2017-2018 Student Reading Groups

1. Holy Women of the Americas!: Missionaries, Founders, Thinkers, and Marian Apparitions

European contact with the “New World” after 1492 is often portrayed as led exclusively by misguided, self-interested, and tragically violent conquistadors. This new discussion series will offer students a first exposure to a different and often forgotten set of actors: the saintly women whose loving witness, devotion, and peaceful genius helped carry the good news of Christ throughout North, Central, and South America. Interested students: contact Dr. Jocelyn Moore (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Sept. 15, 2017 (12:00pm): Dorothy Day
with special guests: Kate Hennessy, and Laura and Steve Brown of Casa Alma
 
 

Past Lunches

February 10, 2017  Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, O.S.H. (1651-1695), with special faculty guest Prof. Allison Bigelow (Spanish) 

Feb.24: Our Lady of Guadalupe and other Marian Apparitions, with special faculty guest: Prof. Nichole Flores (Religious Studies)

March 17: St. Katharine Drexel and St. Mother Frances Cabrini, with special faculty guests: Fr. Gerry Fogarty (Religious Studies) and Charles Kromkowski (Politics)

April 21: Dorothy Day, with special guest: Laura Brown (Casa Alma)

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2. Introduction to St. Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologica 

St. Thomas Aquinas’s great Summa Theologica is one of the most important and widely recognized works of philosophical and theological wisdom ever written, a master work for the ages that continues to influence Western religion and philosophy. Despite its import and promise, undergraduate and graduate students today receive almost no exposure to the Summa. This lunch seminar reading group will be led by various faculty, our local O.P.s, and several guest scholar experts. Lunch will be provided by the Institute, and we'll read and discuss selected parts of a common online text of the Summa. Interested students can attend one, some, or all of the planned discussions. Contact Prof. Charles Kromkowski (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Anna Stelow (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    

 

 

2016-2017 Reading Group

April 28 (Friday, 12-2pm): A Review of Our Year with the Summa 

April 4 (Tuesday, 12-2pm): On Christ and his relation to Us (III, qq.1-5, 9-12, 46-56)--led by Fr. Aquinas Guilbeau, O.P. 

March 17 (Friday, 12-2pm): On the Theological and Cardinal Virtues (II-II, qq.1-6,17-18,23-27,47-48,58-59,123,137,179-182)

February 17 (Friday, 12-2pm): On Virtue, Vice and the Law (II-I, qq.55-65,71-77,90-97,109,112)--led by Jorge Secada (Philosophy) and Bill Wilson (Religious Studies) 

January 27 (Friday, 12-2pm): On Human Action and Love (II-I, qq.1-5,6-13,18-21,26-29)--led by Fr. James Brent, O.P. (Philosophy, Dominican House of Studies)

December 9 (Friday, 12-2pm) On Creation, Humanity, and Government (I, qq.44-49,75-78,79-93)--led by Bill Wilson (Religious Studies) and Anna Stelow (Classics)

November 18 (Friday, 12-2pm): On the Trinity (I,qq.27-43)--led by Kevin Hart (Religious Studies)

October 28 (Friday, 12-2pm): On Divine Operations (I,qq.14-21)--led by Fr. Stephen Alcott, O.P. and Fr. Antoninus Niemiec, O.P. 

September 23 (Friday, 12-2pm): On Sacred Doctrine and God's Existence (I,qq.1-3, 12,13)--led by Bernard McGinn (University of Chicago)

 

 
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Spring 2016 Laudato Si! Reading Group

Friday, February 19, 2016 (5:30-8:30p m)

The St. Anselm Institute will host a special faculty & friends of the Institute dinner colloquium on Pope Francis's encyclical Laudato Si!  We'll meet at 5:30pm, with a simple Lenten dinner served around 6:15pm. Discussion of the encyclical will follow dinner.  Interested attendees are expected to have read Laudato Si, but we've also invited several faculty, including Kevin Hart, Gerry Fogarty SJ, Catholic University of America theology professor Paul Scherz and Fr. Thomas Petri, O.P. of  the St..Thomas Institute, to offer initial comments on various parts of the text.  After their preliminary comments, we'll open up the discussion to the full group. Given space limitations and as an aid for our dinner preparations, please let us know if you'll be able to join us. Sorry, but limited seats for this event. RSPVP: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

Spring 2016 St. Augustine, City of God Reading Group

Interested in joining a new reading group? No prior expertise required!  Recent UVA alum Anne (Bowie) Tew and Religious Studies Professor Emeritus Bill Wilson will lead a fun and thought-filled reading group through St. Augustine’s monumental work of Christian apologetics.  This class will meet every other Tuesday, 5:45-6:45pm. Room: TBD. Arrive early for FREE PIZZA and PEARS (St. Augustine's favorite fruit)!  

To add your name to this group's email list, contact Anne at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or contact the Institute at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Mar. 1: City of God, Books 1, 4 & 8 (Books 2-3, 5-7 & 9 optional)
Mar. 15: City of God, Books 10-12
Mar. 29: City of God, Books 13-14
Apr. 12: City of God, Books 15-17
Apr. 26: City of God, Books 18-20
May 10: City of God, Books 21-22
  
 

Spring 2016: Flannery O'Connor Reading Group

We'll meet two Friday afternoons in March and April (details forthcoming) to enjoy several Flannery O'Connor short stories. No prior experience needed, plus Religious Studies professor emeritus Bill Wilson will be present to share his helpful insights into the wonderful world of Flannery.    


Past St. Anslem Reading and Study Groups

 

Fall 2015 Flannery O'Connor  Reading Group

Students, Faculty & Friends of the Institute:

We've recruited Religious Studies Professor Emeritus Bill Wilson to select several Flannery O'Connor short stories for all of us to enjoy reading and discussing in three 1-hour long seminars. No prior experience needed.  In fact, the St. Anselm Institute will purchse The Collected Works of Flannery O'Connor for you to keep for your own personal library.  So make plans now to join us as we fall in love with Flannery all over again!
 
We'll meet in Minor Hall Auditorium on three Fridays from 2:30-3:30pm: October 23, November 6, and December 4.
 
Selected Readings:
Oct. 23: 1) Enduring Chill (pp. 547-572); 2) Good Country People (pp. 263-284)
Nov. 6: 1) The Lame Shall Enter First (pp. 596-632); 2) Greenleaf (pp. 501-524)
Dec. 4: 1) Revelation (pp. 633-654); 2) Artificial Nigger (pp. 210-231)
 
Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to express your interest in joining this group.  We hope you can make it.  

 Dante Primavera!: Spring 2015 Diving Comedy Reading Group

Faculty, Students & Friends of the Institute:
Interested in reading Dante's Paradiso for the first time? The St. Anselm Institute invites you to join us and other students, faculty and friends of the Institute on three Friday afternoons in the 2015 spring semester. Absolutely no prior experience of (or time in) Hell or Purgatory needed. Prof. William Wilson (Religious Studies) will be on hand to guide us straight into Dante's heavenly Paradise!  The Institute will even provide you with a free copy of the Paradiso to keep.
 
When?:  Feb.6, 3-4pm (Cantos 1-10);  Feb. 20, 3-4pm (Cantos 11-20); and March 20, 3:00-4:30pm (Cantos 21-33)
Where?: Monroe Hall, room 124
Interested?: Contact the St. Anselm Institute (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to express your interest in joining this reading group.  
 
 
Faculty Colloquium with William Cavanaugh on
Migrations of the Holy: God, State, and the Political Meaning of the Church
Friday (10am-12pm), UVA-Monroe Hall 130

The St. Anselm Institute will host a special faculty/graduate student seminar discussion with Prof. Bill Cavanaugh of DePaul University on Friday, Sept. 26, 2014 from 10am-12pm.  The topic of this discussion will be his latest book, Migrations of the Holy: God, State, and the Political Meaning of the Church (2011). 

Moderators: Lynn Sanders (Politics) and Bill Wilson (Religious Studies)

 

Copies of the book will be provided to all participants: email the Institute: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  

 

Dante Primavera!: Spring 2014 Diving Comedy Reading Group

Faculty, Students & Friends of the Institute:
Our faithful guides--Virgil, Religious Studies Professor Emeritus William Wilson, and several others--are back to lead any and all into and through Dante's Purgatorio in four one-hour seminar discussions on February 7; February 21, March 21, and April 11. No prior experience or passport stamp from the tarpits of the Inferno required, so what's stopping you from allowing Dante to cast his shadow on you, too? The St. Anselm Institute will even provide you with a free copy of the Robert Durling translation of this classic text.  
Our first efforts to ascend the narrow paths of Mt. Purgatorio will begin on Friday 7 (2:00-3:00pm). Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to express your interest in joining us on this promising adventure!   
 
"Come along now: see, the meridian is touched 
by the sun, and on the shore of ocean
night already covers Morocco with its foot."

 

Oct. 4, 2013: Faculty Colloquium on the Death Penalty with Justice Antonin Scalia

 

Students & Faculty: Spring 2013 Divine Comedy Reading Group!


altInterested in reading Dante's Inferno for the first time? Or, perhaps, in rereading it at a very leisurely pace with other UVA Students and Faculty? The St. Anselm Institute for Catholic Thought invites you to join our new bi-monthly Dante Alighieri Divine Comedy Reading Group, which will meet for the first time on Friday, February 1, 2013 (1:30-2:30pm).  No prior experience or training required.  As Dante had Virgil as his guide, our group will be guided by several faculty, including William Wilson, Professor Emeritus Religious Studies; now Director, Graduate Fellows Program at the Jefferson Scholars Foundation.


When?: about 2 Fridays per month, 1:30-2:30pm  
Feb. 1: Cantos 1-3 (pp. 26-69); (and Editor/translator Introduction)
Feb. 15: Cantos 4-8 (pp. 70-139)
March 1: Cantos 9-13 (pp. 140-217)
March 22: Cantos 14-18 (pp. 218-287)
April 5: Cantos 19-23 (pp.288-361)
April 12: Cantos 24-28 (pp.362-449)
April 26: Cantos 29-34 (pp.450-549)
 
First Meeting?: Friday, Feb. 1, 2013; but if you can't attend this day, then attend all or some of the other meetings. 
Where?: UVA Central Grounds location (Monroe 116). 
What else?: Free copies of the Robert Durling edition of the Inferno will be provided to UVA students.  Others are encouraged to purchase their own paperback copy.  We'll read approximately 20-pages per meeting.
Additional Digital Dante Resource:
 see The World of Dante (http://www.worldofdante.org/ ).
Interested?: Please join us.
Questions:
 Contact the St. Anselm Institute ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). 
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altSeminar  discussion with Prof. Eleonore Stump (Philosophy, St. Louis University) 
Friday, January 18, 2013 (10:00-11:30am)
Join us and widely respected philosopher and St. Louis University Professor Eleonore Stump for a seminar discussion on her recent and acclaimed book Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering (Oxford, 2010). Wandering in Darkness is a challenging and grand synthesis of a lifetime of serious thinking about the problem of human suffering and evil in the world. If God is omniscient, omnipotent, perfectly good, and loves us, then why are bad, heart-breaking things permitted to occur? 

Professor Stump ably and accessibly draws upon contemporary research on autism, moral psychology; the Biblical narratives of Job, Samson, Abraham, and Mary of Bethany, and the philosophical insights of Thomas Aquinas to make a defensible accounting of a problem with which and in which we all have participated.
 
Chapter 13 and Chapter 9 have been posted for those interested in attending and participating.  This is a unique opportunity for faculty, graduate students, and others, so feel free to extend this invitation to others who may have an interest. 

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altApril 20, 2012: Faculty Seminar with Brad Gregory (History, Notre Dame) on The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society (Harvard, 2011)
(completed)

 

Lumen Veritatis (completed)
Faculty Leader:  Brad Wilcox, Department of Sociology
Lumen Veritatis is a Catholic discussion group serving undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Virginia. Specifically, Lumen Veritatis discusses theological, cultural, and political issues from a Catholic perspective. Previous topics include faith and the law, Mary's role in the Church, Project Rachel, and gender.

The Works of St. Anselm (completed)
Faculty Leader: Jorge Secada, Department of Philosophy
This study group engaged the major works of St. Anselm of Canterbury.  

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