The Angelic Doctor
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By Jacques Maritain
“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!” The Angelic Doctor, first published in 1931, presents the essential elements of the personality and influence of Aquinas, whose wisdom “is running on the highways of the world before the footsteps of God.” In four concise chapters, Jacques Maritain reflects on Aquinas as “The Saint” whose study and scholarship was wholeheartedly dedicated to God; “The Wise Architect” who collected “the vital cords through which wisdom continues among men”; “The Apostle of Our Time” whose championing of truth can remedy contemporary ills; and “The Common Doctor” whose doctrine the Church has recommended to all truth-seekers. The final chapter segues into the Appendix of three papal documents on Aquinas: Leo XIII’s Aeterni Patris, Pius X’s Doctoris Angelici, and Pius XI’s Studiorum Ducem.
To all such as are desirous of the truth: “Go to Thomas,” and ask him to give you from his ample store the food of substantial doctrine wherewith to nourish your souls unto eternal life. (Pope Pius XI)
Rebutting the common and mistaken claims that Thomism is a hidebound school of thought, nostalgic for a bygone age and opposed to progress, The Angelic Doctor: The Life and Thought of Saint Thomas Aquinas makes abundantly clear the power and pertinence of Thomistic thought for any and all ages in history.
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Jacques Maritain (1882–1973) was perhaps the greatest Catholic philosopher of the twentieth century. A convert, along with his wife Raïssa, from agnosticism to Catholicism, Maritain wrote extensively on metaphysics, aesthetics, epistemology, ethics, social and political philosophy, and the philosophy of history—all with the guiding inspiration of the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas.