Date of Award

Spring 1950

Document Type





In the realm of philosophy, or to be more exact, in the realm of Christian philosophy, St. Thomas Aquinas is undoubtedly the most notable figure. Born in Rocca Sicca, Italy in A.D. 1225, St. Thomas occupied himself at an early age with the question, Quid est Deus? This may be called a beginning of his theological and philosophical career. In 1274, after a religious and fruitful life, he die having synthesized most successfully the philosophical inquiries and doctrines of Aristotle with Christian teachings. St. Thomas defined the notion of moderate realism, a theory of universals, and showed the true relation between faith and reason. He perfected the Scholastic method as is most eminently exemplified in the monumental Summa Theologica.

During his career as professor, St. Thomas composed the treatises known as the Quaestiones Disputatae. This is a series of "Questions" explaining problems arising from the interpretation of Aristotle or of Peter, the Lombard. The series on the Power of God (De Potentia Dei, 1259-1263) consisting of eighty-three disputations, were written when St. Thomas was theological lecturer and adviser to the papal court at Rome. In general, the disputations on the Power of God are a classic example of St. Thomas' positive philosophical teaching by way of several objections, and an intervening exposition or discussion, and the replies to the objections. It is from this series of disputations that the first three questions, namely, On the Power of God, On God's Generating Power, and On Creation, are taken.

It is the hope of the writer, then, that this resume will enable the reader, especially the prospective student of philosophy, to see at a glance something of the Thomistic style and manner of presentation; that it will cause the reader to pause in thought upon the truths behind each article; that, finally, it will stimulate his interest and bring him to read and study the works of St. Thomas himself. Perhaps, by sampling St. Thomas in this way, sufficient interest will be fostered in many so that they will read his writings with attention and with at least some profit.