Was St. Thomas Aquinas a feminist? That is the question Susanne DeCrane will explore at the 23rd annual Aquinas Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3, in the ballroom of St. Francis Xavier “College” Church. Vespers will precede the lecture at 5 p.m. in College Church.
DeCrane, author and instructor, will apply Aquinas’s principle of the common good to women’s health issues in the United States and specifically to the link between black women and breast cancer. In an article based on the same subject, DeCrane writes that retrieving Aquinas’s principle “is significant in that it will demonstrate that a feminist, liberationist approach to ethics can accommodate and appropriate a universal claim that has seemed, for centuries, to oppress – not liberate – women.”
DeCrane teaches at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and St. Mary’s University and Seminary in Baltimore. She earned a Ph.D. in Christian ethics from the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto and an M.Div. from Regis College, also in Toronto. Her publications include “Ask for Anything: A Retrieval of the Theology of Petitionary Prayer,” “Teach Us to Pray, Proceedings of the Theology Institute of Villanova University” and Aquinas, Feminism and the Common Good.
Aquinas Institute of Theology is a Dominican-sponsored graduate school of theology on the campus of Saint Louis University. The school prepares men for the priesthood, women and men for vowed religious life and lay women and men for careers in the Church. The annual Aquinas Lecture traditionally focuses on a contemporary theological question and applies the thinking of St. Thomas Aquinas, a 13th-century Dominican theologian, to a 21st-century issue.