Thomas Aquinas (1224-74) was born in Naples of a powerful Italian
family. He took part in the major philosophical and theological
controversies of his day and fought the decisive battle which
re-admitted the study of the works of Aristotle. In his work he
attempted to harmonise the rational insights of the classical world
with revealed Christian truths. [He reinterpreted the Augustinian
view of history and politics by concluding that the state did have
positive value in itself, as an expression of God's providence and
will for mankind. Man fulfilled himself in two ways - as a good
citizen and as a Christian seeking salvation. Aquinas is therefore
seen as reconciling the views of the pagan Aristotle with the
teachings of Christianity.] Aquinas' theory of the state helped to
put European political thought on a new plane. This wide-ranging
collection of papers investigates and illuminates various aspects
of Aquinas' thought regarding Church and State, society, natural
law, justice and political authority.
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