The Catholic University of America

Media Advisory


Philosophy Lecture Honoring Monsignor John Wippel: "God's Simplicity, the Knowledge of Person, and the Knowledge of God"


2 p.m., Friday, Nov. 14


The Catholic University of America
Aquinas Hall Auditorium
620 Michigan Ave., N.E.
Washington, D.C.

Eleonore Stump, the Robert J. Henle Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University, delivers the 10th lecture in the Fall Philosophy Lecture series, "Metaphysical Themes, In Honor of John F. Wippel." The series - in its 41st year - is one of the longest continuously running major philosophy lecture series in the country. This year it is dedicated to Monsignor John F. Wippel, the Theodore Basselin Professor of Philosophy, who celebrates his 75th birthday.

"On the basis of Aquinas' account of the doctrine of divine simplicity, some researchers have concluded that, for Aquinas, God is entirely unknowable," Stump says. "Aquinas' claim that with regard to God we can know only what God is not and not what God is has given rise to a strand of interpretation which attributes to Aquinas a fairly robust theological agnosticism as regards God."

In her lecture, Stump will explore reasons for doubting that the doctrine of simplicity has such agnostic implications. She will argue that Aquinas's views permit a much more robust and positive knowledge of God in this life than is generally recognized.

The other lectures in the series are scheduled for Nov. 21 and Dec. 5. All the lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, go to, contact the Office of the Dean, School of Philosophy, at 202-319-5259, or e-mail


School of Philosophy
Franklin J. Matchette Foundation
Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation
George Dougherty Foundation

MEDIA: To cover the lecture, reporters must contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy in the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600.