Jude Chua on Two New Thomist E-Journals


I am publishing a scholarly journal called "Thomistic Encounters", which is an acedemic journal on the philosophy / theology of (human) relationships. You can locate it at my Thomistic e-nstitute web site.


I would like to extend to you the call for papers for this journal. Submissions must be Thomistic in orientation, or comparative studies between Aquinas / Thomists and other. It must be in English, and from 3,000 to 5,000 words, as a guide, but not a strict regulation. It may be sent to me as an attachment in Word format or html. Since this is an academic journal, it will have to be of suitable calibre. Footnotes may be put either at the end or underneath the text, no matter.

You may write on a broad Topic of areas. Submissions will be peer reviewed, and corrected if need be, before publication. Publication will be both online and in Print. Papers accepted will be immediately published on liine, thanks to internet technology, and when there are suffiient papers online (4-5), they will go in print as one volume, and so on.

Another journal I am publishing online (although this too will likely go in print) is "Thomasia", which is a journal on comparative thought between Aquinas / Thomism and Asian thought, which will include, Chinese philosophy, Japanese Buddhism, Indian philosophy, and so forth. You may also submit articles in that respect, and similar guidelines apply.

Ocassionally we will also publish online/in print special issues on select topics. The one forthcoming is on Peter Singer's Bioethics, meaning, Thomistic critiques of it. And there is also a call for papers on that.

Well, hope to hear from you!

Sincerely, Jude Chua, Thomistic e-nstitute, Singapore


The Editors: Jude, how did you get interested in Thomism?

Jude: Well, my original inclination was to the works of Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange OP. Primarily his theological works. This was when I was in my late teens. He was the first Thomist I read. Of course, by
then, I did not know that he was a Thomist, except that he seemed to me a
particular thought out and clear writer. It was later when I was doing my
single major in Philosophy, that came across this huge volume by Francis
Cunningham discussing whether St. Thomas held the real distinction. I read
it out of curiousity, and although I understood absolutely nothing of what
was going on then, I was all the more fueled with curiosity. And so I began
to try to find out more about this debate. At the same time, there was
Mark, a fellow M.A. student from the states who was doing something on
Aquinas' proof for creation, and he requested for Cajetan's commentary on
Being and Essence. And so when it came to the library, I borrowed it to see
what it was about. And of course, I understood none of the scholastic
jargons. But that had an effect on me; I felt like I was put in touch with
my Catholic heritage, yet which I could not understand. As I held the book
in my hands and beheld the contents, I felt like as if I was holding a
family heirloom left to me. It was to me something very mysterious, which I
had found, a treasure chest which I could not open. What a shame. I had
not decided to be a Thomist then, but I did begin the task of doing research
to figure out that scholastic code. One fine day I picked up Maritain's
Existence and the Existent, from the library of the Pastoral Institute and
that helped me put things in better perspective. Because Maritain seems to
argue for a chanced "intuition", I had trouble accepting his method as a
properly philosophical approach, although his effort to distinguish essence
from existence was helpful. Infact, to this day, I believe that Maritain's
intuition of being is not properly philosophical, in the natural sense. I
believe it is supernatural, but anycase, let us proceed. Then, in my last
year, which was the honors year, I chose to write my Thesis on John Finnis
and Germain Grisez's new natural law theory. That was when I had to deal
with the criticisms by the "traditionalists", and much of that tried to
define what Aquinas actually thought of the matter. There I was acquanted
with the many Thomists, like R. McInerny, Peter Geatch, Daniel Westberg,
Maritain again, Yves Simon, Benedict Ashly, Jean Porter, Anthony Lisska,
Russell Hittinger, Michael Novak and others who have written on the topic.
There also I had to decide what was Thomistic, and what was not. Natural Law
was more comphrehensible than metaphysics, and at the same time, I had read
McIntyre's three Rival Versions. The discussions, though not conclusive,
were very satisfying. And I also stumbled into Aeterni Patris, which was for
me an explicit call from the Holy Mother Church, and Christ's Vicar. I was
also fortunate to get acquanted with Joseph de Torre, Priest of the
Prelature, former student of Garrigou-Lagrange and a Thomist and presently
Emeritus Prof. at UA&P, who encouraged me and sent me some of his Thomistic
works. After that, I decided to focus on Thomas Aquinas. I call myself a
Thomist, not actually, but in potency. I mean by this a disciple of St.

My interests are Metaphysics (both schools, the conservative who affirm the
ontic otherness of essence in the real distinction, and the recent school
following Phelan, Carlo and now te Velde.) I must especially say that I am
very greatful indeed to James Arraj for introducing me to the work of
Willaim E. Carlo.

Also, Jurisprudence (Finnis-Grisez ; Vitoria on International Law),
Personalism (in Bioethics and in Relations; Lublin Thomism) and Ascetical
Theology. I study Maritain, Garrigou-Lagrange, Cajetan, Banez and John of
St. Thomas. I am also much into Dominican Spirituality. I am working to
become a professed Lay Dominican.

Having been trained in the Analytic tradition, the decision to commit myself
to Thomism was not altogether far off, since the rigor of critical
argumentation was already part and parcel of the training. But the language
was a difficulty, and of course, absolutely no one in the department knew
what was going on in those scholastic texts except maybe Mark. And hence on
that count it was not always easy, but I think it was all worth it, although
there is still much, much more to learn.

I am a fishing enthusiast, and sometimes I think philosophy is a bit like
fishing. You cannot see the fish, and you don't really know what you're
going to catch. But you know you want to land a big one. There are as many
seas as there are philosophies. Most of them so deep that by the time
you've gotten the grasp of it, and realised that its not that close to the
truth, it is a bit too late. Deep waters can drown. Having someone with
experience to tell you where to put the line helps. Being a Catholic, I
feel fortunate that I came from a tradition of fishermen. St. Peter was a
fisherman, and he had the Lord tell him where to caste his net. That wisdom
remains today, through the papal lineage. Aquinas is a big catch: his
doctrine of being is the answer to the post-modern tide that is sweeping us,
so to still storm of intellectual confusion; and only his ethics will
silence the sirens of relativism. Where others are experiencing poverty of
thought, here in Thomism the nets are bursting, and the only thing we need
are more boats and men to haul up the rest of the catch.