faith and reason

What was Thomas Aquinus’ position on faith and reason? I know he put them together very well.


I did a google search on this string - “thomas aquinas faith and reason”

Here is a site that has a short summary at the beginning.–00.htm

One great site is New Advent -
They have this entry under the subsite -

"(1) Faith and Reason

The principles of St. Thomas on the relations between faith and reason were solemnly proclaimed in the Vatican Council. The second, third, and fourth chapters of the Constitution “Dei Filius” read like pages taken from the works of the Angelic Doctor. First, reason alone is not sufficient to guide men: they need Revelation; we must carefully distinguish the truths known by reason from higher truths (mysteries) known by Revelation. Secondly, reason and Revelation, though distinct, are not opposed to each other. Thirdly, faith preserves reason from error; reason should do service in the cause of faith. Fourthly, this service is rendered in three ways:

•reason should prepare the minds of men to receive the Faith by proving the truths which faith presupposes (praeambula fidei);
•reason should explain and develop the truths of Faith and should propose them in scientific form;
•reason should defend the truths revealed by Almighty God."

ST. Thomas had a faith which sought understanding, a long and venerable Catholic Practice. He knew that Truth and Faith could never oppose each other as they have as their foundation the same thing Truth Himself.

On the Spiritual side the Dominican Idea of Contemplation involves both Study and Prayer.

On this view the Basic premise of St. Thomas’ thought was I love God, which moves me to want to know more about Him, which moves me to love Him more, which moves me to want to Know more about Him etc. etc.

or as Pope John Paul II put it in words which could have been uttered by St. Thomas himself

[quote=JPII]Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves

So does all reason come by revelation of faith?

I think you might be missing a few things on this one. Firstly we have been created as rational beings and as such have a natural ability to grasp the natural rational aspects of the cosmos without the direct help of Divine Revelation. The experimental sciences and Philosophy are the instruments which assist our rational minds to do this.

On top of this we have Divine Revelation, this contains truths we could not come to know by reason alone but yet have a rational dimension(that is we can understand and explain them) this the the subject and sourch of theology. As we cannot experimentally prove these revealed truths we take them on faith.

Both Natural science and Divine science have as their source God, they do not contradict each other and are complementary to our understanding of the world and its purpose.

Hope that helps

God bless

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