99 Facts About Thomas Aquinas


Thomas Aquinas was a prominent proponent of natural theology and the father of a school of thought known as Thomism.


Thomas Aquinas argued that God is the source of the light of natural reason and the light of faith.


Thomas Aquinas has been described as "the most influential thinker of the medieval period" and "the greatest of the medieval philosopher-theologians".


Furthermore, Thomas Aquinas is distinguished for his eucharistic hymns, which form a part of the church's liturgy.


Thomas Aquinas was born to the most powerful branch of the family, and Landulf of Aquino was a man of means.


At the age of five Thomas Aquinas began his early education at Monte Cassino, but after the military conflict between the Emperor Frederick II and Pope Gregory IX spilled into the abbey in early 1239, Landulf and Theodora had Thomas Aquinas enrolled at the studium generale established by Frederick in Naples.


At the age of nineteen, Thomas Aquinas resolved to join this Dominican Order.


Thomas Aquinas was held prisoner for almost one year in the family castles at Monte San Giovanni and Roccasecca in an attempt to prevent him from assuming the Dominican habit and to push him into renouncing his new aspiration.


Thomas Aquinas passed this time of trial tutoring his sisters and communicating with members of the Dominican Order.


Family members became desperate to dissuade Thomas Aquinas, who remained determined to join the Dominicans.


Thomas Aquinas was sent first to Naples and then to Rome to meet Johannes von Wildeshausen, the Master General of the Dominican Order.


In 1245, Thomas Aquinas was sent to study at the Faculty of the Arts at the University of Paris, where he most likely met Dominican scholar Albertus Magnus, then the holder of the Chair of Theology at the College of St James in Paris.


Thomas Aquinas taught in Cologne as an apprentice professor, instructing students on the books of the Old Testament and writing Expositio super Isaiam ad litteram, Postilla super Ieremiam, and Postilla super Threnos.


Thomas Aquinas lectured on the Bible as an apprentice professor, and upon becoming a baccalaureus Sententiarum he devoted his final three years of study to commenting on Peter Lombard's Sentences.


In 1259, Thomas Aquinas completed his first regency at the studium generale and left Paris so that others in his order could gain this teaching experience.


In Orvieto, Thomas Aquinas completed his Summa contra Gentiles, wrote the Catena aurea, and produced works for Pope Urban IV such as the liturgy for the newly created feast of Corpus Christi and the Contra errores graecorum.


Some hymns that Thomas Aquinas wrote for the feast of Corpus Christi are still sung today, such as the Pange lingua, and Panis angelicus.


Tolomeo da Lucca, an associate and early biographer of Thomas Aquinas, tells us that at the Santa Sabina studium Thomas Aquinas taught the full range of philosophical subjects, both moral and natural.


Thomas Aquinas remained at the studium at Santa Sabina from 1265 until he was called back to Paris in 1268 for a second teaching regency.


In 1268, the Dominican Order assigned Thomas Aquinas to be regent master at the University of Paris for a second time, a position he held until the spring of 1272.


In reality, Thomas Aquinas was deeply disturbed by the spread of Averroism and was angered when he discovered Siger of Brabant teaching Averroistic interpretations of Aristotle to Parisian students.


In what appears to be an attempt to counteract the growing fear of Aristotelian thought, Thomas Aquinas conducted a series of disputations between 1270 and 1272: De virtutibus in communi, De virtutibus cardinalibus, and De spe.


In 1272, Thomas Aquinas took leave from the University of Paris when the Dominicans from his home province called upon him to establish a studium generale wherever he liked and staff it as he pleased.


Thomas Aquinas chose to establish the institution in Naples and moved there to take his post as regent master.


Thomas Aquinas took his time at Naples to work on the third part of the Summa while giving lectures on various religious topics.


Thomas Aquinas preached to the people of Naples every day in Lent, 1273.


Thomas Aquinas has been traditionally ascribed with the ability to levitate.


When Reginald begged him to get back to work, Thomas Aquinas replied: "Reginald, I cannot, because all that I have written seems like straw to me".


Thomas Aquinas was then quickly escorted to Monte Cassino to convalesce.


Dante asserts that Thomas Aquinas died by poisoning, on the order of Charles of Anjou; Villani cites this belief, and the Anonimo Fiorentino describes the crime and its motive.


At the Council of Trent, Thomas Aquinas had the honor of having his Summa Theologiae placed on the altar alongside the Bible and the Decretals.


Thomas Aquinas's philosophical thought has exerted enormous influence on subsequent Christian theology, especially that of the Catholic Church, extending to Western philosophy in general.


Thomas Aquinas asserts that Christians have a duty to distribute with provision to the poorest of society.


In Summa Contra Gentiles, Book 3, Chapter 146, which was written by Thomas Aquinas prior to writing the Summa Theologica, Thomas Aquinas was a vocal supporter of the death penalty.


Thomas Aquinas wrote several important commentaries on Aristotle's works, including On the Soul, On Interpretation, Nicomachean Ethics, Physics and Metaphysics.


Thomas Aquinas's work is associated with William of Moerbeke's translations of Aristotle from Greek into Latin.


Thomas Aquinas was aware that the Albigensians and the Waldensians challenged moral precepts concerning marriage and ownership of private property and that challenges could ultimately be resolved only by logical arguments based on self-evident norms.


Thomas Aquinas accordingly argued, in the Summa Theologiae, that just as the first principle of demonstration is the self-evident principle of noncontradiction, the first principle of action is the self-evident Bonum precept.


Thomas Aquinas defined the four cardinal virtues as prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude.


Thomas Aquinas describes the virtues as imperfect and perfect virtues.


Furthermore, in his Treatise on Law, Thomas Aquinas distinguished four kinds of law: eternal, natural, human, and divine.


Thomas Aquinas defined the dual inclination of the action of love: "towards the good which a man wishes to someone and towards that to which he wishes some good".


Thomas Aquinas greatly influenced Catholic understandings of mortal and venial sins.


Thomas Aquinas refers to animals as dumb and that the natural order has declared animals for man's use.


Thomas Aquinas denied that human beings have any duty of charity to animals because they are not persons.


Thomas Aquinas contributed to economic thought as an aspect of ethics and justice.


Thomas Aquinas dealt with the concept of a just price, normally its market price or a regulated price sufficient to cover seller costs of production.


Thomas Aquinas argued it was immoral for sellers to raise their prices simply because buyers were in pressing need for a product.


Thomas Aquinas sees man as a social being that lives in a community and interacts with its other members.


Thomas Aquinas made a distinction between a good man and a good citizen, which was important to the development of libertarian theory.


Thomas Aquinas thought that monarchy is the best form of government, because a monarch does not have to form compromises with other persons.


Thomas Aquinas said slavery was not the natural state of man.


Thomas Aquinas held that a slave is by nature equal to his master.


Thomas Aquinas maintains that a human is a single material substance.


Thomas Aquinas addressed most economic questions within the framework of justice, which he contended was the highest of the moral virtues.


Thomas Aquinas was careful to distinguish the just, or natural, price of a good from that price which manipulates another party.


Thomas Aquinas determines the just price from a number of things.


Thomas Aquinas argued, then, that the price should reflect the current value of a good according to its usefulness to man.


Thomas Aquinas wrote extensively on usury, that is, the lending of money with interest.


Thomas Aquinas viewed theology, or the sacred doctrine, as a science, the raw material data of which consists of written scripture and the tradition of the Catholic Church.


Thomas Aquinas blended Greek philosophy and Christian doctrine by suggesting that rational thinking and the study of nature, like revelation, were valid ways to understand truths pertaining to God.


The ultimate goals of theology, in Thomas Aquinas's mind, are to use reason to grasp the truth about God and to experience salvation through that truth.


Thomas Aquinas believed that truth is known through reason, rationality and faith.


However, Thomas Aquinas makes a distinction between "demonstrations" of sacred doctrines and the "persuasiveness" of those doctrines.


For example, Thomas Aquinas, argues that we would expect God to become incarnate, and we would expect a resurrected Christ to not stay on Earth.


Thomas Aquinas took the text of Exodus beyond the explanation of essential theology.


Thomas Aquinas bridged the gap of understanding between the being of essence and the being of existence.


The revealed essence of God is to exist, or in the words of Thomas Aquinas, I am the pure Act of Being.


Thomas Aquinas maintains that God creates, from nothing, that is Thomas Aquinas does not make use of any preexisting matter.


Thomas Aquinas reasoned that these species were generated through mutations in animal sperm, and argued that they were not unintended by nature; rather, such species were simply not intended for perpetual existence.


Thomas Aquinas laid these out in his historic work, Summa Theologica:.


Thomas Aquinas believed that the existence of God is self-evident in itself, but not to us.


Thomas Aquinas believed that the existence of God can be demonstrated.


Thomas Aquinas was receptive to and influenced by Avicenna's Proof of the Truthful.


Thomas Aquinas argued that God, while perfectly united, is perfectly described by Three Interrelated Persons.


Thomas Aquinas argued against several specific contemporary and historical theologians who held differing views about Christ.


Against Nestorius, who suggested that Son of God was merely conjoined to the man Christ, Thomas Aquinas argued that the fullness of God was an integral part of Christ's existence.


However, countering Apollinaris' views, Thomas Aquinas held that Christ had a truly human soul, as well.


Thomas Aquinas argued against Eutyches that this duality persisted after the Incarnation.


Thomas Aquinas stated that these two natures existed simultaneously yet distinguishably in one real human body, unlike the teachings of Manichaeus and Valentinus.


Thomas Aquinas identified the goal of human existence as union and eternal fellowship with God.


Thomas Aquinas stated that an individual's will must be ordered toward right things, such as charity, peace, and holiness.


Thomas Aquinas saw this orientation as the way to happiness.


Indeed, Thomas Aquinas ordered his treatment of the moral life around the idea of happiness.


Thomas Aquinas belonged to the Dominican Order who began as an order dedicated to the conversion of the Albigensians and other heterodox factions, at first by peaceful means; later the Albigensians were dealt with by means of the Albigensian Crusade.


Simple theft, forgery, fraud, and other such crimes were capital offenses; Thomas Aquinas's point seems to be that the gravity of this offense, which touches not only the material goods but the spiritual goods of others, is at least the same as forgery.


For Jews, Thomas Aquinas argues for toleration of both their persons and their religious rites.


The pope noted that the position of Thomas Aquinas had been more widely held among theologians and canon lawyers, than that of John Duns Scotus.


Thomas Aquinas was instrumental in developing a new doctrine that included the belief in the real power of witches.


Thomas Aquinas, following church doctrine, accepts that the soul continues to exist after the death of the body.


Thomas Aquinas says that the soul shares in the material and spiritual worlds, and so has some features of matter and other, immaterial, features.


Yet Thomas Aquinas believes the soul persists after the death and corruption of the body, and is capable of existence, separated from the body between the time of death and the resurrection of the flesh.


Thomas Aquinas believes in a different sort of dualism, one guided by Christian scripture.


Thomas Aquinas knows that human beings are essentially physical, but physicality has a spirit capable of returning to God after life.


Thomas Aquinas believes the human who prepared for the afterlife both morally and intellectually will be rewarded more greatly; however, all reward is through the grace of God.


Thomas Aquinas insists beatitude will be conferred according to merit, and will render the person better able to conceive the divine.


Thomas Aquinas accordingly believes punishment is directly related to earthly, living preparation and activity as well.


Thomas Aquinas is not engaged in an inquiry, the result of which it is impossible to know in advance.


The critical edition of Thomas Aquinas's works is the ongoing edition commissioned by Pope Leo XIII, the so-called Leonine Edition.