Aquino co-directs international symposium


Dr. Frederick Aquino, professor of Theology at ACU’s Graduate School of Theology, and Dr. Paul Gavrilyuk, Aquinas Chair in Theology and Philosophy at the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota, are currently co-directing the Spiritual Perception Project.

The project builds on the historical groundwork provided in the collection of essays, The Spiritual Senses: Perceiving God in Western Christianity, ed. Paul Gavrilyuk and Sarah Coakley (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012). The second phase of the project will focus on contemporary (as well as some historical) models of spiritual perception, using the methods of analytic philosophy, philosophy of religion, philosophy of perception, phenomenology and cognitive science.

As part of the second phase, Aquino and Gavrilyuk recently convened a one-day international symposium on the Spiritual Perception in Atlanta, Georgia, a day before the official beginning of the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion. The symposium participants hailed from four countries (Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States) and fourteen universities (Abilene Christian University; Boston College; Cambridge University; Concordia University of Edmonton; Fordham University; Fuller Theological Seminary; Saint Louis University; St. Olaf College; Southern Methodist University; University of California, Santa Barbara; University of Missouri, Columbia; University of Notre Dame; University of St. Thomas, MN; Universität Konstanz). The interdisciplinary breadth of the proposed project requires cooperation among scholars with competencies in different areas of philosophy, religion and theology.

One outcome of the symposium will be a volume tentatively entitled, Sensing Things Divine: Towards a Constructive Account of Spiritual Perception. The following scholars have agreed to contribute to the volume: William Abraham (Southern Methodist University), Frederick Aquino (ACU), Sarah Coakley (Cambridge University), Boyd Taylor Coolman (Boston College), Paul Gavrilyuk (University of St. Thomas, MN), John Greco (Saint Louis University), Mark McInroy (University of St. Thomas, MN), Michael J. McClymond (Saint Louis University), Paul Moser (Loyola University, Chicago), Catherine Pickstock (Cambridge University), Michael Rea (University of Notre Dame), Mark Spencer (University of St. Thomas, MN), Mark Wynn (University of Leeds), and Sameer Yadav (Indiana Wesleyan University).