ThomasST1-1 - St Thomas Aquinas Summa theologiae Part One...

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St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae Part One Prologue Since a teacher of catholic truth should instruct not only the advanced but beginners as well - as St. Paul says, "Like babes in Christ I fed you milk and not meat" (I Cor. 3:1) - our intention in this work is to convey the content of the Christian religion in a way fit for the training of beginners. We have seen that novices in this study are greatly hindered by the various writings on the subject. They are hindered partly because of the multiplication of useless questions, articles and arguments in these writings; partly because the order in which essential material is delivered in these writings is determined, not by the nature of doctrine itself, but by the books on which the writings are commenting; and partly because frequent repetition has bred boredom and confusion in the minds of hearers. Eager to avoid these and other pitfalls we shall now attempt to examine the content of sacred doctrine briefly and clearly, so far as the material allows, trusting in God's aid. Question 1: Sacred doctrine, what it is and what it includes In order to contain our investigation within limits, we must first investigate sacred doctrine itself, asking what it is and how far it extends. Ten questions must be asked. 1. Whether it is necessary 2. Whether it is a science 3. Whether it is one or many 4. Whether it is speculative or practical 5. How it compares with other sciences 6. Whether it is wisdom 7. What is its subject 8. Whether it is argumentative 9. Whether it should use metaphorical or symbolic language 10. Whether the sacred scripture containing this doctrine is to be interpreted according to several senses. Article 1: Whether, besides philosophy, any further doctrine is required? Objection 1. It seems that, besides philosophical science, we have no need of any further knowledge. For man should not seek to know what is above reason: "Seek not the things that are too high for thee" (Sirach 3:22). But whatever is not above reason is fully treated of in philosophical science. Therefore any other knowledge besides philosophical science is superfluous. Objection 2. Further, knowledge can be concerned only with being, for nothing can be known, save what is true; and all that is, is true. But everything that is, is treated of in philosophical
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science--even God Himself; so that there is a part of philosophy called theology, or the divine science, as Aristotle has proved (Metaph. vi). Therefore, besides philosophical science, there is no need of any further knowledge. On the contrary , It is written (2 Tim. 3:16): "All Scripture, inspired of God is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice." Now Scripture, inspired of God, is no part of philosophical science, which has been built up by human reason. Therefore it is useful that besides philosophical science, there should be other knowledge, i.e. inspired of God. I answer that,
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ThomasST1-1 - St Thomas Aquinas Summa theologiae Part One...

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