A few sites and words on Thomas Aquinas

The Glory of St. Thomas Aquinas, detail. Paris...
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This week, we were studying Thomas Aquinas. Like everyone with access to the internet, I used it. Thought I might share a very interesting sight which I though summarized Thomas well,

In the orthodox view, Christianity does not have a monopoly on truth. While Christianity provides the only entirely correct account of the universe, Christianity’s perfect truth does not entail the total falsity of all other accounts, and though they are necessarily false insofar as they contradict Christianity, truth can be found in other religions and philosophies. For this reason, reconciliation with other systems has characterized the Church from its beginnings. Christianity’s engagement with non-Christian thought proceeds from the Christian belief that reason and faith are complementary, not oppositional. Thomas Aquinas’ synthesis of Aristotle and Christianity is a vital chapter in this engagement. His interaction with the philosophy of Aristotle demonstrates both the harmony of reason and faith and the oneness of truth, which are both central to the Christian intellectual tradition.

Dartmouth Apologia.

And this one:

Thomas Aquinas is often called the greatest philosopher and theologian of the late middle ages. While Augustine baptized Plato and wedded what is valuable in Platonism to Christianity, Aquinas can be thought to have done the same thing with Aristotle. Stylistically, this shows itself by Aquinas’s use of the term “the Philosopher”-for Aquinas the philosopher is Aristotle. Aquinas’s adaptations of Aristotle were considered bold and modern in the thirteenth century. Aristotelianism was gaining wide influence as the best scientific understanding then available of the world, but it seemed to many to be incompatible with Christianity. Aquinas was convinced that the on-going intellectual health of Christianity required engagement with the cutting edge of intellectual inquiry. (In this, he was indebted to Augustine.) Moreover, he was convinced that many truths about reality are available through the correct exercise of natural human reason. For Aquinas, Aristotle’s philosophy contained much that was correct.

Which you can read the rest here.

And, don’t forget Michael Barber‘s blog posts on the theologian as well…

I don’t like the platonic notions found in some Christian circles, but…. Aristotle…. It worked, you know, and I believe that Aquinas can provide Christians with the same reasonable discourse in our dealings with the modern individual today.

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One Reply to “A few sites and words on Thomas Aquinas”

  1. Well, Alistaire MacIntyre agrees with you. Aquinas certainly is important in the history of church doctrine. His engagement with cutting edge thought is a model to be emulated – which isn’t really done well today – by theologians. All the same, as a resource for real thought on Christian faith today . . . I’d have to say no.

    He’s a marvelous writer, achieving clarity when far too many theologians, even today, think that being abstruse is a sign of profundity. In that, he needs more disciples, too. All the same, the metaphysical structure he took over from Aristotle is simply unintelligible in the modern world, for good reason. Study him? Sure. As a historical figure, however, rather than a contemporary conversation partner.

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