The University of St. Thomas

College of Arts & Sciences | Department of Catholic Studies | Faculty

Dr. John Boyle

Dr. John Boyle

Dr. John F. Boyle

Professor, Catholic Studies and Theology
Director, Master of Arts in Catholic Studies
Phone: (651) 962-5714

Office Location: 208 Sitzmann Hall

Courses taught in Spring 2014
CSMA 519-01
Augustine's Confessions 1800-2100 R 55S 207

3 Credit Hours

St. Augustine’s Confessions is one of the most enduring and influential works of Christian literature. It is a dramatic spiritual autobiography. But its enduring character arises not simply from the story. It is also a penetrating exploration of reality of the human person. Here we find Augustine's reflections on, among other things, God and man, sin and grace, memory and time, and the first chapter of Genesis. This course will consider the particulars of Augustine's story as well as the philosophical, theological, and literary dimensions of this remarkable work, specifically with an eye to the integrated and unified vision of reality articulated in it.

Courses taught in Summer 2014
CSMA 519-01
Virtue 0900-1200 M W 55S 207

3 Credit Hours

This course considers particular topics in the area of Catholic Studies and Theology. Although the topics will vary , the courses will have both a theological foundation and an interdisciplinary focus. These topics courses fulfill the area requirement of Catholic Studies and Theology.

Courses taught in Fall 2014
CATH 101-02
The Search for Happiness 0935-1040 M W F 55S 207

4 Credit Hours

This course provides a critical investigation into the quest for meaning and happiness as found in the Catholic tradition. Beginning with fundamental Catholic claims about what it means to be a human being, this course explores the call to beatitude in materials from several disciplines, including theology, philosophy, literature, and art, as well as ancient, medieval, and contemporary sources. Topics explored include a consideration of human persons in relation to divine persons, the supernatural end to human life, the human person as experiencing desire and suffering, the Christian paradox that joy may be found in the giving of one's self, and the search for happiness through friendship and love. Through all these topics, the course particularly examines the question, "What is the specifically unique character of Christian happiness?"

Academic History

A.B., Highest Honors, Religion and History, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, 1980
M.A., Medieval Studies, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, 1981
M.S.L. [Licentiate in Mediaeval Studies], magna cum laude, sectio theologica, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto, Ontario, 1985
Ph.D., Medieval Studies, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, 1989


Theology in the Middle Ages
Thomas Aquinas
Thomas More

Other Professional Activities

Senior Fellow, Center for Thomas More Studies, University of Dallas, 2007-present.
Associate Editor, Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture
Member of the editorial board of the Thomas Aquinas in Translation series for the Catholic University of America Press
Member of editorial board for the Theology and Law Series, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies Publications, Toronto

Awards & Honors

1995 University of St. Thomas Distinguished Educator of the Year

2013 Aquinas Medalist, University of Dallas

Selected Publications

"Aquinas' lost Roman commentary: an historical detective story" in Thomas Aquinas:Teacher and Scholar: The Aquinas Lectures at maynooth, volume 2: 2002-2010 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2012), pp.71-84.

"On the Realtion of St. Thoams's Commentary on Romans to the Summa Thelogiae" in Reading Romans with St. Thomas Aquinas (Washington DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 2012),75-82.

"Analogy, Necessity, and an Editor’s Anxiety" in Reason and the Rule of Faith: Conversations in the Tradition with John Paul II (Lanham: University Press of America, 2011), 55-62.

"Thomas Aquinas and his Lectura romana in primum Sententiarum Petri Lombardi" in Mediaeval Commentaries on the Sentences of Peter Lombard, vol. 2 (Leiden: Brill, 2010), 149-73.

St. Thomas Aquinas on the Anointing of the Sick (Extreme Unction)” in Rediscovering Aquinas and the Sacraments: Studies in Sacramental Theology (Chicago: Hillenbrand Books, 2009), 76-84.

Counsel, Comfort and Conscience in More’s Letters to Fellow Prisoner Nicholas Wilson,” Moreana 46, n. 176 (2009), 49-64.

The Analogy of ‘Homo’ and ‘Deus',” Nova et Vetera 6 (2008), 663-67.

“The Reading of Scripture in Thomas More’s Dialog Concerning Heresies” Thomas More Studies 3 (2008), published online at:

Editor with L. E. Boyle of Thomas Aquinas, Lectura romana in primum Sententiarum Petri Lombardi (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2006).  The critical Latin edition of Thomas Aquinas' recently discovered second commentary on Book I of Peter Lombard's Liber sententiarum.

"Aquinas' Roman Commentary on Peter Lombard," Anuario Filosofico 39 (2006), 477-96.

"Authorial Intention and the divisio textus," in Reading John with St. Thomas Aquinas: Theological Exegesis and Speculative Theology (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2005), 3-8.

"The Theological Character of the Scholastic 'Division of the Text' with Particular Reference to the Commentaries of St. Thomas Aquinas," in With Reverence for the Word: Medieval Scriptural Exegesis in Judaism, Christianity and Islam (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), 276-83.

Introduction to new edition of Christopher Dawson, Medieval Essays, part of the Collected Works of Christopher Dawson (Washington: The Catholic University of America Press, 2002), vii-xviii.

"St. Thomas Aquinas and the analogy of potentia generandi," The Thomist 64 (2000), 581-92.

"The Two-fold Division of St. Thomas' Christology in the tertia pars," The Thomist 60 (1996), 439-447.

"The Ordering of Trinitarian Teaching in Thomas Aquinas' Second Commentary on Lombard's Sentences," Recherches de Théologie ancienne et médiévale, Supplementa 1 (1995), 125-36.

"Thomas Aquinas and Sacred Scripture," Pro Ecclesia 4 (1995), 92-104.

"Is the tertia pars of the Summa theologiae misplaced?" in Proceedings of the PMR Conference 18 (1993-1994), 103-109.

Selected Presentations

"Master Thomas Aquinas and the Fullness of Life," Aquinas medal Lecture, University of Dallas, January 29, 2013

"St. Thomas Aquinas and Sacred Scripture," Aquinas Lecture, Notre Dame Major Seminary, New Orleans, April 8, 2011

"St. Thomas Aquinas and Sacred Scripture," St. Thomas Day Lecture at Thomas Aquinas College, January 28, 2011

"Aquinas' Lost Roman Commentary: An Historical Detective Story," The Annual Aquinas Lecture, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, March 21, 2006

"Aquinas' Roman Commentary on Peter Lombard," Plenary address at the XLIII Navarre Philosophical Meeting, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, April 25-27, 2005

"Religion, Utopia, and The City of God" at the Thomas More Conference sponsored by the Center for Thomas More Studies, University of Dallas, November 5-6, 2004

"Chesterton's St. Thomas Aquinas" at the Twenty-first Annual G. K. Chesterton Conference, University of St. Thomas, June 14, 2002

"Thomas Aquinas' Understanding of the 'Intention' of Biblical Authors," at "Religious Thought and Action in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: A Symposium in Honor of Marcia L. Colish" at Oberlin College, May 12, 2001

"Josef Pieper's On Hope," the Steven Kostick Memorial Lecture, University of St. Thomas, 1999

"Theology as the Perfection of the Sciences According to St. Thomas Aquinas," 19th International Conference on Patristic, Mediaeval, and Renaissance Studies, Villanova University, 1994

"Richard of St. Victor's Response to Andrew of St. Victor on the Literal Sense of Scripture," International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, 1984

Professional Memberships

Medieval Academy of America