Truth in Aquinas

By John Milbank; Catherine Pickstock | Go to book overview

2

Truth and vision

I

If truth, for Aquinas, as we have seen, is inherently theological, then is the theology involved, an affair of reason or of faith? Or is it first an affair of reason, and later an affair of faith?

In the most usual interpretations, Aquinas is seen as espousing a sharp distinction between reason and faith, and concomitantly between philosophy and theology. Furthermore, this distinction is viewed as both benign and beneficial: on the one hand, it safeguards the mystery and integrity of faith; on the other hand, it allows a space for modern secular autonomy, while discouraging the growth of political theocracy and hierocratic control of knowledge.

The present chapter will, however, argue that this dualistic reading of Aquinas is false. Dualism concerning reason and faith emerges not from Thomas, but rather from intellectual and practical tendencies within the late mediaeval and early modern periods (even if they were somewhat enabled already by the Gregorian reforms with their sharper divide of the lay from the clerical). Moreover, its consequence was not benign, but instead itself encouraged, with and not against early modernity, a theocratic and hierocratic authoritarianism.

For the more science and politics were confined to immanent and autonomous secular realms, then the more faith appealed to an arational positivity of authority invested with a right to rule, and sometimes to overrule, science and secular politics, whose claimed autonomy, being construable as pure only in formalistic terms, was by the very same token open to substantive breaching. Theocracy required the ‘other’ realm of the secular in order to have something over which to exert its sway: thus the most theocratic construals of papal authority emerged only in the later Middle Ages, as physicalist theories of the rights of a finite power legitimated by absolute power over lesser powers enjoying, intrinsically, only a limited sway. Quite shortly afterwards, similarly theocratic theories were deployed by absolute monarchs, and the resulting blend of theological voluntarism and physicalist theory of the rights of de facto power is not without echo in the later articulation of totalitarian philosophies. 1

-19-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Truth in Aquinas
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - Truth and Correspondence 1
  • 2 - Truth and Vision 19
  • 3 - Truth and Touch 60
  • 4 - Truth and Language 88
  • Bibliography 136
  • Index 141
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 144

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.