Callus, Daniel (20.1.1888-26.5.1965)


Born at Zebbug, Malta, Angelo Callus joined the Dominican Order in 1903 and he was given the name of Daniel. He studied philosophy and theology at St Thomas Aquinas College, Rabat. In 1908 he continued his theological studies at St Dominic priory in Fiesole, Italy. In 1910 he obtained a rectorate in theology (S.Th.L.). That same year he was ordained priest in Rome, where he continued his studies in sacred scripture at the Angelicum College (1910-12).

On completing his studies, he returned to Malta and started lecturing in sacred scripture, dogmatic theology, and semitic languages at St Thomas College, Rabat. In 1914 he started lecturing in dogmatic theology at the Archbishop's Seminary. At his own request Callus was sent to teach at St Thomas College in Hawkesyard as part of the English province (1921-23). In 1923 he successfully completed his examination ad gradum magisterii in Rome. For the next two years he lectured and acted as lector primazius (Regens) in the Dominican Studium at Viterbo; in 1924 he graduated Master of Theology (S.Th.M).

In 1924 Callus was appointed professor of sacred scripture and Hebrew at the UM. Between 1926 and 1931 he lectured in sacred scripture and acted as lector piimarius at St Thomas College, Rabat where he was also later appointed regent of studies. From 1931 onwards, Callus continued his academic work in the Dominican English province. He started research on the thirteenth-century Oxford schools and he soon achieved an international reputation, althoueb he had to put aside his much-beloved specialization in sacred scripture. in 1934 Callus joined Oxford University; with the help and under the supervision of the well-known scholar Maurice Powicke, he obtained a doctorate in philosophy in 1938. In 1943 he was appointed lecturer at Oxford University and in 1953 he was given the degree of Magister A&um and was also appointed member of the congregation and member of the faculty of modem history. In 1942 he was granted the title of professor emeritus by the RUM, which also granted him the title of Doctor of Literature (Honon's Causa) in 1963.

Callus retained his connections with Blackfriars College in Oxford, where he was elected as regent of studies (1942-52). Still Callus found time to lecture and to guide students in their research at Oxford University. He also gave a great number of lectures and attended numerous congresses and conferences in the USA, Canada, and many European countries. Callus achieved an international reputation as a scholar of medieval philosophy.

Because of his lecturing and conference commitments, Callus could not dedicate enough time to writing and publishing books that would have crowned his brilliant career. His scholarly writings in academic journals and his communications in various congresses that were published in proceedings of the same congresses could form the basis of very serious studies that would lead to a fuller appreciation of this outstanding scholar.

Mark Montebello's Daniel Callus Historian and Philosopher (I 994) gives a brief account of Callus's life and career and also reprints two of his papers.

Source: Maltese Biographies of the Twentieth Century (1997), editors Michael J. Schiavone and Louis J. Scerri

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