Saint Thomas Aquinas

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Importance of Scholastic Theology

A friend sent over a link to a book review written by the Dominican theologian, Thomas Joseph White, of a book I am currently reading titled, "Introduction to Scholastic Theology" by Ulrich G. Leinsle. Fr. White has some interesting thoughts on the book as well as some interesting thoughts on scholasticism in general. "...Scholastic thinking, however varied in its particulars, must surely play a central role in the future of Catholic theology."


"We are accustomed to thinking of Scholasticism as simply “another perspective,” a tradition to be placed alongside other modes of theology. This is a mistaken assumption about theological history. In a certain sense, the rich and varied tradition of Scholasticism plays a central, inevitable role in the trajectory of Christian faith in the West, for it was an inevitable upshot of the desire to take the truths of Christ seriously in a thoroughly intellectual way. Scholasticism expressed the great genius of Western Christianity: its willingness to confront problems internal to the faith and to place this ongoing quest for understanding in continual dialogue with other forms of knowledge. It sought (to paraphrase George Lindbeck) to “untie intellectual knots by intellectual means” and in so doing to see the whole of things in relation to God. In other words, Scholasticism, or more precisely Scholasticisms of various sorts, sought to discern and convey—within the unique light of Christ—the truth that was truly universal, truly “catholic.”...

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