In Christian theology, the beatific vision is the ultimate direct self-communication of God to the individual person. A person possessing the beatific vision reaches, as a member of redeemed humanity in the communion of saints, perfect salvation in its entirety, i.e. heaven. The notion of vision stresses the intellectual component of salvation, though it encompasses the whole of human experience of joy, happiness coming from seeing God face to face and not imperfectly through faith.. It is related to the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox belief in theosis, the Wesleyan notion of Christian perfection, is seen in most – if not all – church denominations as the reward for Christians in the afterlife. In Christianity, the Bible teaches that God "dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see", but when God reveals Himself to us in heaven we will see Him face to face; this concept has been termed "the beatific vision of God" by theologians of the Catholic Church as well as various Protestant denominations, including the Lutheran Church and the Methodist Church.
Saint Cyprian wrote of the saved's seeing God in the Kingdom of Heaven. How great will your glory and happiness be, to be allowed to see God, to be honored with sharing the joy of salvation and eternal light with Christ your Lord and God... to delight in the joy of immortality in the Kingdom of Heaven with the righteous and God's friends! Monsignor Edward A. Pace in the Catholic Encyclopedia defined the Beatific Vision: The immediate knowledge of God which the angelic spirits and the souls of the just enjoy in Heaven, it is called "vision" to distinguish it from the mediate knowledge of God which the human mind may attain in the present life. And since in beholding God face to face the created intelligence finds perfect happiness, the vision is termed "beatific." Methodist co-founder Charles Wesley, in his 1747 hymn "Maker, in Whom We Live," described union with God through the Holy Spirit as "beatific sight": Spirit of Holiness, let all thy saints adore / thy sacred energy, bless thine heart-renewing power.
/ No angel tongues can tell thy love's ecstatic height, / the glorious joy unspeakable, the beatific sight. In Catholic theology, the intercession of saints is valid because those who have died in the Faith are with God in Heaven and enjoy the Beatific Vision, i.e. unmediated access to God's Presence in Paradise itself, seeing God. Thomas Aquinas defined the beatific vision as the human being's "final end" in which one attains to a perfect happiness. Thomas reasons that one is happy only when all one's desires are satisfied, to the degree that happiness could not increase and could not be lost. "Man is not happy, so long as something remains for him to desire and seek."STh I–II, q. 3, a. 8. But this kind of perfect happiness cannot be found in any physical pleasure, any amount of worldly power, any degree of temporal fame or honor, or indeed in any finite reality, it can only be found in something, infinite and perfect – and this is God. STh I–II, q. 2, a. 8. And since God is not a material thing but is pure spirit, we are united to God by knowing and loving him.
The most perfect union with God is the most perfect human happiness and the goal of the whole of the human life. But we cannot attain to this happiness by our own natural powers. STh I, q. 12, a. 4. Further, since every created image or likeness of God is finite, it would thus be infinitely less than God himself. STh I, q. 12, a. 2. The only perfect and infinite good, therefore, is God himself, why Aquinas argues that our perfect happiness and final end can only be the direct union with God himself and not with any created image of him; this union comes about by a kind of "seeing" the divine essence itself, a gift given to our intellects when God joins them directly to himself without any intermediary. And since in seeing this perfect vision of what God is, we grasp his perfect goodness, this act of "seeing" is at the same time a perfect act of loving God as the highest and infinite goodness. According to Aquinas, the Beatific Vision surpasses both reason. Rational knowledge does not satisfy humankind's innate desire to know God, since reason is concerned with sensible objects and thus can only infer its conclusions about God indirectly.
Summa Theologiae The Theological virtue of faith, too, is incomplete, since Aquinas thinks that it always implies some imperfection in the understanding. The believer does not wish to remain on the level of faith but to grasp directly the object of faith, God himself. Summa Contra Gentiles Thus only the fullness of the Beatific Vision satisfies this fundamental desire of the human soul to know God. Quoting St Paul, Aquinas notes "We see now in a glass darkly, but face to face"; the Beatific Vision is the final reward for those saints elect by God to partake in and "enjoy the same happiness wherewith God is happy, seeing Him in the way which He sees Himself" in the next life. Summa Contra Gentiles Pope John XXII caused a controversy involving the Beatific Vision, he said not as Pope but as a private theologian that the saved do not attain the Beatific Vision until Judgment Day, a view more consistent with soul sleep. The general understanding at the time was that the saved attained Heaven after being purified and before Judgment Day
Catholic theology is the understanding of Catholic doctrine or teachings, results from the studies of theologians. It is based on canonical scripture, sacred tradition, as interpreted authoritatively by the magisterium of the Catholic Church; this article serves as an introduction to various topics in Catholic theology, with links to where fuller coverage is found. Major teachings of the Catholic Church which were discussed in the early councils of the Church are summarized in various creeds the Nicene Creed and the Apostles' Creed. Since the 16th century the church has produced catechisms which summarize its teachings, most in 1992; the Catholic Church understands the living tradition of the church to contain the essentials of its doctrine on faith and morals and to be protected from error, at times through infallibly defined teaching. The Church believes in a Spirit-guided revelation in sacred scripture, developed in sacred tradition but out of the original deposit of faith; this developed deposit of faith is protected by the "magisterium" or College of Bishops at ecumenical councils overseen by the pope, beginning with the Council of Jerusalem.
The most recent was the Second Vatican Council. Formal Catholic worship is ordered by means of the liturgy, regulated by church authority; the celebration of the Eucharist, one of seven sacraments, is the center of Catholic worship. The Church exercises control over additional forms of personal prayer and devotion including the Rosary, Stations of the Cross, Eucharistic adoration, declaring that they should all somehow derive from the Eucharist and lead back to it; the Church community consists of the ordained clergy, the laity, those like monks and nuns living a consecrated life under their constitutions. According to the Catechism, Christ entrusted them to the Church; these are Baptism, the Eucharist, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony. The Catholic bishops at the Second Vatican Council, after centuries of celebration of the Mass in Latin, found it salutary to decree: Pastors of souls must therefore realize that, when the liturgy is celebrated, something more is required than the mere observation of the laws governing valid and licit celebration.
The Catholic Church teaches that "The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God. While man may turn away from God, God never stops calling man back to him; because man is created in the image and likeness of God, man can know with certainty of God's existence from his own human reason. But while "Man's faculties make him capable of coming to a knowledge of the existence of a personal God," in order "for man to be able to enter into real intimacy with him, God willed both to reveal himself to man, to give him the grace of being able to welcome this revelation in faith."In summary, the Church teaches that "Man is by nature and vocation a religious being. Coming from God, going toward God, man lives a human life only if he lives by his bond with God." The Church teaches that God revealed himself beginning in the Old Testament, completing this revelation by sending his son, Jesus Christ, to Earth as a man. This revelation started with Adam and Eve, was not broken off by their original sin.
God further revealed himself through covenants between Abraham. God delivered the law to Moses on Mount Sinai, spoke through the Old Testament prophets; the fullness of God's revelation was made manifest through the coming of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Creeds are concise doctrinal statements or confessions of religious beliefs, they began as baptismal formulas and were expanded during the Christological controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries to become statements of faith. The Apostles Creed was developed between the 9th centuries, it is the most popular creed used in worship by Western Christians. Its central doctrines are those of God the Creator; each of the doctrines found in this creed can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period. The creed was used as a summary of Christian doctrine for baptismal candidates in the churches of Rome; the Nicene Creed a response to Arianism, was formulated at the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople in 325 and 381 and ratified as the universal creed of Christendom by the Council of Ephesus in 431.
It sets out the main principles of Catholic Christian belief. This creed is recited at Sunday Masses and is the core statement of belief in many other Christian churches as well; the Chalcedonian Creed, developed at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, though not accepted by the Oriental Orthodox Churches, taught Christ "to be acknowledged in two natures, unchangeably, inseparably": one divine and one human, that both natures are perfect but are perfectly united into one person. The Athanasian Creed, received in the western Church as having the same status as the Nicene and Chalcedonian, says: "We worship one God in Trinity, Trinity in Unity. Christianity regards the Bible, a collection of canonical books in two parts (the Old Testament and th
Nature has two inter-related meanings in philosophy. On the one hand, it means the set of all things which are natural, or subject to the normal working of the laws of nature. On the other hand, it means the essential causes of individual things. How to understand the meaning and significance of nature has been a consistent theme of discussion within the history of Western Civilization, in the philosophical fields of metaphysics and epistemology, as well as in theology and science; the study of natural things and the regular laws which seem to govern them, as opposed to discussion about what it means to be natural, is the area of natural science. The word "nature" derives from Latin nātūra, a philosophical term derived from the verb for birth, used as a translation for the earlier Greek term phusis, derived from the verb for natural growth. In classical times, philosophical use of these words combined two related meanings which have in common that they refer to the way in which things happen by themselves, "naturally", without "interference" from human deliberation, divine intervention, or anything outside what is considered normal for the natural things being considered.
Understandings of nature depend on the age of the work where they appear. For example, Aristotle's explanation of natural properties differs from what is meant by natural properties in modern philosophical and scientific works, which can differ from other scientific and conventional usage; the Physics is Aristotle's principal work on nature. In Physics II.1, Aristotle defines a nature as "a source or cause of being moved and of being at rest in that to which it belongs primarily". In other words, a nature is the principle within a natural raw material, the source of tendencies to change or rest in a particular way unless stopped. For example, a rock would fall. Natural things stand in contrast to artifacts, which are formed by human artifice, not because of an innate tendency. In terms of Aristotle's theory of four causes, the word natural is applied both to the innate potential of matter cause and the forms which the matter tends to become naturally. According to Leo Strauss, the beginning of Western philosophy involved the "discovery or invention of nature" and the "pre-philosophical equivalent of nature" was supplied by "such notions as'custom' or'ways'".
In ancient Greek philosophy on the other hand, Nature or natures are ways that are "really universal" "in all times and places". What makes nature different is that it presupposes not only that not all customs and ways are equal, but that one can "find one's bearings in the cosmos" "on the basis of inquiry". To put this "discovery or invention" into the traditional terminology, what is "by nature" is contrasted to what is "by convention"; the concept of nature taken this far remains a strong tradition in modern western thinking. Science, according to Strauss' commentary of Western history is the contemplation of nature, while technology was or is an attempt to imitate it. Going further, the philosophical concept of nature or natures as a special type of causation - for example that the way particular humans are is caused by something called "human nature" is an essential step towards Aristotle's teaching concerning causation, which became standard in all Western philosophy until the arrival of modern science.
Whether it was intended or not, Aristotle's inquiries into this subject were long felt to have resolved the discussion about nature in favor of one solution. In this account, there are four different types of cause: The material cause is the "raw material" - the matter which undergoes change. One of the causes of a statue being what it is might be. All meanings of the word nature encompass this simple meaning; the efficient cause is the motion of another thing, which makes a thing change, for example a chisel hitting a rock causes a chip to break off. This is the way which the matter is forming into a form so that it become substance like what Aristotle said that a substance must have a form and matter in order to call it substance; this is the motion of changing a single being into two. This is the most obvious way in which cause and effect works, as in the descriptions of modern science, but according to Aristotle, this does not yet explain that of which the motion is, we must "apply ourselves to the question whether there is any other cause per se besides matter".
The formal cause is the form or idea which serves as a template towards which things develop - for example following an approach based upon Aristotle we could say that a child develops in a way determined by a thing called "human nature". Here, nature is a cause; the final cause is the aim towards. For example, a human aims at something perceived to be good, as Aristotle says in the opening lines of the Nicomachean Ethics; the formal and final cause are an essential part of Aristotle's "Metaphysics" - his attempt to go beyond nature and explain nature itself. In practice they imply a human-like consciousness involved in the causation of all things things which are not man-made. Nature itself is attributed with having aims; the artificial, like the conventional therefore, is within this branch of Western thought, traditionally contrasted with the natural. Technology was contrasted with science, and another essential aspect to this understanding of causation was the distinction between the accidental properties of a thing and the substance - another distinction which has lost favor in the modern era, after having long been accepted in medieval Europe.
Late Latin is the scholarly name for the written Latin of late antiquity. English dictionary definitions of Late Latin date this period from the 3rd to the 6th centuries AD, continuing into the 7th century in the Iberian Peninsula; this somewhat ambiguously defined version of Latin was used between the eras of Classical Latin and Medieval Latin. There is no scholarly consensus about when Classical Latin should end or Medieval Latin should begin. However, Late Latin is characterized by an identifiable style. Being a written language, Late Latin is not the same as Vulgar Latin; the latter served as ancestor of the Romance languages. Although Late Latin reflects an upsurge of the use of Vulgar Latin vocabulary and constructs, it remains classical in its overall features, depending on the author who uses it; some Late Latin writings are more literary and classical, but others are more inclined to the vernacular. Late Latin is not identical to Christian patristic Latin, used in the theological writings of the early Christian fathers.
While Christian writings used a subset of Late Latin, pagans wrote extensively in Late Latin in the early part of the period. Late Latin formed when mercenaries from non-Latin-speaking peoples on the borders of the empire were being subsumed and assimilated in large numbers, the rise of Christianity was introducing a heightened divisiveness in Roman society, creating a greater need for a standard language for communicating between different socioeconomic registers and separated regions of the sprawling empire. A new and more universal speech evolved from the main elements: Classical Latin, Christian Latin, which featured sermo humilis in which the people were to be addressed, all the various dialects of Vulgar Latin; the linguist Antoine Meillet wrote, "Without the exterior appearance of the language being much modified, Latin became in the course of the imperial epoch a new language", and, "Serving as some sort of lingua franca to a large empire, Latin tended to become simpler, to keep above all what it had of the ordinary".
Neither Late Latin nor Late Antiquity are modern concepts. A notice in Harper's New Monthly Magazine of the publication of Andrews' Freund's Lexicon of the Latin Language in 1850 mentions that the dictionary divides Latin into ante-classic, quite classic, Augustan, post-Augustan and post-classic or late Latin, which indicates the term was in professional use by English classicists in the early 19th century. Instances of English vernacular use of the term may be found from the 18th century; the term Late Antiquity meaning post-classical and pre-medieval had currency in English well before then. Wilhelm Sigismund Teuffel's first edition of History of Roman Literature defined an early period, the Golden Age, the Silver Age and goes on to define other ages first by dynasty and by century. In subsequent editions he subsumed all periods under three headings: the First Period, the Second Period and the Third Period, "the Imperial Age", subdivided into the Silver Age, the 2nd century, Centuries 3–6 together, a recognition of Late Latin, as he sometimes refers to the writings of those times as "late."
Imperial Latin went on into English literature. There are, insoluble problems with the beginning and end of Imperial Latin. Politically the excluded Augustan Period is the paradigm of imperiality, yet the style cannot be bundled with either the Silver Age or with Late Latin. Moreover, in 6th century Italy, the Roman Empire no longer existed. Subsequently the term Imperial Latin was dropped by historians of Latin literature, although it may be seen in marginal works; the Silver Age was extended the final four centuries represent Late Latin. Low Latin is a vague and pejorative term that might refer to any post-classical Latin from Late Latin through Renaissance Latin depending on the author, its origins are obscure but the Latin expression media et infima Latinitas sprang into public notice in 1678 in the title of a Glossary by Charles du Fresne, sieur du Cange. The multi-volume set had many expansions by other authors subsequently; the title varies somewhat. It has been translated by expressions of different meanings.
The uncertainty is understanding what media, "middle", infima, "low", mean in this context. The media is securely connected to Medieval Latin by Cange's own terminology expounded in the Praefatio, such as scriptores mediae aetatis, "writers of the middle age." Cange's Glossary takes words from authors ranging from the Christian period to the Renaissance, dipping into the classical period if a word originated there. Either media et infima Latinitas refers to one age, which must be the middle age covering the entire post-classical range, or it refers to two consecutive periods, infima Latinitas and media Latinitas. Both interpretations have their adherents. In the former case the infimae appears extraneous; the two-period case postulates a second unity of style, infima Latinitas, translated into English as "Low Latin". Cange in the glossarial part of his Glossary identifies some words as being used by purioris Latinitatis scriptores, such as Cicero, he has said in the Preface that he rejects the a
Thomism is the philosophical school that arose as a legacy of the work and thought of Thomas Aquinas, philosopher and Doctor of the Church. In philosophy, Aquinas' disputed questions and commentaries on Aristotle are his most well-known works. In theology, his Summa Theologica is one of the most influential documents in medieval theology and continues to be the central point of reference for the philosophy and theology of the Catholic Church. In the 1914 encyclical Doctoris Angelici Pope Pius X cautioned that the teachings of the Church cannot be understood without the basic philosophical underpinnings of Aquinas' major theses: The capital theses in the philosophy of St. Thomas are not to be placed in the category of opinions capable of being debated one way or another, but are to be considered as the foundations upon which the whole science of natural and divine things is based; the Second Vatican Council described Aquinas' system as the "Perennial Philosophy". Thomas Aquinas believed, his doctrines draw from Greek and Jewish, philosophers.
He was a realist. He followed Aristotelian terminology and metaphysics, wrote comprehensive commentaries on Aristotle affirming Aristotle's views with independent arguments. Aquinas respectfully referred to Aristotle as "the Philosopher", he adhered to some neoplatonic principles, for example that "it is true that there is first something, being and good, which we call God... everything can be called good and a being, inasmuch as it participates in it by way of a certain assimilation..." With the decree Postquam sanctissimus of 27 July 1914, Pope Pius X declared that 24 theses formulated by "teachers from various institutions... contain the principles and more important thoughts" of Aquinas. Principal contributors to the Church's official statement of the "24 Theses" of Thomism include Dominican philosopher and theologian Edouard Hugon of the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas and Jesuit philosopher theologian Guido Mattiussi of the Pontifical Gregorian University. Potency and Act divide being in such a way that whatever is, is either pure act, or of necessity it is composed of potency and act as primary and intrinsic principles.
Since act is perfection, it is not limited except through a potency which itself is a capacity for perfection. Hence in any order in which an act is pure act, it will only exist, in that order, as a unique and unlimited act, but whenever it is finite and manifold, it has entered into a true composition with potency. The one God and simple, alone subsists in absolute being. All other things that participate in being have a nature. A thing is called a being because of "esse". God and creature are not called beings univocally, nor wholly equivocally, but analogically, by an analogy both of attribution and of proportionality. In every creature there is a real composition of the subsisting subject and of added secondary forms, i.e. accidental forms. Such composition cannot be understood unless being is received in an essence distinct from it. Besides the absolute accidents there is the relative accident, relation. Although by reason of its own character relation does not signify anything inhering in another, it often has a cause in things, hence a real entity distinct from the subject.
A spiritual creature is wholly simple in its essence. Yet there is still a twofold composition in the spiritual creature, that of the essence with being, that of the substance with accidents. However, the corporeal creature is composed of act and potency in its essence; these act and potency in the order of essence are designated by the names form and matter respectively. Neither the matter nor the form have being of themselves, nor are they produced or corrupted of themselves, nor are they included in any category otherwise than reductively, as substantial principles. Although extension in quantitative parts follows upon a corporeal nature it is not the same for a body to be a substance and for it to be quantified. For of itself substance is indivisible, not indeed as a point is indivisible, but as that which falls outside the order of dimensions is indivisible, but quantity, which gives the substance extension differs from the substance and is an accident. The principle of individuation, i.e. of numerical distinction of one individual from another with the same specific nature, is matter designated by quantity.
Thus in pure spirits there cannot be more than one individual in the same specific nature. By virtue of a body's quantity itself, the body is circumscriptively in a place, in one place alone circumscriptively, no matter what power might be brought to bear. Bodies are divided into two groups. In the case of the living things, in order that there be in the same subject an moving part and an moved part, the substantial form, designated by the name soul, requires an organic disposition, i.e. heterogeneous parts. Souls in the vegetative and sensitive orders cannot subsist of themselves, nor are they produced of themselves. Rather, they are no more than principles whereb
Four cardinal virtues were recognized in the Bible, Old Testament, classical antiquity and in traditional Christian theology: Prudence, the ability to discern the appropriate course of action to be taken in a given situation at the appropriate time. Courage: termed fortitude, strength and the ability to confront fear and intimidation Temperance: known as restraint, the practice of self-control, abstention and moderation tempering the appetition. Sōphrosynē can be translated as sound-mindedness. Justice: considered as fairness, the most extensive and most important virtue. Cicero expanded on them, Ambrose, Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas adapted them while expanding on the theological virtues; the term cardinal comes from the Latin cardo. They relate to the Quadrivium; the four cardinal virtues appear as a group long before they are given this title. Plato identified the four cardinal virtues with the classes of the city described in The Republic, with the faculties of man. Plato narrates a discussion of the character of a good city.
“Clearly it will be wise, brave and just.” Temperance was common to all classes, but associated with the producing classes, the farmers and craftsmen, with the animal appetites, to whom no special virtue was assigned. Justice stands outside the class system and divisions of man, rules the proper relationship among the three of them. Plato sometimes lists holiness amongst the cardinal virtues, he associates holiness with justice, but leaves their precise relationship unexplained. In Aristotle's Rhetoric we read: “The forms of Virtue are justice, temperance, magnanimity, gentleness, wisdom.” The Roman philosopher and statesman Cicero, like Plato, limits the list to four virtues: “Virtue may be defined as a habit of mind in harmony with reason and the order of nature. It has four parts: wisdom, courage, temperance.” Cicero discusses these further in De Officiis. The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius discusses these in Book V:12 of Meditations and views them as the "goods" that a person should identify in one's own mind, as opposed to "wealth or things which conduce to luxury or prestige."The cardinal virtues are listed in the Bible.
The deuterocanonical book Wisdom of Solomon 8:7 reads, "She teaches temperance, prudence, justice, fortitude, which are such things as men can have nothing more profitable in life." They are found in the Biblical apocrypha. 4 Maccabees 1:18–19 relates: “Now the kinds of wisdom are right judgment, justice and self-control. Right judgment is supreme over all of these since by means of it reason rules over the emotions.” Catholic moral philosophy drew from all of these sources. Ambrose was the first to use the expression “cardinal virtues.” “And we know that there are four cardinal virtues temperance, prudence, fortitude.” Augustine of Hippo, discussing the morals of the church, described them: For these four virtues, I should have no hesitation in defining them: that temperance is love giving itself to that, loved. The "cardinal" virtues are not the same as the three theological virtues: Faith and Charity, named in 1 Corinthians 13, and now these three remain: faith and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Because of this reference, a group of seven attributes is sometimes listed by adding the four cardinal virtues and three theological virtues. Together, they comprise. While the first four date back to Greek philosophers and were applicable to all people seeking to live moral lives, the theological virtues appear to be specific to Christians as written by Paul in The New Testament. Efforts to relate the cardinal and theological virtues differ. Augustine sees faith as coming under justice. Beginning with a wry comment about the moral mischief of pagan deities, he writes: They have made Virtue a goddess, indeed, if it could be a goddess, had been preferable to many, and now, because it is not a goddess, but a gift of God, let it be obtained by prayer from Him, by whom alone it can be given, the whole crowd of false gods vanishes. For as much as they have thought proper to distribute virtue into four divisions – prudence, justice and temperance – and as each of
Aeterni Patris was an encyclical issued by Pope Leo XIII in August 1879. It was subtitled "On the Restoration of Christian Philosophy in Catholic Schools in the Spirit of the Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas"; the aim of the encyclical was to advance the revival of Scholastic philosophy. In August 1879, eighteen months into his pontificate, Pope Leo XIII, issued the encyclical letter Aeterni Patris; the aim of the encyclical was to aid and advance the restoration of Christian philosophy, which he felt had fallen into danger and disrepute by adhering to modern trends in secular philosophy, by urging a return to the scholastic thinkers of the Middle Ages, most the Angelic Doctor St. Thomas Aquinas, the related philosophical system of Thomism; the encyclical attempts to clarify the roles of faith and philosophy to be covered again in John Paul II's encyclical, Fides et Ratio, showing how most beneficially each may profit from the other. The purpose of Leo XIII was the revival of St. Thomas's philosophy and the continuing of his spirit of investigation, but not the adoption of every argument and opinion to be found in the works of the scholastics.
According to the encyclical, the philosophy most conformable and useful for the faith is that of St. Thomas; the vigorous reintroduction of St. Thomas into the Catholic philosophical teaching was perceived by many as a bold and unprecedented step by the new pope. Indeed, since the French Revolution, most pontiffs had preferred to condemn the errors in contemporary philosophy, not to recommend explicitly a return to the old; the encyclical, was no surprise to any acquainted with Cardinal Pecci, who had for years been spearheading a Thomistic renaissance in the schools in his diocese of Perugia, leading to such theologians and philosophers as Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, Etienne Gilson, Jacques Maritain. The content of the encyclical was influenced by Tommaso Maria Zigliara professor from 1870 to 1879 at the College of Saint Thomas, the future Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum. "Zigliara helped prepare the great encyclicals Aeterni Patris and Rerum novarum and opposed traditionalism and ontologism in favor of the moderate realism of Aquinas."Zigliara, a member of seven Roman congregations including the Congregation for Studies, was a co-founder of the Academia Romano di San Tommaso in 1870.
Zigliara's fame as a scholar at the forefront of the Thomist revival at the time of his rectorship of the College of St. Thomas after 1873 was widespread in Rome and elsewhere. Following the publication of this encyclical Pope Leo XIII created the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas on October 15, 1879, ordered the publication of the critical edition, the so-called "leonine edition", of the complete works of Aquinas, the doctor angelicus; the superintendence of the leonine edition was entrusted to Zigliara. Introduction 1; the opening paragraph begins with a reference to Christ’s command to His Apostles to set all men free by teaching the truth of the faith to all nations. Although philosophy can and has deceived men about important matters, it is capable of illuminating the other sciences; this is the aim of Aeterni Patris: to promote the kind of philosophy that “shall respond most fitly to the excellence of faith, at the same time consonant with the dignity of human science.” 2. The errors of philosophy have caused problems in private life.
Philosophy alone is insufficient to emerge from error or prevent further erroneous conclusions “concerning divine or human things.” The faith of the Christian religion preserves philosophic truth by bringing to men “the grace of the divine wisdom.” Neither reason nor philosophy is destroyed by faith. 3. Pointing to the Church Fathers, the encyclical shows how reason and science were used to call people to faith; the Relationship between Philosophy and Faith: How Philosophy Aids Faith 4. In the fourth paragraph, the encyclical begins to articulate the ways in which philosophy can aid and complement true faith. Reason is characterized as a “steppingstone” to Christian faith, in that philosophy, when used rightly, fortifies the road to faith and prepares the soul for fit reception of revelation. Reason is characterized as rather autonomous, in that the pagans demonstrated and proved conclusions, using only their natural reason, which supported certain truths regarding faith: the existence of God, his power and divinity, as well as the existence of a natural law.
A comparison is drawn between the way in which the Hebrews took with them Egyptian treasures to offer to the service of God, the way in which truths discovered by the philosophy of the pagans are to be turned to the use and purposes of revealed doctrine. 5. The great and noble fruits gathered from natural reason, as described in the fifth paragraph, include its ability to recognize “that the doctrine of the Gospel has from its beginning been made manifest by certain wonderful signs.” The spread and unity of the Church is another sign that reason can recognize. 6. The sixth paragraph draws attention to the fact that sacred theology requires philosophy in order to be a genuine science: in order to assume the nature and genius of a true science, theology requires the solid foundation of philosophy. Moreover, Philosophy complements theology in that true understanding and knowledge are better and more attained by those who join together philos