This presentation is a consideration of Saint Thomas Aquinas’s teaching on suffering from his Literal Exposition of the Book of Job. All-but-forgotten today, this monumental text was considered the greatest work of biblical exegesis in its time. For 200 years, it was the definitive interpretation of Job’s story and a template for scholarly commentary on Scripture. We will discover that St. Thomas Aquinas believed a life story could tell us more about the meaning of suffering than a rational argument (as you would find in the Summa Theologica). He also believed (contrary to popular belief) that Job’s story is not about patience in suffering, but rather, about God’s teaching through His Divine Providence and Job’s response.
To prepare for our discussion, you should try and read the whole Book of Job in your Bible, but particularly Chapters 1 and 2, and Chapters 38 through 41. You can find an online link to the Scriptural text here.
Our guest speaker to lead us in this consideration is Dr. Cynthia Nicolosi, PhD. Here is a snip from her professional bio:
Dr. Nicolosi began her academic career with a bachelor’s degree in the Great Books from Magdalen College in New Hampshire. She went on to receive a master’s degree in philosophy from Boston College and then the PhD from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, Italy. Dr. Nicolosi’s specialty in philosophy is the narrative quality of human experience: we tell stories because we live stories. In addition to her work in philosophy, Dr. Nicolosi holds a bachelor’s degree in sacred theology from Holy Cross and a bachelor’s in biology from University of New Hampshire. She also has a master’s in forensic psychology from Southern New Hampshire University and graduate studies in both music and creative writing. Dr. Nicolosi has been teaching at the university level for thirty-seven years. In 2017, she received the Teaching Excellence Award from Southern New Hampshire University. She is a three-time recipient of the Catholic Press Award. Of the fifteen years she lived in Europe, eight were spent in Italy, five in France, and two in Ireland. Having made the move to Virginia in 2020 to help care for her parents, Dr. Nicolosi is now teaching at Regent University.