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Thomism As Philosophy

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Chapter Summary

The future of Thomism as a philosophy requires a careful rethinking of what is meant by Christian Philosophy. This chapter shows how the discussion of creation by students of Saint Thomas led many to undertake the Pickwickian effort of separating Thomas from his sources, especially from Aristotle, and that this, in conjunction with interpretations of the meaning of ‘Christian philosophy,’ has had the effect of calling into question whether Thomism is a philosophy at all. The study of St. Thomas Aquinas was given a quantum boost in 1879 when Pope Leo XIII issued his encyclical Aeterni Patris. In the wake of Aeterni Patris new schools were formed, old curricula revised, journals founded, associations formed, and interpretations of Thomas written in abundance. This chapter reviews the main phases of the Revival and indicates the work that it thinks lies ahead for students of Thomas Aquinas.

Keywords: Aeterni Patris; Christian philosophy; Pope Leo XIII; revival; St. Thomas Aquinas; Thomism



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