. (Universität Regensburg): 1 Timothy 2:1 and Thomas Aquinas’s Expositiones Missae

Session II (Chair: Jacco Verburgt; room 105)

14.00 Paul M. Rogers (Cambridge University): To Instruct Faith’s Instinct: A Thomistic Initiation into the Sensus Fidei

15.00 Kevin O’Reilly O.P. (Pontifical University of Saint Thomas, Angelicum, Rome): Faith, Charity and Patiens Divina

15.30 Break: Coffee, Tea

Session III (Chair: Jörgen Vijgen; room 006)

16.00 Bai Ziqiang (University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines): The Trinity’s Mission as Divine Pedagogy and Human Knowing: A Retrieval of St. Thomas (presented by Matthew Levering)

16.30 Jack Norman (Australian Catholic University): The Transformation of Science and the Triumph of Charity in the Science of God and the Blessed

Session IV (Chair: Jacco Verburgt; room 105)

16.00 Michał Mrozek OP (Thomistic Institute, Warsaw): Aquinas’s Ladder of Divine Ascent: The Spiritual Guide on the Way of the Beatitudes

16.30 Thomas Adam Van Wart (Ave Maria University, USA): Aquinas on the Linguistic Intelligibility of the Mystically Ineffable and the Necessity of the Former for the Realization of the Latter

17.00 – 19.00 Drinks in the Cellar of the Martinushouse, Nieuwegracht 65.


Friday December 14

Chair: Rudi te Velde

9.30  Keynote lecture: Mystagogy and Aquinas’s Commentary on Isaiah: Initiating God’s People into Christ – Matthew Levering (Mundelein Seminary, USA)

10.15 Discussion

10.30 Coffee, Tea

10.45 Lecture: Praedicatio and Principia: Thomas Aquinas’s Initiation into the Culture of Preaching at Paris – Randall Smith (University of St. Thomas, Houston)

11.15 Lecture: Aquinas’ Preaching between Theory and Practice – Marta Borgo (Leonine Commission, Paris)

11.45 Discussion

12.15 Lunch

14.00 Paper presentations (parallel, Martinushouse, Nieuwegracht 65):

Session I (Chair: Anton ten Klooster; room 006)

14.00 Conor McDonough O.P. (Dominican Studium, Dublin): Faith and the Sacraments of Faith

14.30 Piotr Roszak (Copernicus University, Torun, Poland): ‘Minorum est habere fidem in cognitio maiorum’: Thomas Aquinas on the Role of Mediation in the Process of Growing in Faith

15.00 Wai-man Choi (University of Louvain, Belgium): Testimony in John 4, 5, 9: An Understanding from the Commentary of Aquinas

Session II (Chair: Marcel Sarot; room 105)

14.00  Jason Mitchell (Gannon University, USA): Aquinas on Human Knowledge of God: Reason, Faith and Vision

14.30  Kateřina Kutarňová (University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic): Mystical Knowledge: The Desired End of Initiation and Mystagogy

15.30 Break: Coffee, Tea

Session III (Chair: Anton ten Klooster; room 006)

16.00 Jacco Verburgt (Thomas Instituut te Utrecht): ‘Confortat et Excitat Intellectum Addiscentis’: A Note on Aquinas’s Aristotelian Conception of Teaching

16.30 Jörgen Vijgen (Thomas Instituut te Utrecht): Thomas Aquinas on the Relation Between the Sin of Luxuria and the Spiritual Life

Session IV (Chair: Marcel Sarot; room 105)

16.00 Tomáš Machula - Helena Machulová (University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic): Connatural Knowledge of the Moral Good: A Comparative Study of Thomas Aquinas and Max Scheler

16.30 Jeffrey Walkey (Ave Maria University, USA): ‘Clothing’ Oneself with Christ: Thomistic Reflections on the Kenotic Character of Formation in the Catholic Tradition


17.30 Celebration of the H. Eucharist, Presided by His Excellency Theodorus C.M. Hoogenboom, Auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Utrecht, in St. Catharine’s Cathedral (Lange Nieuwstraat)

19.00 - 22.00 Conference Dinner Court Hotel City Centre Utrecht, Korte Nieuwstraat 14.


Saturday December 15

8.45 Mass, Chapel Ariënsinstituut, Cellar

Chair: Harm Goris

9.30 Keynote lecture: Aquinas on Sacramental Confession: Ecclesial Communion and the Power of the Keys –Thomas Joseph White o.p. (Thomistic Insitute, Pontifical University of St. Thomas, Angelicum, Rome)

10.15 Discussion

10.30 Coffee, Tea

10.45 Lecture: Why Aquinas does not have a Mystical Theology: Dionysian Mystagogy versus Thomist Science – Rudi te Velde (Thomas Instituut Utrecht)

11.15 Lecture: Piety, Justice and Meekness: The conversion of Sophie Scholl – Anton ten Klooster (Thomas Instituut Utrecht) 

11.45 Discussion

12.15 Concluding session, starting with short reflections on the conference theme by the invited lecturers

13.00 End of Conference

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch



14.00 Excursion City of Utrecht

Utrecht Underground is a guided tour of the city with a special focus: life on the street. A formerly homeless person will guide us through the city and will share that particular experience of Utrecht with us. The tour is part of a program that helps people to  develop their skills in order to enter the job market (free; registration requested).