Saint Thomas Aquinas: main contributions and reflections

Saint Thomas Aquinas: main contributions and reflections

Saint Thomas Aquinas is one of the most important philosophers of the Middle Ages. Let’s see what his most important contributions were.

Saint Thomas Aquinas: main contributions and reflections

Last update: 23 October 2022

Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) was a Catholic theologian and philosopher. considered as the main representative scholastic tradition Medieval; a theological-philosophical current that advocates compatibility between reason and religious belief. Although he lived only forty-nine years, his written work is very extensive. It reflects a variety of themes, from metaphysical questions to political reflections.

The Catholic Church constantly reaffirms the importance of this philosopher’s work for understanding the teachings of Christian revelations. In fact, he was appointed Doctor of the Church by the said institution in 1957.

Next, we’ll see who this great thinker was and what his most relevant contributions were.

Short biography of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Saint Thomas Aquinas was born in Roccasecca, a fortress located between Rome and the city of Naples, in 1224 or 1225. He was the son of Count Landolfo and Countess Theodora, both of whom belonged to the Italian nobility.. Therefore, they hoped that Tomas would become an influential person.

At the age of 5-6, he was sent to Monte Cassino Convent as an Oblate to begin his liberal arts education. There he began learning grammar, morals, music and religion, in 1239 Emperor II. Until Frederick decides to expel the monks.

From here, The young man continued his studies at the University of Naples, where he came into contact with Aristotelian logic.. In 1924, at the age of 19, he began to join the newly created Congregation of Preachers or Dominicans.

This decision angered Thomas’ family, who had expected him to succeed his uncle as abbot of Monte Cassino. Despite his family’s objections, he eventually became Dominican.

In 1245 he went to the University of Paris, where he studied philosophy and theology From the hand of Great Albert. He was appointed professor in 1248. and for 3 years he led one of the Dominican chairs at the Faculty of Theology.

For the next 10 years, he taught in various parts of Italy. Until he was sent back to Paris to face the rising opposition to his figure and doctrine.

After his assignment in France, Thomas Aquinas returned to Naples. He died on the way to the Council of Lyon on March 7, 1274.at the Cistercian monastery in Fossanova due to a sudden illness.

The church establishment recognizes him as Doctor for his intellectual contributions to the understanding of faith.

Main contributions of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Saint Thomas of Aquino He has made significant contributions in various fields.especially in metaphysics, ethics and theology. Next, let’s see the most relevant.



Compatibility between faith and reason

In the Middle Ages there was a belief that faith and reason were two incompatible beings and therefore a relationship between the two was impossible. Again, Thomas Aquinas rejected this notion, which was widely accepted by religious people..

at work summa against non-Jews He argues that both faith and reason are the work of God. Therefore, there can be a perfect relationship and harmony between the two.

for him aquinasBoth the natural and supernatural worlds are the works of God. Both cannot be considered separate or contradictory as they come from the same creator.

In this sense, Although faith and reason are two different things, they do not contradict each other.. Science and truth can be obtained with both.

What is naturally innate in the mind is so true that it is impossible to think of its falsehood. And since it is approved by Allah, it is less halal to believe that what we have by faith is false.

~ Thomas Aquinas ~

Natural laws on ethics

Thomas Aquinas had one of the most advanced ethical systems. He covered topics such as axiology, passions, virtue theory, normative ethics, applied ethics, law, and grace.

Among the most prominent ethical contributions, we find the four types of law distinctions defined by the author as: “a prescription of reason for the common good proclaimed by the caretaker of society”. He divided them into:

  • divine law: all divine commandments that can only be known through revelation.
  • eternal law: It cannot be denied that the order established by Allah for the universe is provided.
  • human laws: rules approved by legal authorities “Let human courage be measured, innocence be preserved and restrained in the midst of the wicked”.
  • Law of nature: It is a set of fundamental moral principles rooted in human nature and known through reason.


proof of God’s existence

Another of Saint Thomas Aquinas’ greatest contributions is the logical proof of God’s existence through what is now known. five ways. This test starts from the analysis of concrete and lived experiences (effects) to know the first cause (God).

The evidence is so complete and systematic that it overshadows it. PlatoAristotle, Augustine of Hippo, or Anselm of Canterbury becomes the model for classical philosophy at this point.

The Christianization of Aristotelian work

Saint Thomas Aquinas He is regarded as one of the pioneers in the introduction of Aristotle’s philosophy into scholasticism. (the current that reconciles reason and faith). With this, he made philosophy and theology compatible disciplines that were considered contradictory for their time.

Thomas Aquinas, who tried to introduce these concepts in the field of Catholic faith, was always thought to be Aristotelian in his thoughts.

contributions to metaphysics

Saint Thomas Aquinas also reversed metaphysics based on the following ideas. Aristotle dealt with in this discipline. this aquinas He argued that there is an essence and an existence in the structure of every being.. In this case, he associated essence with Aristotelian power, as there is limitation; and being, perfection, with the verb.

The independence of being with respect to essence lies in the problem of the contingency of objects and of all metaphysics in general. He also contributed to this discipline by examining basic concepts such as existence, existence, existence, relationship, time and space.

A paradigm-shifting Catholic philosopher

Saint Thomas Aquinas was a scientist. Marked as a before and after in Catholic philosophy and theologyfor reconciling two entities (faith and reason) that were hitherto believed to be incompatible. As such, he is considered one of the most influential figures for the Catholic Church.

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