Lawrence-Dewan Chair

Philosophy and Saint Thomas Aquinas.

” The Study of philosophy is not that we may know what men have thought, but what the truth of things is. “

Thomas Aquinas

Lawrence Dewan, o.p., was a professor of philosophy at the Dominican University College. For more than 30 years, he enriched the fields of Thomistic metaphysics, natural philosophy and ethics with the brilliant lucidity, depth and comprehensiveness of his research on the multiple facets of Thomas Aquinas’ legacy. He is also the author of numerous books.

He maintained a constant dialogue with other important figures of Thomism and modern thought.

The philosophical and theological writings of Thomas Aquinas, a 13th century Dominican, had a profound and controversial influence on Western thought. For almost a century, a renewal of Thomas Aquinas’ studies has been taking place; new approaches and perspectives are nourishing interest in his writings and proposals. Researchers from various horizons and types of philosophical practices exercise their critical faculties on the arguments he has signed up to.

At the Dominican University College we have an uninterrupted tradition of reading and interpreting the philosophical and theological options of Thomas Aquinas. That is why the Lawrence Dewan Chair in Philosophy and Saint Thomas Aquinas was created.

The holder of the Lawrence Dewan Chair is Professor Maxime Allard, o.p. His works focus on the points of intersection that may exist between different philosophical fields, taking as his entry point the rhetorical analysis of discourses, passions and practices related to social and political interactions and the impacts of the so-called “religious”.

For the academic year 2020-2021, the Lawrence Dewan Chair has received a significant donation from the Georges and Helen Vari Foundation.

Future activities

Conference “Choise and consent: a Thomistic approach” to be held on September 21, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. via videoconference. For registration:


April 20 2021 : Multitudes and insurrections : Thomas Aquinas after Spinoza !

Recently, in some american medias about an event in Washington, the word “insurrection” reappeared and almost became a slogan! With ‘insurrection’ come the ideas of upheavals, crisis, revolts, revolution, etc. Not words usually associated with Thomas Aquinas.

This conference will explore Aquinas’ relation to social and political tumults and insurrections. We might be in for some surprises!

March 3rd 2021 : Sacrifice: again?

In the wake of the January 28th conference, tonight’s conference intends to continue to rehabilitate the category of “sacrifice” in philosophy and in theology.

January 28th 2021 : Submissions, subjection and sacrifice. A Thomistic note to celebrate a way for philosophy and theology

January 28th is annually the liturgical commemoration of Saint Thomas Aquinas. On this occasion the Lawrence Dewan Chair on Thomas Aquinas and Philosophy is happy to propose a conference on human interaction, focusing on concepts that receive negative connotations: submission, subjection and sacrifice. Attentive to the latin subtleties of the conceptual construction of Aquinas, this conference would like to propose a fresh way of integrating critically these concepts to better describe and assess ethically the interactions at stake.

December 8th 2020 : Aquinas, social interactions and virtuous acknowledgments

In the margins of justice, Thomas Aquinas discussed a constellation of human interactions that resist being reduced to either contracts (commutative justice) or social recognition (distributive justice). He articulated a complex argumentation a) to insure their specificity would be ethically taken into consideration and b) to unfold their importance in the coming of an economic, social and political where one is not a wolf to another, nor simply a threat to or an instrument of my personal interests. In order to do so, this conference will explore Summa theologiae, IIaIIae, questions 101 to 119.

Lawrence Dewan, o.p. : curriculum vitae, 2006

Concerning the Person and the Common Good, april 1989

Conversations with Fr. Dewan, february 2015


Being a Disciple of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Pursuit of Wisdom Christendom College, 28 january 2011


Thomas Aquinas and the Many Faces of Wisdom, Chicago University, February 20th, 2014