Collected works of Father Thomas Finan and Dr Jennifer O’Reilly published at symposium in Maynooth

07 Oct 2019

The Collected Writings of the late Father Thomas Finan (Professor of Ancient Classics, Maynooth) and The Collected Essays of the late Dr Jennifer O’Reilly (senior lecturer in Medieval Studies, UCC) were launched at a special session of The Maynooth Patristic Symposium held at the National Seminary, Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, on 5 October.

Both scholars were members of the Patristic Symposium.  Their collected works were edited by the symposium’s honorary chair, Father D Vincent Twomey SVD, and the honorary secretary, Dr Máirín MacCarron, in collaboration with other historians.  The handsome volumes were published by Columba Press, Dublin, and Routledge, Abingdon-on-Themes.

To mark the occasion, symposium member Professor Dr Lewis Ayres of the University of Durham, read a fascinating paper on Saint Basil of Caesarea’s theology dealing with the difficulties involved in human thought and speech, given our fallen nature, with regard to the transcendent God’s self-revelation as Triune.  The launch was hosted by the President of Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Rev Professor Michael Mullaney, and the rector of the national seminary, Rev Dr Tomás Surlis.


Notes for Editors

  • The Patristic Symposium was launched by Fathers Twomey, Thomas Norris, and Nicholas Madden OCD in 1986, when Professor Finan read a paper on Saint Augustine’s Conversion. Father Finan was the first honorary president.  Over the past 33 years, the symposium has welcomed scholars from the faculties of theology, philosophy, ancient classics, early Irish and medieval studies in Ireland and abroad.  The Maynooth Patristic Symposium is ecumenical by its nature, since study of the Fathers of the Church predate the major divisions of Christianity.  Greek, Russian, Romanian Orthodox and, especially, Anglican scholars have read papers.  It has held eight International Patristic Conferences (one in conjunction with the Byzantine Institute, Queen’s University in Belfast), whose proceedings were published by Four Courts Press in eight volumes.  The scope of the symposium was broadened by the membership of Dr O’Reilly, an Anglican specialist in early insular medieval texts, such as the Book of Kells.  This led to greater concentration of the reception of the patristic theology in the medieval period up to and including Saint Thomas Aquinas and beyond to Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint John of the Cross.
  • Photographs from the launch of the publication of the collected works are available to media by contacting the Catholic Communications Office in Maynooth.

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long +353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Katie Crosby +353 (0)86 862 3298.