A Cathedral of Constitutional Law – BOOK LAUNCH

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Date / time: 16 April, 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

KU Leuven, Belgium

A Cathedral of Constitutional Law - BOOK LAUNCH


A Cathedral of Constitutional Law: Essays on the Earliest Constitutions of the Order of Preachers, with an English Translation of Fr Antoninus H. Thomas’s 1965 Study

In 1965, the Belgian Dominican friar Antoninus Hendrik Thomas published a critical reconstruction of the earliest Constitutions of the Dominican Order. He identified meticulously where Saint Dominic and his first brothers had borrowed material from other religious and secular juridical systems, as well as where they had been original, thus uncovering the foundational charism of the Order. Even today, researchers in the field regard Fr Thomas’s work as indispensable. Unfortunately, many of his insights were difficult to access for a wider audience, since Fr Thomas wrote his work in his native language, Dutch.

To mark the eighth centenary of the death of Saint Dominic in 2021, the Belgian Dominican province therefore decided to publish Fr Thomas’s work in an English translation by Dr Brian Heffernan, as well as to complement this with a selection of essays written by contemporary experts, who – from their particular perspectives – engage with Fr Thomas’s main insights. The essays deal with the historiographical tradition to which Fr Thomas belonged, the Premonstratensian, Cistercian and secular sources of the Constitutions, the manuscript tradition and editing process of the earliest Constitutions, and their reception in the first century of the Order and by the late medieval observant movement.

A symposium will be held at KU Leuven to mark the launch of this book; speakers are Professor Johan Leemans, Dr Anton Milh O.P., Frank Judo and Professor Dries Vanysacker. The launch will be followed by a reception in the entrance hall of the Maurits Sabbe Library (Charles Deberiotstraat 26, Leuven, Belgium).

Please register before 7 April: anton.milh@kuleuven.be