THE INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF ST. AUGUSTINE
AND THE AUGUSTINIAN TRADITION
I am pleased to announce that Fr. Thomas Martin, O.S.A.,
Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Theology and Religious
Studies, has been appointed by Fr. Edmund J. Dobbin, O.S.A., the
President, to direct the formation and development of The Institute for
the Study of St. Augustine and the Augustinian Tradition at Villanova
University. It is envisioned that the Institute will foster the study of
the thought of St. Augustine and the history of the Augustinian Order
through research, publications, and coordination with the academic
programs of the University, serve as a resource center for scholars
wishing to study Augustine and the Augustinian tradition, and act as a
liaison with other national and international institutes for Augustinian
Fr. Martin is a well-known Augustinian scholar. He has written numerous
articles on Augustine, a monograph Rhetoric and Exegesis in Augustine’s
Interpretation of Romans 7:24-25a (The Edwin Mellen Press, 2001,
251pp.) and his Our Restless Heart: The Augustinian Tradition will
be published in the Spring of 2003 (Darton Longman & Todd Ltd., London).
He has also organized the highly successful summer faculty workshop
series, “In Dialogue with Augustine,” which is designed to acquaint
faculty and graduate students with Augustinian texts and deepen their
appreciation of the significance of the works of St. Augustine.
The establishment of the Institute is a continuation of the many efforts
Villanova has made over the past several years to articulate the
principles of the University's 1979 Mission Statement. These principles
were expanded upon in A Future of Promise, approved by the
University's Board of Trustees in December 1991, and in the goals
expressed in the University's 1995 strategic plan, A Future of Promise,
A Future of Excellence.
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has taken a lead in implementing
the University's initiatives. In 1992, the College established the Core
Humanities Seminar program which incorporates Augustine and Augustinian
themes into the undergraduate curriculum and in 1994, it established a
subcommittee on “Mission and Heritage” with the task of examining ways to
incorporate various aspects of Villanova's mission into the life of the
College. (This subcommittee was later made a permanent University
committee by Fr. Dobbin in 1998 whose diverse membership now includes
deans and faculty from Commerce and Finance, Engineering, Nursing and the
School of Law and professional staff.) Out of this subcommittee also
emerged a faculty task force on Augustinian Initiatives which developed a
concentration in Augustinian studies and recommended the establishment of
the Institute for the Study of St. Augustine and the Augustinian
Tradition. In addition, the College hosts the Chair in the Thought of St.
Augustine which was established by the Augustinians of the Province of St.
Thomas of Villanova in 1994 to celebrate and strengthen the continuing
influence of St. Augustine on their ministry of higher education. Most
recently, the College established the Department of Humanities and
Augustinian Traditions in 2002 to promote liberal arts education and the
Augustinian heritage of the University.
The feast of St. Augustine of Hippo is celebrated on August 28. As an
Augustinian university this celebration offers us the opportunity to
reflect on the spiritual and intellectual traditions that guide the
Villanova community and challenge it to creatively pass on its rich
Please join me in congratulating Fr. Martin on his appointment. Fr.
Martin's office is located in 124 St. Augustine Center for the Liberal
Arts; his telephone extension is 9-6468.
Kail C. Ellis, O.S.A., Dean
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences