Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Garrigou-Lagrange conference


Today I attended the congference at Blackfriars on the work of Fr Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange (1877-1964). It was a well attended and well organised event with a series of interesting addresses.

The first speaker was Fr Richard Peddicord OP, who has published a life of Garrigou-Lagrange The Sacred Monster of Thomism . His paper considered Garrigou's critique of the work of Henri Bergson and Maurice Blondel. This was followed by a paper from Fr Aidan Nichols OP, who has also recently published a book on him an dhis influence on the Catholic Church, on Garrigou and Henry de Lubac on Divine Revelation, drawing out their common emphases in two very different works. After lunch we had a talk from Fr Henry Donneaud OP about Garrigou and Chenu's fundamentally different approaches to Thomism and the Nature of Theology and the ways they influenced one another in their writings.

This was followed by three responses from Prof John Sullivan of LIverpool Hope University, a specialist in the work of Blondel, Fr Thomas Crean OP and Fr Philip Endean SJ.

For someone not versed in Garrigou-Lagrange's work the day provided useful sign posts with which to study his very substantial range of work, and indeed a wish so to do. Several of his major works ahve been reprinted by TAN, and some texys are available online.

What would be interesting would be to have another such conference on Garrigou-Lagrange's work and teaching on spirituality, his mystical theology and call for contemplation by the faithful.

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