• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What does St. Thomas Aquinas consider to be the nature and methodology of the study of Theology (Sacra Doctrina)? Discuss the relevance of his views in relation to the teaching of Vatican 1 on revelation and faith, and to modern theology.

Extracts from this document...


BA Divinity First Year 2002-2003. Neil Lincoln. Module: Theology. 25 October 2002. What does St. Thomas Aquinas consider to be the nature and methodology of the study of Theology (Sacra Doctrina)? Discuss the relevance of his views in relation to the teaching of Vatican 1 on revelation and faith, and to modern theology. Introduction. Theology is a study of Holy Teaching (Sacra Doctrina) As explained in The New Dictionary of Theology the word theology, a word from the Greek language, Theos meaning 'God', and logos, 'meaning' ('word, reason, discourse). There the simple definition ends. During the various periods it has been expressed and understood with differing views. "The pagans saw it as mythological explanation of the ultimate mysteries of the world for instance. It was, 'not until Abelard in the twelfth century will the word be used explicitly in our sense of signifying an intellectual discipline, i.e. an ordered body of knowledge about God." (Redford, 2002.P.19). Thomas Aquinas saw the role of the theologian as exploring the meaning of what God conveyed through scripture. The Word of God. "We who listen to the theologian, recognise Christ in their words" (Redford, 2002. Pp.1-4). His view is that all things come from God. He would submit that there are two forms when considering theology. Its source and object. Its source "We know by natural reason." Neuner- Dupuis, 2001, P47-113. it exists, we see the shape and colour. The second "is by divine faith; in its object. Neuner-Dupuis, 2001.P47-113. The divine faith is what is hidden in God, and so can only be revealed by God. "Gods mind does not come from existence of things as they get their existence from Him. Selman, 1994. Pp.5-1.) "We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery" (Dullis.1992. P47-113.) My view, as a novice, to theology is that since Adam and Eve, we have been 'doing theology." It would appear to me that as revelation requires a response to have worth it has to be 'two way' communication, He reveals. ...read more.


(Redford, 2000 P.25) "For St Thomas theology is properly wisdom since things get their order from the end they are for, the wise person will consider the end of things, and this will lead to considering the end of things, of the universe." (Selman, 1994. P.33). Wisdom is a requirement or compliments science it is necessary to use the knowledge we have or gain to the good. To have wisdom is one thing to use it wisely is another. Thomas states that divine science does indeed deal with individual facts to give guidance on moral and other issues. How could it not? 'To achieve the object of defining those whom divine revelation was handed down to us.' Also to discover the detail of. As covered previously to look into the writings of scripture and how they were written. "There is a wisdom, you see residing in humanity, the breath of God conferring intelligence. Great age does not give wisdom nor seniority fair judgement. (Jb 32:8-9.) "I shall utter words of wisdom from the heart; my lips will speak with all sincerity" (Jb 33:3.) "Thus, for Aquinas, in one sense, sacra doctrina is even more Wisdom than it is a science." (Redford, 2002. P.43). Thomas speaks of wisdom as being a gift of God in article six. In article one he would imply that learning is wisdom or that Philosophy is 'love of wisdom'. In whatever way that philosophical sciences depend on human reason. The gift of God becomes the theme in article six. He puts forward the view 'Hierotheus is taught not by mere learning, but by experience of divine things'. Having said this he also explains in article one 'such truths could be known by Philosophy; but they now come under the study of theology or sacred doctrine also, precisely because God has revealed them'. (I.q.1, a.6.) If scripture is revelation to us it has to be correctly interpreted by us. ...read more.


Thomas would appear initially from this school of thought but he adds to it the human historical element. God is not in particular time He is time therefore, He communicates or reveals with those of a particular historical situation. God then can enter humanity at any time to any group. The way Thomas argues clarifies thought through what has been revealed by God in history for them to act on in the present and the future whilst considering the past. The present view of the church would seem to say that neither science or religion should consider itself better than the other. That in fact they should listen to the views of each for the good of each. This is not to say that in any way that they loose their identity or integrity on the road to discovery. They must leave themselves open to the insights of others in openness to enhance their own perspective. This is in my opinion in effect what Thomas did in the extracts from the Summa. His considerations always look at the alternate view. They are expressed openly in his method for conclusion. Is there a right or wrong view to theology? My view is that there is in as much that we 'take a view'. There is not in as much as we have not concluded on the subject and as God is infinite probably never will. So it can only be the methodology that we take a view on. At this stage and with very limited knowledge I would lean towards Thomas. Why? Because he uses and explains his views in a supported way of explanation. That is not to say that by any means his writings are infallible it is that I cannot dispute by fact or faith with him. With time and exploration this currant view of mine may change or not as my understanding and knowledge evolves. Maybe this is what 'doing theology' is all about. As Thomas explains I am receiving baby food, I am not on solids yet. Word Total. 4473. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Existence of God section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Existence of God essays

  1. Blake: Milton was of the devils party without knowing it, Discuss.

    Also, the epic similes used to describe Satan are very powerful, showing he has the size and power of a "Leviathan"; and describing him as "a tower" who can create a "dim eclipse". God is presented as a "tyrant" who only wants servants and has acted out of some wicked spite towards the angels.

  2. What is Revelation?

    Although most people believe that the book of Revelation is a book about the end of the world, it is also believed that it is not prophesising the end of the world but it is a polemic against the Roman Empire.

  1. Holocaust Theology

    Emil believes that God was present in the concentration camps. We cannot understand why he didn't do anything and wheat he was doing but God was there. "God command the Jewish people form the Concentrator camps" Erin believes that the Jewish people died and are now with god.

  2. The Nature of God Religious Studies Coursework. I am going to explain, discuss and ...

    It is possible to show whether such a belief is true of false but it is not possible to show that beliefs about God are true or false for the simple reason that they are not telling us anything about the world.

  1. What do Christians believe about human responsibility for the created universe and their stewardship ...

    In conclusion, there are numerous ways in which you and I can be stewards and fulfill all that God expects of us. However, we must have the right mind-set and attitude for it, otherwise it will mean nothing. There is nothing worse than an un-willing giver.

  2. Grendel is an interesting novel that addresses many different philosophical questions, such as problems ...

    Then they attack him because they got alarmed by the noises he made. Throughout everything Grendel has become a very bitter and heartless individual. He begins to see the world in such a negative way. He becomes an existentialist, thinking that there's no real meaning to life.

  1. Compare the respective approaches of rationalism and empiricism towards a theory of knowledge ...

    "I have a body", "Black is not white" ii) Demonstrative We put simple ideas together to form complex ones, to demonstrate something, e.g. "heat of sun is like heat from a fire". iii) Sensitive This form of knowledge is the most uncertain, as it relies on the senses, e.g.

  2. R.E. Medical issues

    to create 'designer' babies is seen as unacceptable by many religious people, because it is believed that God has designed us all with our

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work