Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology

Fr. Augustine - Discovering the Wisdom of the Past

After a quarter century of teaching history at prestigious universities, Fr. Augustine Thompson, OP, raised more than a few eyebrows when he resigned his full professorship to join the faculty of a small Dominican graduate school. For him, the reason was simple:

Teaching history was a joy, but it had become clear that God now wanted me to put my training to work forming theologians, philosophers, and future ministers for service to the Church.

Fr. Augustine Thompson, OP
DSPT Professor of History

The author of numerous works on medieval religious life in Italy, as well as 2012’s groundbreaking biography Francis of Assisi: A New Biography, Fr. Augustine brings his historical expertise to a variety of courses on the theological and philosophical development of the ancient and medieval Christian world. “From the first-hand accounts of martyrs such as Perpetua, to the personal correspondence of Pope Gregory VII and Henry IV, Fr. Augustine does a wonderful job of encouraging students to truly engage historical primary sources,” says student James McDonnell. “I have been surprised by how familiar and yet how foreign these historical figures seem.” 

Too often today philosophy is taught as if twelve hundred years of Christian thought did not exist. And sadly, some theological investigation becomes so engaged with contemporary perspectives that it induces historical amnesia,” Fr. Augustine says. “You know already what your contemporaries think, come to DSPT and sample the wisdom of the other twenty Christian centuries!”

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