Dr. Benjamin L. Smith

Philosophy Lecturer

My ideal day starts with a cup of coffee, the Bible, and a worn copy of the Summa Theologiae (or something similar); ideally this is followed up by a day discussing or writing about the errors of modern culture or the more erudite facets of Thomist philosophy and theology. Along with Aristotle and Josef Pieper, I believe that leisure, meaningful friendship, and contemplation are better than work.

From my earliest undergraduate studies, I fell in love with classical philosophy and theology. I studied these topics with zeal and because I loved them so much, I chose to share them with others as a professor and scholar. As a professor, I get to share my love of learning and teaching with other faithful Catholics who want to dive deep into the Catholic intellectual tradition.

But I know that many of my fellow lay Catholics are not able to access a systematic formation in philosophy and theology and I can see that there is an acute need for just this formation. I co-founded Catholic Studies Academy along with Jason Gale in order to provide my fellow lay Catholics a college level education in philosophy and theology in a flexible and affordable format. We want to create a community of serious, academically-minded Catholics committed to deepening their faith through the systematic study and discussion of philosophy and theology.

I received my M.A. in Philosophy from the Catholic University of American in 1999 and my Ph.D. in philosophy from the Center for Thomistic Studies in 2008. I specialize in medieval philosophy, political philosophy, and especially the philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas. In addition, I have developed a strong competency in modern philosophy, twentieth-century philosophy, and the philosophy of religion. I have presented scholarly research at the American Catholic Philosophical Association, the American Maritain Association, and the Villanova Conference in Patristic and Medieval Studies. In addition, I have published in scholarly journals; most recently I published an article in the Thomist entitled “The Meaning and Importance of Common Goods.” My current research focuses on the political philosophy of Saint Thomas as well as Thomist approaches to the philosophy of God, justification, atonement, and other theological topics.