Abelard And Aquinas Essay

937 words - 4 pages

Peter Abelard was a renowned dialectician from 1079 to 1142. He subjected theological doctrines to logical analysis. In other words, he used rational argument to discover truth. Saint Thomas Aquinas, was a believer in the power of reason, giving St. Augustine's theory an alternate approach. He taught in Paris and Italy during the years 1225 to 1274. Both of these new age thinkers changed the way Catholic followers viewed the "natural world."

Peter Abelard was one of the new thinkers that applied scholasticism to his theological aspects. According to the excerpt "Scholastic thinkers assumed that some teachings of Christianity, which thy accepted as true by faith, could also be demonstrated to be true by reason" (238). Peter Abelard's famous literary work was Sic et Non (Yes or No). He collected a list of about 150 philosophical and theological questions. He then produced quotations from the Fathers [Church] on one side, and on the other side their contradictory statements. From this work he used rational argument to discover truth. He believed that through reason, man could gain a greater knowledge of God. His greatest achievement was dialect, he created a new method of logical analysis. "Although he never intended to challenge the Christian Faith, Abelard raised, with critical scrutiny, fears that the dialectical approach would undermine faith and foster heresy"(238). His goal was to simplify theological works to logical analysis. A Cistercian monk, later known as St. Bernard of Clairvaux, opposed Abelard's logical views. Because of St. Bernard, Abelard was forced to quit his teachings, shortly after he died in 1142. Ideally, Abelard wanted prospective thinkers to search for the underlying truth about Catholicism. He pointed out the foolishness of relying on the ago old writings.

Thomas Aquinas represents the pinnacle of scholasticism. His greatest work was

Summa Theologica. In this work he attempted to merge faith with reason, and the works of Aristotle with the scriptures. Historically, he is seen as an alternate approach to St. Augustine's view of the city of man versus the city of God. Augustine and Aquinas shared the belief that the original sin was Adam and Eve's venture through the garden of good and evil. On page 239, "Aquinas held that both faith and reason came from God, they were not in opposition to each other; properly understood, they supported each other.." He did not want people to shun the idea of reason, he wanted the world to see that it was not evil. Combining Christianity with Aristotelian knowledge, he shed light upon the difficulty to distinguish common ground between the natural world and the supernatural world. The excerpt is divided into two different sections, Whether, Besides the Philosophical Sciences, Any Further...

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