2023 Scientific Symposium

Relying on Saint Thomas: Authority and tradition, Worship and relics

The international symposium about Saint Thomas Aquinas will be held from May 9 to 12, 2023, at the Institut Catholique of Toulouse, salle Tolosa. On this anniversary of the canonisation of the Angelic Doctor, Acta, ISTA and the Revue thomiste intend to examine closely his position in the intellectual and cultural world of Western Christianity.

St Thomas is a central thinker with an authority that no Catholic thinker can rival with the exception of St Augustine. His posterity is numerous and his legacy significant. We are talking about uninterrupted and still living Thomistic tradition(s). From the end of the 13th century, the man who would become the common doctor of the Church at the beginning of the 20th century acquired an authority that went beyond the borders of the Dominican Order. It became so strong that it was at the heart of all the great theological debates between the 14th and the 21st centuries. Claimed by some, contested by others, Thomas is the reference for all centuries. At the same time his cult was growing, he was venerated as a saint for his life and doctrine. The Doctor of the Order became a Doctor of the Church (1567), then a Common Doctor (1923). All councils, from Florence to Vatican II, via Trent, referred to him as a major authority. There was neither convent nor university nor large European city that did not wish to have a relic of the holy doctor. The cult of St Thomas grew as his sanctity, proclaimed by Pope John XII in 1323, in Avignon, gained in popularity and his teaching spread far beyond the Dominican family.

The May 2023 Symposium aims to shed light on how Thomas Aquinas became an esteemed, revered and discussed authority, how his cult has spread since his relics were deposited in 1368 in the convent of the Jacobins in the province of Toulouse, where St Dominic founded his Order in 1215.