Brian Davies and Eleonore Stump

in The Oxford Handbook of Aquinas

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780195326093
Published online May 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks


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The book presents the contributions of Thomas Aquinas (1224/25–1274) as a theologist to society. The book covers his two most important works, Summa contra Gentiles (SCG) and Summa theologiae (ST) that presents the scope and philosophical character of medieval theology practiced by Aquinas. Several topics covered in those two large works are also investigated in more detail in the smaller works resulting from Aquinas's numerous academic disputations, which he conducted in his various academic posts. The book also explores Aquinas's most obvious philosophical connection with Aristotle. It also mentioned that Aquinas often adopts Aristotle's critical attitude toward theories associated with Plato, especially the account of ordinary substantial forms as separately existing entities. The book presents Aquinas as a paradigmatic Christian philosopher-theologian, who was fully aware of his intellectual debt to religious doctrine. He was convinced, however, that Christian thinkers should be ready to dispute rationally on any topic, especially theological issues, not only among themselves but also with non-Christians of all sorts. Aquinas differed from many of his thirteenth-century Christian colleagues in the breadth and depth of his respect for Islamic and Jewish philosopher-theologians, especially Avicenna and Maimonides. He saw them as valued coworkers in the vast project of philosophical theology, clarifying and supporting religious doctrine by philosophical analysis and argumentation.

Keywords: Thomas Aquinas; philosophical character; medieval theology; philosophical theology; Christian theology; Summa contra Gentiles

Article.  4147 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy

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