St. Thomas Aquinas: the Summa Theologica Essay Example

Good Essays
AP European History
May 14, 2011
St. Thomas Aquinas: The Summa Theologica

St. Thomas Aquinas’s “The Summa Theologica” is a document meant to summarize the difference between divine laws and human laws. This document explains whether these two types of laws are just or unjust. Aquinas demonstrates how laws are the reason for the common good which is made by those who care for their community, and how all the laws come from divine reasons which according to the document are understood by men. The first part of this document analyzes how laws are just or unjust depending on the impact they have on our conscience. Aquinas seems to represent the idea that just laws are in our minds because they are the laws of God and they are just depending on three things; the purpose they have, the authority of the law maker, and their form (Aquinas 1). The author makes it clear that laws are also just when their main purpose is the common good, when the person that makes the law doesn’t surpass his rights when making that law, and when a person and everything they own belongs to the community. Finally, there are laws that burden one set of people and do not burden the others equally and these are the just and legal laws that stay in our minds. The second part of this document explains how laws are unjust because they go against the human good. A ruler can sometimes impose laws that are not good for the society but only good to himself, and also he might try to go beyond his own power in order to make those laws. Aquinas mentions, “Or, a law in its own form may look toward the common good, but not impose burdens which have a due proportion to the positions of the subjects within the community” (Aquinas 2). This quote means that a law might seem like it has a good purpose but it has no burden and this affects the people in the community. According to St. Augustine a law that is not just is no law at all. As a result of this, these laws do not stay in your conscience,

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    The Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas Born in Italy, Thomas Aquinas was one of the most educated men of his time. Aquinas, whose family were noble, was educated as a monk and later continued his education at the University of Naples followed by the University of Paris where he studied the ancient Greek thought of Aristotle. Educated in both philosophy and theology,Aquinas is thought to be one of the most important philosophers of Catholicism. One ofAquinas’s most influential…

    • 703 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    summa Theologica

    • 740 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Summa Theologica: Structure, Scope, and Purpose → Summary The Summa Theologica is divided into three parts, and each of these three parts contains numerous subdivisions. Part 1 deals primarily with God and comprises discussions of 119 questions concerning the existence and nature of God, the Creation, angels, the work of the six days of Creation, the essence and nature of man, and divine government. Part 2 deals with man and includes discussions of 303 questions concerning the purpose of man,…

    • 740 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Summa Theologica

    • 403 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Summa Theologica – Thomas Aquinas Theology based on scripture Theology leaves people with the knowledge that leads to eternal happiness How reason, before faith, can know the existence of nature of God The existence of God can be established through the use of reason So far in this course we’ve seen platonic philosophy With Aquinas, we are seeing Aristotelian philosophy Avicenna d. 1037 Averroes d. 1198 Page 13 Whether existence of God is self-evident? NO. Self Evident: Predict is…

    • 403 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    St Thomas Aquinas

    • 905 Words
    • 4 Pages

    ST THOMAS AQUINAS Aquinas writes that ‘since the day of Aristotle, probably no one man has exercised such a powerful influence on the thinking world as did St Thomas Aquinas. He was born in 1225 in Italy of a noble family, thus separated by 900 years to Aristotle. He received his first education at the Abbey of Monte Cassino, going on from there to the University of Naples. In 1243, he joined the Dominican monastic order at Cologin. His most influential teacher was another Dominican, Albertus…

    • 905 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    St. Thomas Aquinas

    • 740 Words
    • 3 Pages

    St. Thomas Aquinas The Five Ways of the Summa Theologica was written by St. Thomas Aquinas. In this writing Aquinas argues against two objections of the existence of a God and provides five arguments in which he believes to solidify the idea that God does exist, further disproving these objections. Aquinas’s first argument for the existence of God is that of motion. To Aquinas, everything is in motion and motion must start from somewhere. He explains that nothing can be moved without something…

    • 740 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    St. Thomas Aquinas

    • 885 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Owen Zimmermann 11-20-11 Mrs.Donofree Rel. Pd. B St. Thomas Aquinas Saint Thomas Aquinas was a philosopher, theologian, Doctor of the Catholic Church, and is the patron saint of Catholic Universities, colleges, and schools. He was born in Rocca Secca, Italy, in 1225 and was born into a wealthy family. He even was related to the kings of Aragon, Castile, and France. His journey into Catholic beliefs seemed predestined, for he was told when he was a young child that he would become…

    • 885 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Omnipotence and St. Thomas Aquinas Omnipotence literally means the ability to do all things, or to have absolute power. This quality seems to be generally accepted as an intrinsic characteristic of the Judaeo-Christian god, as it says in Luke I. 37, "...there is nothing that God cannot do.". Certain objections can be raised to attributing this characteristic to god however, in-so-far as this characteristic seems to conflict with other accepted attributes of god. In The Summa Theologica St. Thomas Aquinas…

    • 446 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    St. Thomas Aquinas

    • 340 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Summary of St. Thomas Aquinas’ 5 Ways of Proving God’s Existence In the thirteenth century, St. Thomas Aquinas formulated the famous ‘Five Ways’ of proving God’s existence. These five ways were not regarded as proofs in a scientific way but rather it is a step, in the sense of believing God. The ‘Five Ways’ are: First, The Argument of Unmoved Mover. It states that whatever is in motion is moved by another thing; that thing is also moved by something. So, in order to prevent continuity, you…

    • 340 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Saint Thomas Aquinas studied at the University of Paris in 1252 to work towards earning his theology degree. 1 Thomas obtained his license to teach theology at the university in 1256. 2 He started on his masterpiece in 1265 called Summa Theologica.3 He didn’t complete it because he died on March 7, 1274 but in its two million words; the Summa Theologica contains more than five hundred questions, twenty-six hundred articles, and ten thousand objections and replies.4 In this work, he carefully reasoned…

    • 1279 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Thomas Aquinas was born in 1224 and died in 1274. He wrote The Summa Theologica, in which he creates a huge system integrating Greek philosophy with the Christian faith. It consists of three parts; God, “he gives five proofs for God's existence as well as an explication of His attributes”1, ethics, “connection between the virtuous man and God by explaining how the virtuous act is one towards the blessedness of the Beatific Vision (beata visio)”2 and Christ, “Christ not only offers salvation, but…

    • 1319 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays