Die religieuse rigting van die denke van Thomas van Aquino (1224/5-1274) en die betekenis daarvan tot vandag
This investigation of the philosophy of the famous Catholic thinker, Thomas Aquinas, is part of a wider research programme of the author. The project intends to trace historically the influence of Aquinas on subsequent thinkers during following centuries, focussing on Reformed Orthodoxy or Scholasticism between 1550 and 1700, but also afterwards. Previous articles already investigated the main philosophical lines from Thomas (via Suarez and Zabarella) to Beza, the Synod and Canons of Dordt (1618-1619) up to the Synopsis Purioris Theologiae (1625). The line of scholastic thinking can, however, also be further followed to the founders of a Reformational philosophy, viz. Stoker, Dooyeweerd and Vollenhoven. (Only Vollenhoven later on completely distanced his thinking from scholastic influences.) Today again we witness a new revival in Reformed circles of this kind of ortho dox-scholastic theology and philosophy. Understanding the philosophy of Aquinas, can therefore be of great help in an appraisal of subsequent developments – not only in Catholic but also Reformed thinking up to the present day.
This one and the following four essays focus on the Summa Contra Gentiles, regarded as Aquinas’ main philosophical work, offering a new interpretation. The suggestion is that his law-idea should be viewed as the central motive behind his whole philosophicaltheological system. But before one discusses his ontology of law, it is necessary to explain the religious direction of his thinking – the main topic of this introductory essay.
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