Thomas Aquinas, born about 1225 in Roccasecca near Naples, died March 7, 1274 in Fossanova, was an Italian theologian and philosopher. Thomas Aquinas was canonized in 1323 and is revered as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. His memorial is celebrated on 28 January.
Thomas is titled Doctor Communis Ecclesiae, Doctor of the Church, and is regarded as the foremost of Catholic theologians, among other things, was given more specific name Doctor Angelicus. The theological and philosophical doctrine he came to form is known as Thomism. He is considered one of the foremost representatives of scholasticism.
Thomas Aquinas adapted Aristotle’s philosophical system to the Christian faith. Aristotle had argued that the universe was eternal, but that it had been put in motion by the first Mover, which does not concur with Christian dogmas, which require the creation (hence also a creator) and doom.
Thomas Aquinas has exerted an unparalleled influence over the West’s theology, especially the Roman Catholic, which has spread to the general philosophy in which he places himself at the forefront of Aristotelianism, as its interpreter, and scholasticism. Ayn Rand (himself an atheist) “maintains certain that Aristotle was the greatest [philosopher] and that Thomas Aquinas was the second greatest.” In philosophical terms, Summa Theologica is his most important and vibrant work, in which he presented his systematic theology.
Thomas believed that to know the truth man needs divine help, that the intellect may be brought by God in his Act. He said, however, that people have a natural ability to know many things without divine revelation, even though such revelation occurs sometimes, ” particularly with respect to [what concerns] faith.” Thomas was also an Aristotelian and an empiricist. He left a profound imprint in these two currents of western thought.
Thomas Aquinas believed natural revelation to be the truth available to all people as a result of their human nature; all people can achieve certain truths through the use of reason in a proper way. For example, he believed that human reason could assimilate sense-based evidence for the existence of God.
Although God’s nature and characteristics (person, entity, truth, goodness, power, knowledge) can be derived through reason, certain truths only be known through supernatural revelation (such as the Trinity). In Thomas theory the special revelation is comparable to the revelation of God in Jesus Christ. The overarching theological components of Christianity, such as the Trinity and the Incarnation, is revealed in the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings and the Bible, and may not be traced further.
Special revelation (faith) and natural revelation (reason) are complementary rather than contrary to each other, they converge on the same point: the truth.
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