The Neo-Thomists

The Neo-Thomists

The Neo-Thomists

The Neo-Thomists

Synopsis

This work provides an introduction to the full-range of Neo-Thomist writings, and should be of interest to students of 19th- and 20th-century theology and philosophy.

Excerpt

St. Anselm of Canterbury once described himself as someone with faith seeking understanding. In other words addressed to God he says "I long to understand in some degree thy truth, which my heart believes and loves. For I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand."

And this is what Christians have always inevitably said, either explicitly or implicitly. Christianity rests on faith, but it also has content. It teaches and proclaims a distinctive and challenging view of reality. It naturally encourages reflection. It is something to think about; something about which one might even have second thoughts.

But what have the greatest Christian thinkers said? And is it worth saying? Does it engage with modern problems? Does it provide us with a vision to live by? Does it make sense? Can it be preached? Is it believable? ...

In 1277 the Bishop of Paris (Stephen Tempier) condemned a number of propositions thought to be derived from the writings of Thomas Aquinas. The bishop's condemnation was ratified by the Pope of the day (John XXI) and by the Archbishop of Canterbury (Robert Kilwardby O.P.). But, as history has shown, Aquinas proved to be the most influential Christian theologian between St. Augustine and the twentieth century. In the SCM Dictionary of Christian Theology (London, 1983), he rates more references than anyone except Jesus of Nazareth.

Neo-Thomists are writers who stand within a tradition of thinking traceable (for various reasons) to that of Aquinas. Historians of ideas will disagree about the extent to which individual Neo-Thomists accurately interpret him.

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