Aquinas saw the human being as a dynamic combination of the physical body and the divine soul, both functioning as one entity (R. Brennan, 1941). The soul, as it was understood in the middle ages, included the faculties of intelligence, memory, learning, and will—similar to today’s conception of the mind, but then thought to be the immaterial and immortal identity of the individual (Freeman, 2008). What Aquinas succeeded in doing was to affix a high value on human reason as an integral part of the divine soul, exalting rational thought such that it stood on a level of equality with the powers of religious faith in bringing the individual closer to earthly beauty, universal truth, and God. In this way, reason became as righteous as faith in the search for truth and goodness, and the immortal soul/mind as expressed through the body, did not act in conflict, but as a unified, harmonious whole (Butera, 2010). In other words, rational human beings co...
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... his teachings came under attack. The Scholastic movement, with Aquinas at the very crest of its wave, had begun its slow but inexorable process of undermining the near-total authority enjoyed by the church (Chesterton & Rogers, 1980). A papal backlash lead to the Condemnation of 1277, which included many parts of Aquinas’s doctrine, along with other philosophers with classical leanings. The damage done to Aquinas’s reputation appears to have been short-lived, however. The Dominicans prevailed, and Aquinas’s teachings became fixed in the universities, and spread quickly across Europe (J. Brennan, 2003). Thomas Aquinas eventually was given the title of Doctor of the Church, raising the status of his doctrine to the highest level recognized by the Catholic Church. In 1323, less than fifty years after his death, he was canonized as a saint (McInery & O’Callaghan, 2014).
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