Franciscan Institute Hosts Scholars at Scotus Conference

HNP Communications Features

ALLEGANY, N.Y. — St. Bonaventure University’s Franciscan Institute here welcomed more than two dozen international scholars to campus in October for a conference on the life and thought of John Duns Scotus, the great medieval Franciscan philosopher. 

The conference was the first in a series of four international conferences called the Quadruple Congress that will take place over the next 18 months, commemorating the 700th anniversary of the death of Duns Scotus. 

The SBU conference — Opera Philosophica — concentrated on the philosophical works of the great master. The conference was conceived and organized by Sr. Mary Beth Ingham, CSJ, Dr. Timothy Noone, and Michael Cusato, OFM.

The next conference takes place in July at Oxford University, and explores the theological works of the friar. In November 2008, the German cities of Bonn and Cologne will host a series of events examining his metaphysics and ethics. The Quadruple Congress concludes in March 2009 with a conference in Strasbourg, France, discussing the influence of Scotus over the centuries.

The SBU gathering consisted of 20 presentations offered by some of the most preeminent scholars of the philosophy of Duns Scotus. The presentations explored what made Duns Scotus not only a medieval philosopher but a Franciscan philosopher. A roundtable gathered four of the scholars involved in the project: Dr. Jerry Etzkorn, Fr. Romuald Green, OFM, Dr. Robert Andrews and Noone. The conference papers are to be published in several volumes as a co-publication between Franciscan Institute Publications and the German academic printing house Aschendorff.

A solemn Eucharist also celebrated the life of Duns Scotus, preached by Joseph Chinnici, OFM.

At a formal banquet, Dr. Ludger Honnefelder, eminent German scholar and expert in the works of Scotus, received the 21st Franciscan Institute Medal of Scholarship and delivered an address on the relevance of Aristotle to the philosophy of Duns Scotus, the Subtle Doctor.

Founded in 1939 by the late Thomas Plassmann, OFM, former president of SBU, the Franciscan Institute is the preeminent center in North America of teaching, research and publication on the history, spirituality and intellectual life of the Franciscan movement.