St. Thomas Aquinas

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Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274) was an Italian friar in the Order of Preachers, also known as the Dominicans.  He was an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, which was a school of philosophy that employed a critical method of philosophical analysis that dominated teaching in medieval universities of Europe.  He was a prominent proponent of natural theology and is the father of a school of thought referred to as Thomism.  He is considered a Doctor of the Church and is known as the Doctor Angelicus, the Doctor Communis, and the Doctor Universalis.  His influence on Western thought is considerable, and much of modern philosophy is derived from his ideas, particularly in the areas of ethics, natural law, metaphysics, and political theory.

His best-known works are the Disputed Questions on Truth (1256–1259), the Summa contra Gentiles (1259–1265), and the unfinished but massively influential Summa Theologica (1265–1274). His commentaries on Scripture and on Aristotle also form an important part of his body of work.  The Catholic Church honors Thomas Aquinas as a saint and regards him as the model teacher for those studying for the priesthood.  He is considered one of the Catholic Church’s greatest theologians and philosophers.


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