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Aquinas, Thomas

  1. Alvin J. Schmidt

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0070

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Schmidt, A. J. 2011. Aquinas, Thomas. The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Thomas Aquinas was born at Roccasecca, Italy, of the Aquino family, in about 1225 and died in 1274. His early education took place at the Benedictine abbey of Monte Cassino and he acquired additional education at the University of Naples. At Naples, he joined the Dominican order as a friar in 1243. In 1248, he was appointed instructor at Cologne, assistant to his master Albert the Great. After assuming this position, he began to write his philosophical and theological thoughts. Since he was greatly influenced by the Greek philosopher Aristotle, his writings reflected considerable vestiges of Aristotelian philosophy. In addition, he was influenced by St. Augustine, Dionysius the Areopagite, and Avicenna (Ibn Sina), the Islamic scholar.


  • Aquinas, Thomas;
  • doctor Angelicus”;
  • Summa theologiae, the “five ways”;
  • Summa contra gentiles (SCG);
  • trinity, Jesus christ's incarnation;
  • Aquinas, influenced by Aristotle;
  • Aquinas' thinking, theology of John of Damascus;
  • reason and faith, a distinction