By Werner Wilhelm Jaeger
Ebook by means of Jaeger, Werner Wilhelm
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Additional resources for Humanism and Theology (Aquinas Lecture 7)
The barriers of mere sensual experience which had kept most of the thought of the early Middle Ages within narrow bonds, with the transcendental Christian faith soaring high over these planes the while, were all of a sudden expanded into the lucid structure of the Aristotelian cosmos of formae sub- Page 9 stantiales. 11 One might describe the impression in the words of the ancient philosopher-poet Lucretius:12 moenia mundi discedunt. The walls of the old world collapse, and it expands into clear and wide perspectives.
He opposed to the scepticism of the sophists in theoretical matters his practical scepticism and proved to them that there is no escape from disbelief in reason into the practical sphere of education, since true education involves more than mere methods for the training of the mind. It requires an aim towards which human action should be directed and a certainty about the good which it strives to attain. The statement of Protagoras that man himself is that measurement of all things is, from this viewpoint, only the declaration of bankruptcy of human culture.
61 He esteems most highly Plato, the father of theology. In order to become the Page 60 universal or Catholic religion, Christianity took over the rational form of theology and dogma from Greek philosophy. 62 It seems to me idle to ask whether the faith of the fishermen of Galilee should not have preserved the original and simple form which it had in the Sermon of the Mount and resisted all contact with the Greek spirit. In that form it could not have penetrated and conquered the civilized world.