Sewe eeue neo-Thomistiese denke: ’n Uitdaging vir die wysgerige historiografie
In six preceding articles in this journal the author investigated the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas (1224/5-1274), the doctor angelicus of the Catholic Church. In reconnoitring what happened to his heritage during the following seven centuries, this and the following article will conclude the series. As has been the case with many philosophical traditions, Aquinas was, since his death, interpreted by neo-Thomistic scholars in a great variety of ways.
The introduction provides some information about Reformational thinkers’ interest in Catholic Thomistic philosophy and vice versa. Then the question is asked how one should deal with an inherited past tradition. Thirdly, a brief review of the revival of Thomistic thinking, especially since the papal encyclical Aeterni Patris, at the end of the nineteenth century, follows. The fourth section discusses the key issue, viz. which Thomas and who’s Thomism? The next part investigates two methodologies of portraying the history of neo-Thomism: according to different ontological types or conceptions in the interpretation of Aquinas, as well as a more chronologicalhistorical method. Since neither of them are regarded by the author as fully satisfactory, the essay is concluded with the prospect (in a last article in the series) of an improved philosophical historiographical method to describe and analyse neo-Thomistic thinking in philosophy and theology.
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