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Princeton's WordNet

  1. Aquinas, Thomas Aquinas, Saint Thomas, St. Thomas, Saint Thomas Aquinas, St. Thomas Aquinas(noun)

    (Roman Catholic Church) Italian theologian and Doctor of the Church who is remembered for his attempt to reconcile faith and reason in a comprehensive theology; presented philosophical proofs of the existence of God (1225-1274)


  1. Thomas Aquinas

    Thomas Aquinas, O.P., also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, within which he is also known as the "Doctor Angelicus", "Doctor Communis", and "Doctor Universalis". He is frequently referred to as Tomas because "Aquinas" is the demonym of Aquino, his home town, rather than a surname. He was the foremost classical proponent of natural theology, and the father of Thomism. His influence on Western thought is considerable, and much of modern philosophy was conceived in development or refutation of his ideas, particularly in the areas of ethics, natural law, metaphysics, and political theory. The works for which he is best known are the Summa Theologica and the Summa contra Gentiles. Thomas is held in the Catholic Church to be the model teacher for those studying for the priesthood, and indeed the highest expression of both natural reason and speculative theology. The study of his works, according to papal and magisterial documents, is a core of the required program of study for those seeking ordination as priests or deacons, as well as for those in religious formation and for other students of the sacred disciplines. One of the 35 Doctors of the Church, he is considered the Church's greatest theologian and philosopher. Pope Benedict XV declared: "This Order ... acquired new luster when the Church declared the teaching of Thomas to be her own and that Doctor, honored with the special praises of the Pontiffs, the master and patron of Catholic schools."

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