Thomas Aquinas

Saint Thomas Aquinas lived from 1225-1274

He was an Italian priest of the Catholic Church in the Dominican order, and an immensely influential philosopher. He was the foremost classical proponent of natural theology, and the father of the Thomistic school of philosophy and theology, which is named after him. His influence on Western thought is considerable, and much of modern philosophy was conceived as a reaction against, or as an agreement with his ideas, particularly in the areas of ethics, natural law and political theory.

Thomas is held in the Catholic Church to be the model teacher for those studying for the priesthood. The works for which he is best-known are the Summa Theologica and the Summa Contra Gentiles. One of the 33 Doctors of the Church, he is considered the Church’s greatest theologian and philosopher.

He studied at the University of Paris.

By profession, Thomas was a theologian rather than a philosopher. Indeed he nowhere characterizes himself as a philosopher, and the references to philosophers found in his own work refer to pagans rather than Christians. He was, nonetheless, a masterfully skilled philosopher. Much of his work bears upon philosophical topics, and in this sense may be characterized as philosophical. Thomas’s philosophical thought has exerted enormous influence on subsequent Christian theology, especially that of the Roman Catholic Church, extending to Western philosophy in general. Thomas stands as a vehicle and modifier of Aristotelianism, Augustinian Neoplatonism and Proclean Neoplatonism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Aquinas

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