BIG QUESTION in MEDIEVAL
WHAT IS FAITH?
WHAT IS RELIGION?
Faith is personal: INTERNAL, Within the power
of the “I”. It is both the cognitive and the
emotive. It is within the context of it and NOT
bound with QUANDARY.
Religion: EXTERNAL: bound with the choice we
made. It can be change. It is structural and
• Medieval philosophy is the
philosophy in the era now
known as medieval or the
Middle Ages, the period
roughly extending from the fall
of the Western Roma Empire
in the fifth century AD to the
Renaissance in the sixteenth
• Essentially “monotheistic”
• From a state of polytheism to a
belief in a one and only God.
• God here is the center of
Medieval philosophy is not to be
separated from theology
Medieval Philosophy and the
Problem of Evil
The Dark Ages
The "Dark Ages" is a historical
period emphasizing the cultural
and economic deterioration that
occurred in Europe following the
decline of the Roma Empire.
The label employs traditional
“light-versus darkness” imagery to
contrast the "darkness" of the
period with earlier and later
periods of "light“ (Middle Age).
The period is characterized by a
relative scarcity of historical and
other written records at least for
some areas of Europe, rendering it
obscure to historians.
Petrarch conceived the idea of a European "Dark Age".
From Cycle of Famous Men and Women, c. 1450
Challenged Church Authority
• In the 16th century,
had begun to ask
• The Enlightenment
allowed people to
believe in progress,
to “think outside the
box,” and it led to
the rise of
The Ninety-Five Theses, (1517) written by Martin
Luther, described his hopes and wants for reform in the
Catholic Church. This effectively challenged the pope'e
authority and the infallibility of the general council, and
eventually led to Luther being excommunicated from
the church and declared a public enemy by the
state.The 95 Theses were translated into German and
RPC2013 ideas were circulated throughout the empire.
• The term medieval refers to the Middle Ages,
the time in European history between classical
antiquity and the Italian Renaissance, from
about 500 A.D. to about 1350 ( 13th)
• Medieval philosophy is theocentric in its
• During the decline of Greco-Roman
civilization, Western philosophers turned their
attention from the scientific investigation of
nature and the search for happiness in this
world, to the problem of salvation and life in
another, better world.
• The torch of civilization in Western Europe
was carried mainly by the Christian Church,
where thought were conducted under the
context of Christian doctrines
• By the 3rd century AD, Christianity had spread
throughout the Roman Empire.
• The religious teachings of the Gospels were
combined by the Fathers of the Church with
many of the philosophical concepts of the
Greeks and Roman schools.
“You are great, O Lord, and man desires to
praise you. You so excite him that to praise
you is his joy. For you have made us for
yourself and our hearts are restless until they
rest in You.”
• His mother urged him
to be baptised.
• Began to study under
• Became fascinated by
intellectual nature of
• Was not baptised, at
first, because he didn’t
want to give up life of
His Philosophical Beliefs
• The man with his strenght does not exceed
this viscious cycle of not being able to not
want what cannot get
• Only the grace of Christ save us
• History is called original sin
Jesus says that the Holy Spirit "will convince the world
concerning sin" (Jn 16:8). As I tried to penetrate these words,
I was led back to the opening pages of the Book of Genesis, to
the event known as "original sin."
• described the nature of this sin as
follows: amor sui usque ad contemptum Dei
—self-love to the point of contempt for God.
• It was amor sui which drove our first parents
toward that initial rebellion and then gave rise
to the spread of sin throughout human
• The Book of Genesis speaks of this: "you will
be like God, knowing good and evil" (Gn 3:5),
in other words, you yourselves will decide
what is good and what is evil.
• Man is not, in general, self-sufficient: marked
by original sin, is called to communion with
God, in Christ.
• This non-self-sufficiency is also seen in the
field of knowledge. It's Christ truth (as interior
Teacher , through the illumination).
Based only on his natural cognitive forces , the
man would not go very far, however: it lacks a
"center of permanent gravity", enabling him
to judge in a stable and suitable the reality
that is the object of his experience.
Saint Augustine’s words.
• “You have made us
for yourself, and our
hearts are restless
until they rest in
• He believed humans
cannot experience true
happiness until they
• His work centred
around the notion that
everything in the world
is basically good.
• He wrote many works
over his lifetime.
• He attempted to dispel
The Nature of God
• Aquinas developed a list of the five divine
– God is simple, without composition of parts, such
as body and soul, or matter and form.
– God is perfect, lacking nothing. That is, God is
distinguished from other beings on account of
God's complete actuality. Thomas defined God as
the ‘Ipse Actus Essendi subsistens,’ subsisting act
– God is infinite. That is, God is not finite in the
ways that created beings are physically,
intellectually, and emotionally limited. This
infinity is to be distinguished from infinity of size
and infinity of number.
– God is immutable, incapable of change on the
levels of God's essence and character.
– God is one, without diversification within God's
self. The unity of God is such that God's essence is
the same as God's existence. In Thomas's words,
"in itself the proposition 'God exists' is necessarily
true, for in it subject and predicate are the same.”
• An Italian-born monk who taught at the
University of Paris
• Born: January 28th, 1225 in Roccasecca, Sicily
• Died: March 7th, 1274 in Fossanova, Sicily
• Taught that faith came first and greatly
expanded the scope of reason
• Major figure in scholasticism
• Aquinas retained the basic
belief while studying reason
• He believed that:
– Humans could – through reason
alone – know much of the
natural order, moral law, and
the nature of God
– All essential knowledge could
be organized coherently
• Wrote a series of Summas
(highest works) that employed
careful logic to counter any
possible objections to truth as
revealed by reason and faith
• Summa Theologica: Most well-known and
best work of Aquinas
• Intended as a sort of introduction to theology
and the main theological points of Church
• Three parts:
– Part One: God’s existence, the creation of the
world, angels, and the nature of man
– Part Two: Morality (general and specific)
– Part Three: Christ, the Sacraments, and the end
of the world
• Four Cardinal Virtues: Prudence,
Temperance, Justice, and Fortitude
• Three Theological Virtues: Faith, Hope,
• Four types of Law:
– Eternal: direct word of God, governs all
– Natural: human adherence to eternal law,
discovered by reason
– Human: positive law (natural law applied
to human government and society)
– Divine: the law as defined in the
• Anselm's motto is “faith seeking
understanding” (fides quaerens intellectum)
• St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033–1109 CE) was
a Christian philosopher. He was Archbishop of
Canterbury from the age of 60 until his death
The Ontological Argument
• Anselm is perhaps most famous for
developing the ontological argument for the
existence of God.
1.God is that than which nothing greater can be
2.It is greater to exist than to not exist.
3.Therefore, God exists.
Some Slides excerpted by Dr. Tenorio’s Lecture
THANK YOU and GOD BLESS!!