Dr. R. E. Houser, UST professor emeritus, earned one of the highest honors in the field of philosophy, the Aquinas Medal, in November. The American Catholic Philosophical Association bestowed the medal on Houser at its annual meeting to recognize “outstanding teaching, personal publications of permanent and scholarly value, and influence upon American philosophical thought.” At the meeting, he spoke on “Metaphysics: Aquinas the Avicennian.”
“Dr. Ed Houser has made an outstanding contribution to scholarship at St. Thomas,” said the Most Rev. J. Michael Miller, archbishop of Vancouver and former UST president. “At the University of St. Thomas, he is venerated as an inspiring professor and engaging colleague. The American Catholic Philosophical Association has chosen well in awarding Dr. Houser the Aquinas Medal.”
Other distinguished recipients include Jacques Maritain, who inspired the Christian democracy movement around the globe; Etienne Gilson, who reconnected philosophy with its history; and Karol Wojtyla, who became St. John Paul II.
The Center for Thomistic Studies at the University of St. Thomas was founded by Fr. Victor Brezik, CSB, and Anton Pegis of the Pontifical Institute, another Aquinas Medalist. It is the only graduate philosophy program in the Americas focused on the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. Houser and his wife, Dr. Mary Catherine Sommers, were recruited to the Center in 1987.
Houser has given over 80 lectures, published over 40 articles and is author or editor of 12 volumes concentrating on Aquinas, Avicenna and Bonaventure. The most recent, to appear December 2019, is “Logic as a Liberal Art: An Introduction to Rhetoric and Reasoning.”