I. The Doctrine in General.
In a broad sense, Thomism is the name given to the
system which follows the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas
in philosophical and theological questions. In a
restricted sense the term is applied to a group of
opinions held by a school called Thomistic, composed
principally, but not exclusively, of members of the
Order of St. Dominic, these same opinions being
attacked by other philosophers or theologians, many of
whom profess to be followers of St. Thomas. To Thomism
in the first sense are opposed, e.g., the Scotists, who
deny that satisfaction is a part of the proximate
matter (materia proxima) of the Sacrament of Penance.
Anti-Thomists, in this sense of the word, reject
opinions admittedly taught by St. Thomas. To Thomism in
the second sense are opposed, e.g. the Molinists, as
well as all who defend the moral instrumental causality
of the sacraments in producing grace against the system
of physical instrumental causality, the latter being a
doctrine of the Thomistic School. Anti-Thomism in such
cases does not necessarily imply opposition to St.
Thomas: It means opposition to tenets of the Thomistic
School. Cardinal Billot, for instance, would not admit
that he opposed St. Thomas by rejecting the Thomistic
theory on the causality of the sacraments. In the
Thomistic School, also, we do not always find absolute
unanimity. Baflez and Billuart do not always agree with
Cajetan, though all belong to the Thomistic School. It
does not come within the scope of this article to
determine who have the best right to be considered the
true exponents of St. Thomas.
The subject may be treated under the following
headings: I. Thomism in general, from the thirteenth
century down to the nineteenth; II. The Thomistic
School; III. Neo-Thomism and the revival of
A. Thomism in General.
Early Opposition Overcome. Although St. Thomas (d.
1274) was highly esteemed by all classes, his opinions
did not at once gain the ascendancy and influence which
they acquired during the first half of the fourteenth
century and which they have since maintained. Strange
as it may appear, the first serious opposition came
from Paris, of which he was such an ornament, and from
some of his own monastic brethren. In the year 1277
Stephen Tempier, Bishop of Paris, censured certain
philosophical propositions, embodying doctrines taught
by St. Thomas, relating especially to the principle of
individuation and to the possibility of creating
several angels of the same species. In the same year
Robert Kilwardby, a Dominican, Archbishop of
Canterbury, in conjunction with some doctors of Oxford,
condemned those same propositions and moreover attacked
St. Thomas's doctrine of the unity of the substantial
form in man. Kilwardby and his associates pretended to
see in the condemned propositions something of
Averroistic Aristoteleanism, whilst the secular doctors
of Paris had not fully forgiven one who had triumphed
over them in the controversy as to the rights of the
mendicant friars. The storm excited by these
condemnations was of short duration. Blessed Albertus
Magnus, in his old age, hastened to Paris to defend his
beloved disciple. The Dominican Order, assembled in
general chapter at Milan in 1278 and at Paris in 1279,
adopted severe measures against the members who had
spoken injuriously of the venerable Brother Thomas.
When William de la Mare, O.S.F., wrote a "Correptorium
fratris Thom~", an English Dominican, Richard Clapwell
(or Clapole), replied in a treatise "Contra
corruptorium fratris Thomae". About the same time there
appeared a work, which was afterwards printed at Venice
(1516) under the title, "Correctorium corruptorii S.
Thomae", attributed by some to AEgidius Romanus, by
others to Clapwell, by others to Father John of Paris.
St. Thomas was solemnly vindicated when the Council of
Vienna (1311-12) defined, against Peter John Olivi,
that the rational soul is the substantial form of the
human body (on this definition see Zigliara, "De mente
Conc. Vicnn.", Rome, 1878). The canonization of St.
Thomas by John XXII, in 1323, was a death-blow to his
detractors. In 1324 Stephen de Bourret, Bishop of
Paris, revoked the censure pronounced by his
predecessor, declaring that "that blessed confessor and
excellent doctor, Thomas Aquinas, had never believed,
taught, or written anything contrary to the Faith or
good morals". It is doubtful whether Tempier and his
associates acted in the name of the University of
Paris, which had always been loyal to St. Thomas. When
this university, in 1378, wrote a letter condemning the
errors of John de Montesono, it was explicitly declared
that the condemnation was not aimed at St. Thomas: "We
have said a thousand times, and yet, it would seem, not
often enough, that we by no means include the doctrine
of St. Thomas in our condemnation." An account of these
attacks and defences will be found in the following
works: Echard, "Script. ord. prad.", I, 279 (Paris,
1719); De Rubeis, "Diss. crit.", Diss. xxv, xxvi, I, p.
cclxviii; Leonine edit. Works of St. Thomas; Denifle,
"Chart. univ. Paris" (Paris, 1890-91), I, 543, 558,
566; II, 6, 280; Duplessis d'Argentré, "Collectio
judiciorum de novis erroribus" (3 vols., Paris, 1733-
36), 1, 175 sqq.; Du Boulay, "Hist. univ. Par.", IV,
205, 436, 618, 622, 627; Jourdain, "La phil. de S.
Thomas d'Aquin" (Paris, 1858), II, i; Douais, "Essai
sur l'organization des études dans l'ordre des ff.
prêcheurs" (Paris and Toulouse, 1884), 87 sqq.;
Mortier, "Hist. des maîtres gén. de l'ordre des ff.
prêch.", II, 115142, 571; "Acta cap. gen. ord. praed.",
ed. Reichert (9 vols., Rome, 1893-1904, II; Turner,
"Hist. of Phil." (Boston, 1903), xxxix.
B. Progress of Thomism.
The general chapter of the Dominican Order, held at
Carcassonne in 1342, declared that the doctrine of St.
Thomas had been received as sound and solid throughout
the world (Douais, op. cit., 106). His works were
consulted from the time they became known, and by the
middle of the fourteenth century his "Summa Theologica"
had supplanted the "Libri quatuor sententiarum", of
Peter Lombard as the text-book of theology in the
Dominican schools. With the growth of the order and the
widening of its influence Thomism spread throughout the
world; St. Thomas became the great master in the
universities and in the studia of the religious orders
(see Encyc. "AEterni Patris" of Leo XIII). The
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries saw Thomism in a
triumphal march which led to the crowning of St. Thomas
as the Prince of Theologians, when his "Summa was laid
beside the Sacred Scriptures at the Council of Trent,
and St. Pius V, in 1567, proclaimed him a Doctor of the
Universal Church. The publication of the "Piana"
edition of his works, in 1570, and the multiplication
of editions of the "Opera omnia" and of the "Summa"
during the seventeenth century and part of the
eighteenth show that Thomism flourished during that
period. In fact it was during that period that some of
the great commentators (for example, Suárez, Sylvius,
and Billuart) adapted his works to the needs of the
C. Decline of Scholasticism and of Thomism.
Gradually, however, during the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries, there came a decline in the study
of the works of the great Scholastics. Scholars
believed that there was need of a new system of
studies, and, instead of building upon and around
Scholasticism, they drifted away from it. The chief
causes which brought about the change were
Protestantism, Humanism, the study of nature, and the
French Revolution. Positive theology was considered
more necessary in discussions with the Protestants than
Scholastic definitions and divisions. Elegance of
dietion was sought by the Humanists in the Greek and
Latin classics, rather than in the works of the
Scholastics, many of whom were far from being masters
of style. The discoveries of Copernicus (d. 1543),
Kepler (d. 1631), Galilei (d. 1642), and Newton (d.
1727) were not favourably received by the Scholastics.
The experimental sciences were in honour; the
Scholastics including St. Thomas, were neglected (cf.
Turner, op cit., 433). Finally, the French Revolution
disorganized all ecclesiastical studies, dealing to
Thomisn a blow from which it did not fully recover
until th last quarter of the nineteenth century. At the
tim when Billuart (d. 1757) published his "Summa Sancti
Thoma hodiernis academiarum moribus accomodata" Thomism
still held an important place in all theological
discussion. The tremendous upheaval which disturbed
Europe from 1798 to 1815 affected the Church as well as
the State. The University of Louvain, which had been
largely Thomistic, was compelled to close its doors,
and other important institutions of learning were
either closed or seriously hampered in their work. The
Dominican Order, which naturally had supplied the most
ardent Thomists, was crushed in France, Germany,
Switzerland, and Belgium. The province of Holland was
almost destroyed, whilst the provinces of Austria and
Italy were left to struggle for their very existence.
The University of Manila (1645) continued to teach the
doctrines of St. Thomas and in due time gave to the
world Cardinal Zephyrinus González, O.P., who
contributed in no small degree to the revival of
Thomism under Leo XIII.
D. Distinctive Doctrines of Thomism in General.
(1) In Philosophy.
(a) The angels and human souls are without matter, but
every material composite being (compositum) has two
parts, prime matter and substantial form. In a
composite being which has substantial unity and is not
merely an aggregate of distinct units, there can be but
one substantial form. The substantial form of man is
his soul (anima rationalis) to the exclusion of any
other soul and of any other substantial form. The
principle of individuation, for material composites, is
matter with its dimensions: without this there can be
no merely numerical multiplication: distinction in the
form makes specific distinction: hence there cannot be
two angels of the same species.
(b) The essences of things do not depend on the free
will of God, but on His intellect, and ultimately on
His essence, which is immutable. The natural law, being
derived from the eternal law, depends on the mind of
God, ultimately on the essence of God; hence it is
intrinsically immutable. Some actions are forbidden by
God because they are bad: they are not bad simply
because He forbids them [see Zigliara, "Sum. phil." (3
vols., Paris, 1889), ccx, xi, II, M. 23, 24, 25].
(c) The will moves the intellect quoad exercitium, i.e.
in its actual operation: the intellect moves the will
quoad specificationem, i.e. by presenting objects to
it: nil volitum nisi praecognitum. The beginning of all
our acts is the apprehension and desire of good in
general (bonum in communi). We desire happiness (bonum
in communi) naturally and necessarily, not by a free
deliberate act. Particular goods (bona particularia) we
choose freely; and the will is a blind faculty, always
following the last practical judgment of the intellect
(d) The senses and the intellect are passive, i.e.
recipient, faculties; they do not create, but receive
(i.e. perceive) their objects (St. Thomas, I, Q.
lxxviii, a. 3; Q. lxxix, a. 2; Zigliara, 26, 27). If
this principle is borne in mind there is no reason for
Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason". On the other hand
those faculties are not like wax, or the sensitive
plate used by photog raphers, in the sense that they
are inert and receive impressions unconsciously. The
will controls the exercise of the faculties, and the
process of acquiring knowledge is a vital process: the
moving cause is always within the living agent.
(e) The Peripatetic axiom: "Nihil est in intellectu
quod non prius in sensu" (Nothing is in the intellect
that was not first in the senses), is admitted; but St.
Thomas modifies it by saying: first, that, once the
sense objects have been perceived, the intellect
ascends to the knowledge of higher things, even of God;
and, secondly, that the soul knows its own existence by
itself (i.e. by its own act), although it knows its own
nature only by refiection on its acts. Knowledge begins
by sense perception, but the range of the intellect is
far beyond that of the senses. In the soul as soon as
it begins to act are found the first principles (prima
principia) of all knowledge, not in the form of an
objective illumination, but in the form of a subjective
inclination to admit them on account of their evidence.
As soon as they are proposed we see that they are true;
there is no more reason for doubting them than there is
for denying the existence of the sun when we see it
shining (see Zigliara, op. cit., pp. 32-42).
(f) The direct and primary object of the intellect is
the universal, which is prepared and presented to the
passive intellect (intellectus possibilis) by the
active intellect (intellectus agens) which illuminates
the phantasmata, or mental images, received through the
senses, and divests them of all individuating
conditions. This is called abstracting the universal
idea from the phantasmata, but the term must not be
taken in a matrialistic sense. Abstraction is not a
transferring of something from one place to another;
the illumination causes all material and individuating
conditions to disappear, then the universal alone
shines out and is perceived by the vital action of the
intellect (Q. lxxxiv, a. 4; Q. lxxxv, a. 1, ad lum,
3um, 4um). The process throughout is so vital, and so
far elevated above material conditions and modes of
action, that the nature of the acts and of the objects
apprehended proves the soul to be immaterial and
(g) The soul, by its very nature, is immortal. Not only
is it true that God will not annihilate the soul, but
from its very nature it will always continue to exist,
there being in it no principle of disintegration
(Zigliara, p. 9). Hence human reason can prove the
incorruptibility (i.e. immortality) of the soul.
(h) The existence of God is not known by an innate
idea, it cannot be proved by arguments a priori or a
simultaneo; but it can be demonstrated by a posteriori
arguments. Ontologism was never taught by St. Thomas or
by Thomists (see Lepidi, "Exam. phil. theol. de
ontologismo", Louvain, 1874, c. 19; Zigliara, Theses I,
(i) There are no human (i.e. deliberate) acts
indifferent in individuo.
(2) In Theology.
(a) Faith and science, i.e. knowledge by demonstration,
cannot co-exist in the same subject with regard to the
same object (Zigliara, O, 32, VII); and the same is
true of knowledge and opinion.
(b) The metaphysical essence of God consists, according
to some Thomists, in the intelligere actualissimum,
i.e. fulness of pure intellection, according to others
in the perfection of aseitas, i.e. in dependent
existence (Zigliara, Th. VIII, IX).
(c) The happiness of heaven, formally and in the
ultimate analysis, consists in the vision, not in the
fruition, of God.
(d) The Divine attributes are distinguished from the
Divine nature and from each other by a virtual
distinction, i.e. by a distinctio rationis cum
fundamento a parte rei. The distinctio actualis
formalis of Scotus is rejected.
(e) In attempting to explain the mystery of the Trinity
-- in as far as man can conceive it -- the relations
must be considered perfectiones simpliciter simplices,
i.e. excluding all imperfection. The Holy Ghost would
not be distinct from the Son if He did not proceed from
the Son as well as from the Father.
(f) The angels, being pure spirits, are not, properly
speaking, in any place; they are said to be in the
place, or in the places, where they exercise their
activity (Summa, I, Q. lii, a. 1). Strictly speaking,
there is no such thing as an angel passing from place
to place; but if an angel wishes to exercise its
activity first in Japan and afterwards in America, it
can do so in two instants (of angelic time), and need
not pass through the intervening space (Q. liii). St.
Thomas does not discuss the question "How many angels
can dance on the point of a needle?" He reminds us that
we must not think of angels as if they were corporeal,
and that, for an angel, it makes no difference whether
the sphere of his activity be the point of a needle or
a continent (Q. lii, a.2). Many angels cannot be said
to be in the same place at the same time, for this
would mean that whilst one angel is producing an effect
others could be producing the same effect at the same
time. There can be but one angel in the same place at
the same time (Q. lii, a. 3). The knowledge of the
angels comes through ideas (species) infused by God
(QQ. lv, a.2, lvii, a.2, lviii, a.7). They do not
naturally know future contingents, the secrets of
souls, or the mysteries of grace (Q. lvii, aa. 3, 45).
The angels choose either good or evil instantly, and
with full knowledge; hence their judgment is naturally
final and irrevocable (Q. lxiv, a. 2).
(g) Man was created in the state of sanctifying grace.
Grace was not due to his nature, but God granted it to
him from the beginning (I, Q. xcv, a. 1). So great was
the per fection of man in the state of original
justice, and so perfect the subjection of his lower
faculties to the higher, that his first sin could not
have been a venia] sin (1- 11, Q. lxxxix, a. 3).
(h) It is more probable that the Incarnation would not
have taken place had man not sinned (III, Q. i, a. 3).
In Christ there were three kinds of knowledge: the
scientia beata, i.e. the knowledge of things in the
Divine Essence; the scientia infusa, i.e. the knowledge
of things through infused ideas (species), and the
scientia acquisita, i.e. acquired or experimental
knowledge, which was nothing more than the actual
experience of things which he already knew. On this
last point St. Thomas, in the "Summa" (Q. ix, a. 4),
explicitly retracts an opinion which he had once held
(III Sent., d. 14, Q. iii, a. 3).
(i) All sacraments of the New Law, including
confirmation and extreme unction, were instituted
immediately by Christ. Circumcision was a sacrament of
the Old Law and conferred grace which removed the stain
of original sin. The children of Jews or of other
unbelievers may not be baptized without the consent of
their parents (III, Q. lxviii, a. 10; 11-Il, Q. x, a.
12; Denzinger-Bannwart, n. 1481). Contrition,
confession, and satisfaction are the proximate matter
(materia proxima) of the Sacrament of Penance. Thomists
hold, against the Scotists, that when
Transubstantiation takes place in the Mass the Body of
Christ is not made present per modum adduclionis, i.e.
is not brought to the altar, but they do not agree in
selecting the term which should be used to express this
action (cf. Billuart, "De Euchar.", Diss. i, a. 7).
Cardinal Billot holds ("Dc cccl. sacr.", Rome, 1900,
Th. XI, "Dc euchar.", p. 379) that the best, and the
only possible, explanation is the one given by St.
Thomas himself: Christ becomes present by
transubstantiation, i.e. by the conversion of the
substance of bread into the substance of His body (III,
Q. lxxv, a. 4; Sent., d. XI, Q. i, a. 1, q. 1). After
the consecration the accidents (accidentia) of the
bread and wine are preserved by Almighty God without a
subject (Q. lxxxvii, a. 1). It was on this question
that the doctors of Paris sought enlightenment from St.
Thomas (see Vaughan, "Life and Labours of St. Thomas",
London, 1872, II, p. 544). The earlier Thomists,
following St. Thomas (Suppl., Q. xxxvii, a. 2), taught
that the sub-diaconate and the four minor orders were
partial sacraments. Some recent Thomists -- e. g.,
Billot (op. cit., p. 282) and Tanquerey (De ordine, n.
16) -- defend this opinion as more probable and more in
conformity with the definitions of the councils. The
giving of the chalice with wine and of the paten with
bread Thomists generally held to be an essential part
of ordination to the priesthood. Some, however, taught
that the imposition of hands was at least necessary. On
the question of divorce under the Mosaic Law the
disciples of St. Thomas, like the saint himself
(Suppl., Q. lxvii, a. 3), wavered, some holding that a
dispensation was granted, others teaching that divorce
was merely tolerated in order to avoid greater evils.
II. The Thomistic School.
The chief doctrines distinctive of this school,
composed principally of Dominican writers, are the
A. In Philosophy.
(1) The unity of substantial form in composite beings,
applied to man, requires that the soul be the
substantial form of the man, so as to exclude even the
forma corporeitatis, admitted by Henry of Ghent,
Scotus, and others (cf. Zigliara, P. 13; Denzinger-
Bannwart, in note to n. 1655).
(2) In created beings there is a real distinction
between the essentia (essence) and the existentia
(existence); between the essentia and the subsistentia;
between the real relation and its foundation; between
the soul and its faculties; between the several
faculties. There can be no medium between a distinctio
realis and a distinctio rationis, or conceptual
distinction; hence the distinctio formalis a parte rei
of Scotus cannot be admitted. For Thomistic doctrines
on free will, God's knowledge, etc., see below.
B. In Theology.
(1) In the beatific vision God's essence takes the
place not only of the species impressa, but also of the
(2) All moral virtues, the acquired as well as the
infused, in their perfect state, are interconneted.
(3) According to Billuart (De pecc., diss. vii, a. 6),
it has been a matter of controversy between Thomists
whether the malice of a mortal sin is absolutely
(4) In choosing a medium between Rigorism and Laxism,
the Thomistic school has been Antiprobabilistic and
generally has adopted Probabiliorism. Some defended
Equiprobabilism, or Probabilism cum cornpensatione.
Medina and St. Antoninus are claimed by the
(5) Thomistic theologians generally, whilst they
defended the infallibility of the Roman pontiff, denied
that the pope had the power to dissolve a matrimonium
ratum or to dispense from a solemn vow made to God.
When it was urged that some popes had granted such
favours, they cited other pontiffs who declared that
they could not grant them (cf. Billuart, "De matrim.",
Diss. v, a. 2), and said, with Dominic Soto, "Factum
pontificium non facit articulum fidei" (The action of a
pope does not constitute an article of faith, in 4
dist., 27, Q. i, a. 4). Thomists of to-day are of a
different mind, owing to the practice of the Church.
(6) The hypostatic union, without any additional grace,
rendered Christ impeccable. The Word was hypostatically
united to the blood of Christ and remained united to
it, even during the interval between His death and
resurrection (Denzinger-Bannwart, n. 718). During that
same interval the Body of Christ had a transitory form,
called forma cadaverica (Zigliara, P. 16, 17, IV).
(7) The sacraments of the New Law cause grace not only
as instrumental moral causes, but by a mode of
causality which should be called instrumental and
physical. In the attrition required in the Sacrament of
Penance there should be at least a beginning of the
love of God; sorrow for sin springing solely from the
fear of hell will not suffice.
(8) Many theologians of the Thomistic School,
especially before the Council of Trent, opposed the
doctrine of Mary's Immaculate Conception, claiming that
in this they were following St. Thomas. This, however,
has not been the opinion either of the entire school or
of the Dominican Order as a body. Father Rouard de
Card, in his book "L'ordre des freres precheurs et
l'Immaculée Conception "(Brussels, 1864), called
attention to the fact that ten thousand professors of
the order defended Mary's great privilege. At the
Council of Trent twenty-five Dominican bishops signed a
petition for the definition of the dogma. Thousands of
Dominicans, in taking degrees at the University of
Paris, solemnly pledged themselves to defend the
Immaculate Conception (see Kennedy, "The Imm. Con." in
"Cath. Univ. Bulletin", March, 1910).
(9) The Thomistic School is distinguished from other
schools of theology chiefly by its doctrines on the
difficult questions relating to God's action on the
free will of man, God's foreknowledge, grace, and
predestination. In the articles on these subjects will
be found an exposition of the different theories
advanced by the different schools in their effort to
explain these mysteries, for such they are in reality.
As to the value of these theories the following points
should be borne in mind:
(a) No theory has as yet been proposed which avoids all
difficulties and solves all doubts;
(b) on the main and most difficult of these questions
some who are at times listed as Molinists -- notably
Bellarmine, Suárez, Francis de Lugo, and, in our own
days, Cardinal Billot ("De deo uno et trino", Rome,
1902, Th. XXXII) -- agree with the Thomists in
defending predestination ante praevisa merita. Bossuet,
after a long study of the question of physical
premotion, adapted the Thomistic opinion ("Du libre
arbitre", c. viii).
(c) Thomists do not claim to be able to explain, except
by a general reference to God's omnipotence, how man
remains free under the action of God, which they
consider necessary in order to preserve and explain the
universality of God's causality and the independent
certainty of His foreknowledge. No man can explain,
except by a reference to God's infinite power, how the
world was created out of nothing, yet we do not on this
account deny creation, for we know that it must be
admitted. In like manner the main question put to
Thomists in this controversy should be not "How will
you explain man's liberty?" but "What are your reasons
for claiming so much for God's action?" If the reasons
assigned are insufficient, then one great difficulty is
removed, but there remains to be solved the problem of
God's foreknowledge of man's free acts. If they are
valid, then we must accept them with their necessary
consequences and humbly confess our inability fully to
explain how wisdom "reacheth . . . from end to end
mightily, and ordereth all things sweetly" (Wis., viii,
(d) Most important of all, it must be clearly
understood and remembered that the Thomistic system on
predestination neither saves fewer nor sends to
perdition more souls than any other system held by
Catholic theologians. In regard to the number of the
elect there is no unanimity on either side; this is not
the question in dispute between the Molinists and the
Thomists. The discussions, too often animated and
needlessly sharp, turned on this point: How does it
happen that, although God sincerely desires the
salvation of all men, some are to be saved, and must
thank God for whatever merits they may have amassed,
whilst others will be lost, and will know that they
themselves, and not God, are to be blamed? -- The facts
in the case are admitted by all Catholic theologians.
The Thomists, appealing to the authority of St.
Augustine and St. Thomas, defend a system which follows
the admitted facts to their logical conclusions. The
elect are saved by the grace of God, which operates on
their wills efficaciously and infallibly without
detriment to their liberty; and since God sincerely
desires the salvation of all men, He is prepared to
grant that same grace to others, if they do not, by a
free act, render themselves unworthy of it. The faculty
of placing obstacles to Divine grace is the unhappy
faculty of sinning; and the existence of moral evil in
the world is a problem to be solved by all, not by the
Thomists alone. The fundamental difficulties in this
mysterious question are the existence of evil and the
non-salvation of some, be they few or be they many,
under the rule of an omnipotent, all-wise, and all-
merciful God, and they miss the point of the
controversy who suppose that these difficulties exist
only for the Thomists. The truth is known to lie
somewhere between Calvinism and Jansenism on the one
hand, and Semipelagianism on the other. The efforts
made by theologians and the various explanations
offered by Augustinians, Thomists, Molinists, and
Congruists show how difficult of solution are the
questions involved. Perhaps we shall never know, in
this world, how a just and merciful God provides in
some special manner for the elect and yet sincerely
loves all men. The celebrated Congregatio de Auxiliis
(q.v.) did not forever put an end to the controversies,
and the question is not yet settled.
III. Neo-Thomism and the Revival of Scolasticism.
When the world in the first part of the nineteenth
century began to enjoy a period of peace and rest after
the disturbances caused by the French Revolution and
the Napoleonic Wars, closer attention was given to
ecclesiastical studies and Scholasticism was revived.
This movement eventually caused a revival of Thomism,
because the great master and model proposed by Leo XIII
in the encyclicai "AEterni Patris" (4 Aug., 1879) was
St. Thomas Aquinas. . . . The Thomistic doctrine had
received strong support from the older universities.
Among these the Encyclical "AEterni Patris" mentions
Paris, Salamanca, Alcalá Douai, Toulouse, Louvain,
Padua, Bologna, Naples, and Coimbra as "the homes of
human wisdom where Thomas reigned supreme, and the
minds of all, teachers as well as taught, rested in
wonderful harmony under the shield and authority of the
Angelic Doctor". In the universities established by the
Dominicans at Lima (1551) and Manila (1645) St. Thomas
always held sway. The same is true of the Minerva
school at Rome (1255), which ranked as a university
from the year 1580, and is now the international
Collegio Angelico. Coming down to our own times and the
results of the Encyclical, which gave a new impetus to
the study of St. Thomas's works, the most important
centres of activity are Rome, Louvain, Fribourg
(Switzerland), and Washington. At Louvain the chair of
Thomistic philosophy, established in 1880, became, in
1889-90, the "Institut supérieur de philosophie" or
"Ecole St. Thomas d'Aquin," where Professor Mercier,
now Cardinal Archbishop of Mechlin, ably and wisely
directed the new Thomistic movement (see De Wulf,
"Scholasticism Old and New", tr. Coffey, New York,
1907, append., p. 261; "Irish Ecel. Record", Jan.
1906). The theological department of the University of
Fribourg, Switzerland, established in 1889, has been
entrusted to the Dominicans. By the publication of the
"Revue thomiste" the professors of that university have
contributed greatly to a new knowledge and appreciation
of St. Thomas. The Constitution of the Catholic
University of America at Washington enjoins special
veneration for St. Thomas; the School of Sacred
Sciences must follow his leadership ("Const. Cath.
Univ. Amer.", Rome, 1889, pp. 38, 43). The University
of Ottawa and Laval University are the centres of
Thomism in Canada. The appreciation of St. Thomas in
our days, in Europe and in America, is well set forth
in Perrier's excellent "Revival of Scholastic
Philosophy in the Nineteenth Century" (New York, 1909).
IV. Eminent Thomists.
After the middle of the fourteenth century the vast
majority of philosophical and theological writers
either wrote commentaries on the works of St. Thomas or
based their teachings on his writings. It is
impossible, therefore, to give here a complete list of
the Thomists: only the more important names can be
given. Unless otherwise noted, the authors belonged to
the Order of St. Dominic. Those marked (*) were devoted
to Thomism in general, but were not of the Thomistic
School. A more complete list will be found in the works
cited at the end of this article.
Thirteenth Century. -- Thomas de Cantimpré (1270); Hugh
of St. Cher (1263); Vincent of Bauvais (1264); St.
Raymond de Pennafort (1275); Peter of Tarentaise (Pope
Innocent V -- 1276); Giles de Lassines (1278); Reginald
de Piperno (1279); William de Moerbeka (1286); Raymond
Marti (1286); Bernard de Trilia (1292); Bernard of
Hotun, Bishop of Dublin (1298); Theodoric of Apoldia
(1299); Thomas Sutton (1300).
Fourteenth Century. -- Peter of Auvergne (1301);
Nicholas Boccasini, Benedict XI (1304); Godfrey of
Fontaines (1304); Walter of Winterburn (1305); AEgidius
Colonna (Aigidius Romanus), O.S.A (1243-1316); William
of Paris (1314); Gerard of Bologna, Carmelite (1317);
four biographers, viz Peter Calo (1310); William de
Tocco (1324); Bartolommeo of Lucca (1327); Bernard
Guidonis* (1331); Dante (1321); Natalis Hervieus
(1323); Petrus de Palude (Paludanusi -- 1342); Thomas
Bradwardin, Archbishop of Canterbury (1349); Robert
Holkott (1349); John Tauler (1361); Bl. Henry Suso
(1365); Thomas of Strasburg, O.S.A. (1357); Jacobus
Passavante (1357); Nicholas Roselli (1362); Durandus of
Aurillac (1382), sometimes called Durandulus, because
he wrote against Durandus a S. Portiano*, who was first
a Thomist, afterwards an independent writer, attacking
many of St. Thomas's doctrines; John Bromyard (1390);
Nicholas Eymeric (1399).
Fifteenth Century. -- Manuel Calecas (1410); St.
Vincent Ferrer (1415); Bl. John Dominici (1419); John
Gerson*, chancellor of the University of Paris (1429);
Luis of Valladolid (1436); Raymond Sabunde (1437); John
Nieder (1437); Capreolus (1444), called the "Prince of
Thomists"; John de Montenegro (1445); Fra Angelico
(1455); St. Antoninus (1459); Nicholas of Cusa*, of the
Brothers of the Common Life (1464); John of Torquemada
(de Turrecrematai, 1468); Bessarion, Basilian (1472);
Alanus de Rupe (1475); John Faber (1477); Petrus Niger
(1471); Peter of Bergamo (1482); Jerome Savonarola
Sixteenth Century. -- Felix Faber (1502); Vincent
Bandelli (1506); John Tetzel (1519); Diego de Deza
(1523); Sylvester Mazzolini (1523); Francesco Silvestro
di Ferrara (1528); Thomas de Vio Cajetan (1534)
(commentaries by these two are published in the Leonine
edition of the works of St. Thomas); Conrad Koellin
(1536); Chrysostom Javelli (1538); Santes Pagnino
(1541); Francisco de Vitoria (1546); Franc. Romseus
(1552); Ambrosius Catherinus* (Lancelot Politi, 1553);
St. Ignatius of Loyola (1556) enjoined devotion to St.
Thomas; Matthew Ory (1557); Dominic Soto (1560);
Melehior Cano (1560); Ambrose Pelargus (1561); Peter
Soto (1563); Sixtus of Siena (1569); John Faber (1570);
St. Pius V (1572); Bartholomew Medina (1581); Vincent
Justiniani (1582); Maldonatus* (Juan Maldonado, 1583);
St. Charles Borromeo* (1584); Salmerón* (1585); Ven.
Louis of Granada (1588); Bartholomew of Braga (1590);
Toletus* (1596); Bl. Peter Canisius* (1597); Thomas
Stapleton*, Doctor of Louvain (1598); Fonseca (1599);
Seventeenth Century. -- Valentia* (1603); Domingo
Baflez (1604); Vásquez* (1604); Bart. Ledesma (1604);
Sánchez* (1610); Baronius * (1607); Capponi a Porrecta
(1614); Aur. Menochio * (1615); Petr. Ledesma (1616);
Suárez* (1617); Du Perron, a converted Calvinist,
cardinal (1618); Bellarmine* (1621); St. Francis de
Sales* (1622); Hieronymus Medices (1622); Lessius*
(1623); Becanus* (1624); Malvenda (1628); Thomas de
Lemos (1629); Alvarez; Laymann* (1635); Joann.
Wiggers*, doctor of Louvain (1639); Gravina (1643);
John of St. Thomas (1644); Serra (1647); Ripalda*, S.J.
(1648); Sylvius (Du Bois), doctor of Douai (1649);
Petavius* (1652); Goar (1625); Steph. Menochio*, S.J.
(1655); Franc. Pignatelli* (1656); De Lugo* (1660);
Bollandus* (1665); Jammy (1665); Vallgornera (1665);
Labbe* (1667); Pallavicini* (1667); Busenbaum* (1668);
Nicolni* (1673); Contenson (1674); Jac. Pignatelli*
(1675); Passerini* (1677); Gonet (1681); Bancel (1685);
Thomassin* (1695); Goudin (1695); Sfrondati* (1696);
Quetif (1698); Rocaberti (1699); Casanate (1700). To
this period belong the Carmelite Salmanticenses,
authors of the "Cursus theologicus" (1631-72).
Eighteenth Century. -- Guerinois (1703); Bossuet, Bp.
of Meaux; Norisins, O.S.A. (1704); Diana (1705);
Thyrsus González* (1705); Massoulié (1706); Du hamel*
(1706); Wigandt (1708); Piny (1709); Lacroix* (1714);
Carrieres* (1717); Natalis Alexander (1724); Echard
(1724); Tourney*, doctor of the Sorbonne (1729);
Livarius de Meyer* (1730); Benedict XIII* (1730);
Graveson (1733); Th. du Jardin (1733); Hyacintha Serry
(1738); Duplessis d'Argentré* (1740); Gotti (1742);
Drouin* (1742); Antoine* (1743); Lallemant* (1748);
Milante* (1749); Preingue (1752); Concina (1759);
Billuart (1757); Benedict XIV* (1758); Cuiliati (1759);
Orsi (1761); Charlevoix* (1761); Reuter* (1762);
Baumgartner* (1764); Berti* (1766); Patuzzi (1769); De
Rubeis (1775); Touron (1775); Thomas de Burgo (1776);
Gener* (1781); Roselli (1783); St. Aiphonsus Liguori
(1787); Mamachi (1792); Richard (1794).
Nineteenth Century. -- In this century there are few
names to be recorded outside of those who were
connected with the Thomistic revival either as the
forerunners, the promoters, or the writers of the
. . .
For rise and progress of Thomism see works referred to
in the first part of this article. . . . PERRINE,
Revival of Schol. Philosophy (New York, 1909) (the
bibliography, pp. 249 to 337, is excellent and the most
availahle for English readers). Publications on Thomism
in general and on the doctrines of the Thomistic school
have heen multiplied so rapidly since 1879 that volumes
would he required for a complete list. . . .
-- D.J. Kennedy
(Taken from the Jacques Maritain Center Page on the
World Wide Web,