Professor Eleonore Stump will be coming to campus on April 6 to speak on “Guilt and Forgiveness” and “What We Care About: The Desires of the Heart” in Phillips Auditorium. The former topic will concern the conflicting views of forgiveness in “The Sunflower: On the Possibility and Limits of Forgiveness” by Simon Wiesenthal, while the latter will concern Thomas Aquinas’ theodicy. The religion and philosophy department will host the speaker.
Stump is a leading expert on Thomas Aquinas, medieval philosophy, and philosophy of religion. She holds the Robert J. Henle Chair in philosophy at Saint Louis University, is an honorary professor at Wuhan University and the Logos Institute at the University of St. Andrews. Stump also serves as a professorial fellow at the Australian Catholic University and a patron of the Aquinas Institute in BlackFriars Hall at Oxford University.
Assistant Professor of Philosophy Ian Church worked with Stump for two years at Saint Louis University and was instrumental in organizing the event.
“Beyond the quality of her work, I truly appreciate and value her character as a person,” Church said in an email. “She is exceptionally kind, generous, and caring. She has a heart for those who are suffering in this world, and I think that thoughtfulness and sincerity comes through in all that she does.”
After watching several of Stump’s lectures online, sophomore Gabriel Listro plans on attending the event. Stump’s method is particularly attractive to Listro.
“She uses wonderfully tangible examples to explain her very complex concepts,” Listro said. “I find her philosophy very interesting and well-thought-out, but her concepts are very hard for me to understand unless I pay close attention. That is why her examples are so enlightening. They tie the abstract into the physical in a manner that changes how I view the actual.”
The subject matter of the evening is particularly relevant to students on Hillsdale campus, according to Church.
“Between her areas of expertise and the topics of her talks — the problem of suffering, guilt, and forgiveness, etc. — I’d say she is firing on all Hillsdale cylinders!” Church said. “How we personally engage with and process suffering and how we understand guilt and forgiveness are fundamental topics to the human experience.”