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Collins, Thomas Aquinas (Raymond)


Dominican priest, Scripture scholar; b. July 17, 1915, Lowell, Mass., the son of Jeremiah F. Collins and Mary R. (Sullivan) Collins; d. Oct. 8, 2000, Washington, D.C. After receiving an A.B. from Providence College in 1938, Collins studied for the priesthood at the Dominican Pontifical Faculties in River Forest, Ill., and Washington, D.C. He was ordained to the priesthood in Washington, D.C., on June 8, 1945. He studied at the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem from 1946 to 1948 and received an S.S.B. from the Pontifical Biblical Commission in 1949. He was part of the first wave of Catholic biblical scholars to emerge in the aftermath of Pope Pius XII's 1943 encyclical, divino afflante spiritu. From 1950 to 1958 he was Old Testament Professor at the Dominican Pontifical Faculty in Washington. He then completed his doctoral studies at the University of Ottawa, receiving an S.T.D. in 1959. That same year he joined the faculty at Providence College, teaching Biblical Studies and serving as chairman of the Theology Department. He was the founder of the Summer School of Sacred Theology and directed that program from 1964 to 1969. He continued to direct the Biblical Studies portion of that program until his retirement in 1986.

Collins was president of the Catholic Biblical Association from 1955 to 1956 and subsequently served for many years on the Board of Trustees. In 1977 he joined the editorial board of Biblical Archeology Review. For 12 years (19711982) he lectured at and co-directed the Biblical Institute at Trinity College in Burlington, Vt. He also taught and served as co-director at the annual Sinsinawa Biblical Institute in Sinsinawa, Wisc., from 1975 to 1983. His publications include "The Cajetan Controversy," AER 128 (Feb. 1953); "Theology and Sacred Scripture," in Theology, Philosophy, and History as Integrating Disciplines in the Catholic College of Liberal Arts (Washington, D.C. 1953); "Cardinal Cajetan's Fundamental Biblical Principles," CBQ 17 (July 1955); "Changing Styles in Johannine Studies," in The Bible in Current Catholic Thought (1962); "Archeology and the Bible," The Bible Today 6 (April 1963); "Toward a Biblical Theology of Mary," Marian Studies 25 (Spring 1973); and "The Truth of the Bible Debate," in Biblical Studies in Contemporary Thought (1975).

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