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About Us

The Bay Area St Thomas Aquinas Association

Shine Christ's Light on Scholarship


Our Story

The Bay Area St. Thomas Aquinas Association (BASTA) was born out of a conversation which took place in 2014 in the San Francisco Bay Area, inspired by a shared interest in the philosophical inquiry into the works of Thomas Aquinas, the great 13th-century philosopher and theologian and the friendships among the Catholic and Christian academics in the region.

Over the years, the Association has proven to be an essential platform for scholars, intellectuals, and admirers of Aquinas' work who have a vested interest in the profound understanding and application of his philosophical ideas. As a loose association, BASTA operates in a somewhat unconventional yet effective manner, focused more on intellectual exchange than on organizational structure.

The association's annual gathering, held every year since its inception (covid doesn't count), is a major highlight for its members and has contributed significantly to its continued growth and recognition. These gatherings are forums for deep dialogue, debate, and discourse based on Aquinas' philosophy. Members have the opportunity to present their research, share their perspectives, and connect with like-minded individuals who appreciate the depth and breadth of Thomism.

The gatherings are also unique for their rich variety. While some members delve into the intricacies of Aquinas' metaphysical ideas, others explore the implications of his moral and political theories in contemporary society. This diversity of thought adds to the richness of the event, fostering an environment of mutual learning and discovery.

In the years following its formation, the BASTA has seen an expansion in its scope and reach. Initially, the members were primarily Bay Area academics; however, over time, the association has welcomed a number of internationally recognized scholars who share the same passion for Aquinas' philosophy. This has not only broadened the Association's membership base but has also enriched its intellectual output.

The BASTA also nurtures budding scholars, encouraging students and young academics to participate and contribute to the annual gatherings. This initiative not only facilitates the growth of the next generation of Aquinas scholars but also ensures the continuity of the association's mission.

The history of the Bay Area St. Thomas Aquinas Association itself is a testament to the enduring relevance of Aquinas' philosophy. Its annual gathering serves as an important platform for intellectual growth and exchange, upholding the spirit of inquiry that lies at the heart of philosophical exploration. As the Association looks ahead, it continues to uphold its mission to conduct and share research into the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, promoting his timeless wisdom in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.

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