INTERVIEW WITH AIDAN NICHOLS OP

 

25.09.2004

 

    1.      Can you introduce yourself to our readers?  

 

I am an English Dominican, domiciled in Cambridge, 56 years of age

 

    2.     What research are you doing at this moment and what courses are you teaching?  

 

I am completing a book on Balthasar and researching the uses to which Jacques Maritain's (Thomistic) aesthetics were put in England and France. I help teach a course in Cambridge University (Divinity Faculty) on theology and iconography.

 

    3.     What is the most important thing you learned from Aquinas?  

 

The integration of philosophy, Scripture, the Fathers and elements of contemporary theology.

 

    4.     In which way were you introduced to the thought of Thomas and whom do you consider to be your teacher in Aquinas? 

 

By a novitiate course on the theological virtues in St. Thomas: this was give by Fr. Fergus Kerr; Fr. Cornelius Ernst (responsible for vol. 30 of the English/Latin Summa Theologiae taught me St. Thomas later.

 

    5.     What is the importance of Aquinas for our times?  

 

His metaphysics, in its marriage with both nature and Scripture.

 

    6. How would you describe the current status of Thomism in the UK?

 

Developing again, after the partial eclipse of the 50's - 80's: this is chiefly under American influence. But note the roles of a) British Catholic philosophers, b) the somewhat eccentric Anglican 'Radical Orthodoxy' school and c) the fact that the English Dominicans never abandoned confidence in St. Thomas.

 

    7.     Which publications of yourself do you consider to be the most important for Aquinas’ researchers to read?  

 

I'm not sure any are 'important'. But my essay on Thomas's Mariology in the collection Aquians on Doctrine, edited by Weinandy, Keating and Yocum (2004), is probably the fullest short account in English.