In this chapter I propose to deal directly with some of the contested passages and argue that their meaning is not always what it seems to be at first sight: their textual and theoretical context, developments in Aquinas’s thought and the historical background offer clues for alternative readings.
I plan to address the more formal ecclesiastical proscriptions regarding mental abnormality.
Christianity has always had a difficult relationship with the concept of war. After all, it is impossible to follow Christ’s command to ‘love one’s neighbor’ on the battlefield.
In this article I shall therefore take a closer look at how people thought about the subject of memory and why memory was considered so important in the Middle Ages.
The medieval notions of goodness and hell seem to make God more a sadistic torturer than a caring parent.
Here we are faced with something that, for this writer at least, is something of an enigma. It does not appear that Aquinas approved of this practice. Nowhere does he defend it, although he explicitly defends putting heretics to death.
The identity of Petrus Hispanus is a matter of some controversy. Part of the problem is centred on the fact that ‘Hispanus’ covers the general region of the Iberian Peninsula, referred to in medieval times as ‘las Españas’ (the Spains), incorporating both present day Spain and Portgual.
Narratives of resistance: arguments against the mendicants in the works of Matthew Paris and William of Saint-Amour
The rise of the new mendicant orders, foremost the Franciscans and Dominicans, is one of the great success stories of thirteenth-century Europe. Combining apostolic poverty with sophisticated organization and university learning, they brought much needed improvements to pastoral care in the growing cities.
In the sessions of our section over the past decade, I introduced a significant distinction between two rabbinic attitudes in the Mediterranean countries during the Middle Ages of 12th and 13th centuries as to their view of Christianity.
The concept of chivalry, a traditional code of conduct idealised by the knightly class relating to times of both peace and war, dominated the medieval period and many of the scholars who contributed to the principle of jus in bello were in fact writing about chivalry.
He’s not the kind of thinker who wants to complicate things or show off his brilliance—he just wants to make sense of the world the best he can, within the limitations of the human mind.
For some 50 years now, I have been studying the texts of St. Thomas on cognition. Over the years periods of intensive study of the texts have alternated with periods of reflection without reference to concrete texts and long periods in which the topic lay fallow, because I was occupied with other concerns.
Aquinas’s First Way of arguing for the existence of God famously rests on the Aristotelian premise that “whatever is in motion is moved by another.” Let us call this the “principle of motion.” Newton’s First Law states that “every body continues in its state of rest or of uniform motion in a straight line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it.” Call this the “principle of inertia.
Here we discuss how some medieval scholars in the Western Europe viewed the form of the world and the problem of the Antipodes
Civic and Religious Understanding of the Mentally Ill, Incompetent, and Disabled of Medieval England
This brief summary covered the fourth paper given at KZOO’s Mental Health in Non-medical Terms. It covered ways in which theologians, like Thomas Aquinas, tried to categorize mental disability. Aquinas also tried to prove that the mentally impaired were able to receive sacraments depending their lucidity and where they fit in his four categories. It was an interesting and enjoyable paper.
This paper argues that, from about the eleventh century CE, a new and distinctive model of corruption accompanied the rediscovery and increased availability of a number of classical texts and ideals, particularly those of Cicero and the Roman Jurists.
Fools are legion. This self-evident truth, vouched for by Holy Scripture, is quoted more than twenty times by Thomas Aquinas: ‘stultorum infinitus est numerus’.
Let me begin my own discussion of Aquinas by saying that it seems to me that Cohen adequately proved that it was a mistake to view the sensible form as existing in the soul rather than the organ, and that Aquinas is not denying to the sensible form as received by the sensor a place in the physical world, or indeed physical existence, when he says it exists immaterially or spiritually.
Bernard McGinn explores Thomas’s reason for writing the Summa and its principles, structure, and originality.
Thus Gemistos was the first who in an authoritative way attacked the hegemony of Aristotle in western thought.
Qui coierit cum muliere in fluxu menstruo… interficientur ambo (Lev. 20:18) – The Biblical Prohibition of Sexual Relations with a Menstruant in the Eyes of Some Medieval Christian Theologians
What attitudes did medieval Christian theologians have towards the prohibition in Leviticus of sexual relations with a menstruating woman?
Carolingian thinker Johannes Scottus Eriugena (810-877 CE) is the author of numerous philosophical and theological works.
In his Summa theologiae, Thomas Aquinas presents a very detailed taxonomy of emotions which is influenced by some earlier medieval theories.