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Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology

Jose Isidro Belleza

Concurrent MA Philosophy & Theology, December 2019

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Jose Isidro Belleza

Joey, having had a great learning experience of working with you on your thesis about language and worship, I pray that you may continue your study, reflection, and writing, so that others, in their thoughts, words, and actions, may come to offer an ever more eloquent sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to the living God. – Fr. Bryan 

Thesis Title: Lex Loquendi, Lex Orandi: Pickstock, Aquinas, and the Reform of the Roman Offertoria

Thesis Coordinator: Bryan Kromholtz, OP,  Professor of Theology  

Thesis Description: Through a synthesis of Catherine Pickstock's work on liturgical language in After Writing and the Thomistic treatment on prayer in Summa Theologiae, II-II, question 83, this project challenges the characteristically modern philosophical assumptions imported into the twentieth-century reform of the Roman Rite. By linguistically situating the creature's subordinate relation to the Creator in the apostrophic voice—which is marked by the imperative and subjunctive moods—the Roman Offertory in the usus antiquior is shown to better reflect a dynamic relational ontology of the person that escapes the strictures of the modernist subject-object dichotomy. By contrast, the brief, syntactically asyndetic and modally indicative features of the Preparation of the Gifts in the usus recentior reveals an unwitting acceptance of certain modern assumptions on the part of the reformers, which may, in turn, lead to an over-wrought exaltation of the thinking subject and an unwarranted reification of Christ's substantial presence in the Eucharist. 

What are your plans after DSPT?

Since graduating from DSPT I have been the Communications Manager for the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, CA. After weighing offers from the Catholic University of America (Washington, DC) and the University of Cambridge (England) to study for a PhD in Theology, I have decided to begin my doctoral studies with The University of Cambridge beginning in Fall 2020. 

What did you appreciate about studying at DSPT? 

DSPT's integrated approach to philosophy and theology not only provided an environment where each field was supported by the other in a mutual, inhering relationship; the synthesis also provided the means to bring the insights of the Catholic tradition as mediated by Thomism into critical dialogue with contemporary problems. 

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