Medieval Philosophy

Medieval Philosophy

Introduction: Christianity and Medieval Philosophy During the final stages of Greek philosophy, Christianity made its appearance, affirming and diffusing itself in the Hellenic world as the one true religion, revealed by God and announced to men by Jesus Christ, the God-man. Christianity indeed has a great history, to which, directly or indirectly, the entire story […]

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    Introduction: Christianity and Medieval Philosophy During the final stages of Greek philosophy, Christianity made its appearance, affirming and diffusing itself in the Hellenic world as the one true religion, revealed by God and announced to men by Jesus Christ, the God-man. Christianity indeed has a great history, to which, directly or indirectly, the entire story of humanity is related. Its value, however, is religious, theological, dogmatic, and not philosophical. Still Christianity and philosophy, though moving on different planes -- the former on the plane of revelation and the latter on that of reason -- cannot be foreign to one another. We know that the supreme purpose of philosophy is to give a solution to the problem of life through the full use of human reason. This solution is present in the content of all those revealed truths which Christianity offers as the object of faith, truths which are made concrete in the dogmas of theism, of creation, of the cause of evil, and of the means by which man can redeem himself from evil and attain happiness. But philosophy, understood as the science which resolves the question of life, is also faced with these same problems, which were confronted and in part resolved by Greek philosophy. It has been the task of Christian thought to return to these problems and to give a solution to them in accordance with the content of dogma. But it was not possible to carry out this work of rational systematization until Christianity had been promulgated as revealed religion and systematized in dogmas. Historically and logically the story of Christian thought is divided into three periods: The Period of Evangelization, which occupies the entire first century of the Christian era, during which Christianity is diffused as revealed religion, hence containing truth within itself and having no need of rational justification. The Patristic Period, which runs from the beginning of the second century through the eighth century. During this period Christianity was forced to defend itself against the errors which threaten it from without (paganism) and from within (heresies), and the Church Fathers worked out the systematization of the dogmas of Christianity. The Scholastic Period, which runs from the ninth to the sixteenth century. Here Christian thought, utilizing Greek speculation, created its own philosophy in harmony with the dogmatic teaching which had been systematized by the Fathers of the Church. The first and second periods have very great value for an understanding of the Christian religion. This fact, however, does not affect this outline-history of philosophy, which has as its purpose the recounting of the history of thought. Therefore the exposition of these periods will be brief and will have in view the end of placing in relief only those phases which tend to give a solution to the problem of life which is within the scope of philosophy. Scholasticism, on the other hand, which is the philosophical explanation of Christian thought and one of the most important syntheses in the history of philosophy, will be expounded in its greatest representatives with a fullness consonant with the limits of this outline-history. An Overview of the Period The Perfecting of Philosophy in Medieval Times This essay discusses the rounding of philosophy into full and relatively complete form (perfecting it) in the Scholastic System, the best synthesis that man had been able to achieve up to that time. This was the beginning of the "perennial philosophy" in mature form, ready to serve man in his studies and investigations, to guide his thinking into rich and profitable fields, and to assure the sane advance of true science. This essay looks into the forces and influences that made for the perfecting of philosophy and outlines the work of the more notable philosophers of the Period of Perfection. Source:alhassanain.com

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