See also:Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Universalis, was of
See also:noble descent, and nearly allied to several of the royal houses of
See also:Europe . He was
See also:born in 1225 or 1227, at Roccasecca, the
See also:castle of his
See also:father Landulf, count of
See also:Aquino, in the territories of Naples . Having received his elementary
See also:education at the monastery of
See also:Monte Cassino, he studied for six years at the university of Naples, leaving it in his sixteenth
See also:year . While there he probably came under the influence of the
See also:Dominicans, who were doing their utmost to enlist within their ranks the ablest
See also:young scholars of the age, for in spite of the opposition of his
See also:family, which was overcome only by the intervention of
See also:Pope Innocent IV., he assumed the
See also:habit of St
See also:Dominic in his seventeenth year . His superiors, seeing his
See also:great aptitude for theological study, sent him to the Dominican school in Cologne, where Albertus
See also:Magnus was lecturing on philosophy and
See also:theology . In 1245 Albertus was called to
See also:Paris, and there Aquinas followed him, and remained with him for three years, at the end of which he graduated as
See also:bachelor of theology . In 1248 he returned to AQUINAS Cologne with Albertus, and was appointed second lecturer and magister studentium . This year may be taken as the beginning of his
See also:literary activity and public
See also:life . Before he
See also:left Paris he had thrown himself with ardour into the controversy raging between the university and the Friar-Preachers respecting the liberty of teaching, resisting both by speeches and
See also:pamphlets the authorities of the university; and when the dispute was referred to the pope, the youthful Aquinas was chosen to defend his
See also:order, which he did with such success as to overcome the arguments of Guillaume de St Amour, the
See also:champion of the university, and one of the most celebrated men of the
See also:day . In 1257, along with his friend
See also:Bonaventura, he was created doctor of theology, and began to give courses of lectures upon this subject in Paris, and also in Rome and other towns in Italy . From this
See also:time onwards his life was one of incessant toil; he was continually engaged in the active service of his order, was frequently travel-
See also:ling upon long and tedious journeys, and was constantly consulted on affairs of state by the reigning pontiff . In 1263 we find him at the
See also:chapter of the Dominican order held in
See also:London .
In 1268 he was lecturing now in Rome and now inBologna, all the while engaged in the public business of the
See also:church . In 1271 he was again in Paris, lecturing to the students, managing the affairs of the church and consulted by the
See also:Louis VIII., his kinsman, on affairs of state . In 1272 the commands of the chief of his order and the
See also:request of King
See also:Charles brought him back to the
See also:chair at Naples . All this time he was preaching every day, writing homilies, disputations, lectures, and finding time to
See also:work hard at his great work the Summa Theologiae . Such rewards as the church could bestow had been offered to him . He refused the archbishopric of Naples and the abbacy of Monte Cassino . In
See also:January 1274 he was summoned by Pope
See also:Gregory X. to attend the council convened at
See also:Lyons, to investigate and if possible settle the differences between the Greek and Latin churches . Though suffering from illness, he at once set out on the
See also:journey; finding his strength failing on the way, he was carried to the Cistercian monastery of Fossa Nuova, in the
See also:diocese of Terracina, where, after a lingering illness of seven
See also:weeks, he died on the 7th of
See also:March 1274,
See also:Dante (Purg. xx . 69) asserts that he was poisoned by order of Charles of
See also:Anjou .
See also:Villani (ix.218) quotes the belief, and the Anonimo Fiorentino describes the
See also:crime and its
See also:motive . But
See also:Muratori, reproducing the account given by one of
See also:Thomas's friends, gives no hint of foul
See also:play . Aquinas was canonized in 1323 by Pope
See also:John XXII., and in 1567
See also:Pius V. ranked the festival of St Thomas with those of the four great Latin fathers,
See also:Ambrose, Augustine,
See also:Jerome and Gregory .
No theologiansave Augustine has had an equal influence on the theological thought and language of the Western Church, a fact which was strongly emphasized by
See also:Leo XIII . (q.v.) in his Encyclical of
See also:August 4, 1879, which directed the
See also:clergy to take the teachings of Aquinas as the basis of their theological position . In 188o he was declared
See also:patron of all
See also:Roman Catholic educational establishments . In a monastery at Naples, near the
See also:cathedral of St
See also:Januarius, is still shown a
See also:cell in which he is said to have lived . The writings of Thomas are of great importance for philosophy as well as for theology, for by nature and education he is the spirit of
See also:scholasticism incarnate . The principles on which his
See also:system rested were these . He held that there were two
See also:sources of knowledge—the mysteries of Christian faith and the truths of human reason . The distinction between these two was made emphatic by Aquinas, who is at pains, especially in his
See also:treatise Contra Gentiles, to make it plain that each is a distinct fountain of knowledge, but that
See also:revelation is the more important of the two . Revelation is a source of knowledge, rather than the manifestation in the
See also:world of a divine life, and its chief characteristic is that it presents men with mysteries, which are to be believed even when they cannot be understood . Revelation is not Scripture alone, for Scripture taken by itself does not correspond exactly with his description; nor is it church tradition alone, for church tradition must so far
See also:rest on Scripture . Revelation is a divine source of knowledge, of which Scripture and church tradition arc the channels; and he who would rightly understand theology must familiarize himself with Scripture, the teachings of the fathers, and the decisions of
See also:councils, in such a way as to be able to make
See also:part of himself, as it were, those channels along which this divine knowledge flowed . Aquinas's conception of reason is in some way parallel with his conception of revelation .
Reason is in hisidea not the individual reason, but the fountain of natural truth, whose chief channels are the various systems of
See also:heathen philosophy, and more especially the thoughts of
See also:Plato and the methods of Aristotle . Reason and revelation are
See also:separate sources of knowledge; and man can put himself in possession of each, because he can bring himself into relation to the church on the one
See also:hand, and the system of philosophy, or more strictly Aristotle, on the other . The conception will be made clearer when it is remembered that Aquinas, taught by the mysterious author of the writings of the pseudo-Dionysius, who so marvellously influenced
See also:medieval writers, sometimes spoke of a natural revelation, or of reason as a source of truths in themselves mysterious, and was always accustomed to say that reason as well as revelation contained two kinds of know-ledge . The first kind
See also:lay quite beyond the power of man to receive it, the second was within man's reach . In reason, as in revelation, man can only attain to the
See also:lower kind of knowledge; there is a higher kind which we may not hope to reach . But while reason and revelation are two distinct sources of truths, the truths are not contradictory; for in the last resort they rest on one absolute truth—they come from the one source of knowledge,
See also:God, the Absolute One . Hence arises the compatibility of philosophy and theology which was the fundamental
See also:axiom of scholasticism, and the possibility of a Summa Theologiae, which is a Summa Philosophiae as well . All the many writings of Thomas are preparatory to his great work the Summa Theologiae, and show us the progress of his mind training for this his life work . In the Summa Catholicae Fidei contra Gentiles he shows how a Christian theology is the sum and
See also:crown of all science . This work is in its design apologetic, and is meant to bring within the range of Christian thought all that is of value in
See also:Mahommedan science . He carefully establishes the
See also:necessity of revelation as a source of knowledge, not merely because it
See also:aids us in comprehending in a somewhat better way the truths already furnished by reason, as some of the Arabian philosophers and
See also:Maimonides had acknowledged, but because it is the absolute source of our knowledge of the mysteries of the Christian faith; and then he
See also:lays down the relations to be observed between reason and revelation, between philosophy and theology . This work, Contra Gentiles, may be taken as an elaborate exposition of the method of Aquinas .
That method, however, implied a careful study and comprehension of the results which accrued to man from reason and revelation, and a thorough grasp of all that had been done by man in relation to those two sources of human knowledge; and so, in his preliminary writings, Thomas proceeds to
See also:master the two provinces . The results of revelation he found in the
See also:Holy Scriptures and in the writings of the fathers and the great theologians of the church; and his method was to proceed backwards . He began with
See also:Peter of
See also:Lombardy (who had reduced to theological order, in his famous
See also:book on the Sentences, the various authoritative statements of the church upon
See also:doctrine) in his In Quatuor Sententiarum P . Lombardi libros . Then came his deliverances upon undecided points in theology, in his XII . Quodlibeta Disputata, and his Quaestiones Disputatae . His
See also:Galena Aurea next appeared, which, under the
See also:form of a commentary on the Gospels, was really an exhaustive
See also:summary of the theological teaching of the greatest of the church fathers . This side of his preparation was finished by a close study of Scripture, the results of which are contained in his commentaries, In omnes Epistolas Divi Apostoli Expositio, his Super Isaiam et Jeremiam, and his In Psalmos . Turning now to the other side, we have evidence, not only from tradition but from his writings, that he was acquainted with Plato and the mystical Platonists; but he had the sagacity to perceive that Aristotle was the great representative of philosophy, and that his writings contained the best results and method which the natural reason had as yetattained to . Accordingly Aquinas prepared himself on this side by commentaries on Aristotle's De Inter pretatione, on his Posterior Analytics, on the
See also:Metaphysics, the Physics, the De Anima, and on Aristotle's other psychological and
See also:physical writings, each commentary having for its aim to lay hold of the material and grasp the method contained and employed in each treatise . Fortified by this exhaustive preparation, Aquinas began his Summa Theologiae, which he intended to be the sum of all known learning, arranged according to the best method, and subordinate to the dictates of the church . Practically it came to be the theological dicta of the church, explained according to the philosophy of Aristotle and his Arabian commentators .
The Summa is divided into three great parts, which shortly may be said to treat of God, Man and the God-Man . The first and the second parts are wholly the work of Aquinas, but of the third part only the first ninety quaestiones are his; the rest of it was finished in accordance with his designs . The first book, after a
See also:short introduction upon the nature of theology as understood by Aquinas, proceeds in 119 questions to discuss the nature; attributes and relations of God; and this is not done as in a
See also:modern work on theology, but the questions raised in the physics of Aristotle find a place alongside of the statements of Scripture, while all subjects in any way related to the central theme are brought into the discourse . The second part is divided into two, which are quoted as Prima Secundae and Secunda Secundae . This second part has often been described as ethic, but this is scarcely true . The subject is man, treated as Aristotle does, according to his T Xos, and so Aquinas discusses all the ethical, psychological and theological questions which arise; but any theological discussion upon man must be mainly ethical, and so a great proportion of the first part, and almost the whole of the second, has to do with ethical questions . In his ethical discussions (a full account of which is given under ETHICS) Aquinas distinguishes theological from natural virtues and vices; the theological virtues are faith, hope and charity; the natural,
See also:justice, prudence and the like . The theological virtues are founded on faith, in opposition to the natural, which are founded on reason; and as faith with Aquinas is always belief in a
See also:pro-position, not
See also:trust in a
See also:personal Saviour, conformably with his idea that revelation is a new knowledge rather than a new life, the relation of unbelief to virtue is very strictly and narrowly laid down and enforced . The third part of the Summa is also divided into two parts, but by accident rather than by design . Aquinas died ere he had finished his great work, and what has been added to
See also:complete the
See also:scheme is appended as a Supplementum Tertiae Partis . In this third part Aquinas discusses the
See also:office and work of Christ, and had begun to discuss the sacraments, when
See also:death put an end to his labours . The purely philosophical theories of Aquinas are explained in the article SCHOLASTICISM .
In connexion with the problem of universals, he held that the diversity of individuals depends on the quantitativedivision of
See also:matter (materia signata), and in this way he attracted the
See also:criticism of the Scotists, who pointed out that this very matter is individual and determinate, and, therefore, itself requires explanation . In general, Aquinas maintained in different senses the real existence of universals ante rem, in re and
See also:post rem . The best modern edition of the
See also:works of Aquinas is that prepared at the expense of Leo XIII . (Rome, 1882-1903) . The
See also:Migne published a very useful edition of the Summa Theologiae, in four 8vo vols., as an appendix to his Patrologiae Cursus Completus;
See also:editions, J . Rickaby (London, 1872), J . M .
See also:Ashley (London, 1888) . See Acta Sanct., vii . Martii; A . Touron, La
See also:Vie de St Thomas d'Aquin, avec un expose de sa doctrine et de ses ouvrages (Paris, 1737); Karl
See also:Werner, Der Heilige Thomas von Aquino (1858) ; and R . B .
See also:Vaughan, St Thomas of Aquin, his Life and Labours (London, 1872) : other lives by P . Cavanagh (London, 189o) ; E . Desmousseaux de Giure (Paris, 1888); M .
See also:Didot (
See also:Louvain, 1894) . For the philosophy of Aquinas, see
See also:Albert Stockl, Geschichte der Philosophie
See also:des Mittelalters, ii.; B . Haureau, De la philosophie scolastique, vol. ii.; J .
See also:Frohschammer, Die Philos. d . Th. von A . (
See also:Leipzig, 1889) ; K . Prantl, Geschichte d . Logik, vol. iii.; C . M .
Schneider, Natur, Vernunft, Gott (
See also:Regensburg, 1883), Das Wissen Gottes nach d . Lehre des Th. v . A . (4 vols . Regensburg, 1884-1886), Die socialistische Staatsidee beleuchtet durch Th. v . A . (Paderborn, 1894) ; A .
See also:Harnack, Hist. of
See also:Dogma (trans . Wm . Gilchrist, London, 1899) ;
See also:History of Philosophy, vol. i . See also H . C .
O'Neill, New Things and Old in St Thomas Aquinas (19o9), with biography . (T . M . L.; J . M .
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