Thomas Aquinas, 1274-1974

J.J.N. McGurk describes the life of the tall, corpulent and silent Aquinas, the greatest of medieval philosophers, who worked and taught in Italy, France and Germany during the thirteenth century.

Detail from Valle Romita Polyptych by Gentile da Fabriano (circa 1400)
Detail from Valle Romita Polyptych by Gentile da Fabriano (circa 1400)

In the seven centuries since the death of Thomas Aquinas, general and scholarly interest in his life, times, and more particularly his thought, have continued unabated. To the Catholic Church he is the ‘Common Doctor’ or Teacher, the angel of the Schools; to his Order, the Dominican friars, Thomas is as much a revered figure as their founder St Dominic; to the world of philosophy and philosophers, he is a giant; but to the general reading public, the name of Aquinas is almost unknown.

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