Thomas Aquinas, Italian theologian

Thomas Aquinas, Italian theologian

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), Italian theologian, philosopher and saint, holding a crucifix and a book. Saint Thomas's teachings combined his own thoughts with those of previous scholars such as Aristotle, Avicenna and Averroes. He taught that there was no conflict between scientific reason and religious faith. Some things could only be known through faith, some through reason and others, including God, by both faith and reason. He also claimed that as humans sought truth, they bring themselves closer to an understanding of God. A major influence in philosophical thought, St. Thomas's work made scientific enquiry in the Christian world more respectable. Engraving from the 1883 edition of Vies des Savants Illustres.

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