Buchkapitel: Christliche Lehrer, Theologie und Philosophie, Glaube und Vernunft

Etienne Gilson. The Christian Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas. Univ of Notre Dame: Notre Dame, 1994. 502 Seiten. 18,50 Euro (Kindle-Version).

Etienne Gilson (1884-1978) gilt als führender Gelehrter der mittelalterlichen Philosophie und von Thomas von Aquin. Im Zuge meiner Vorbereitungen zur Vorlesung über die Gotteslehre habe ich einen Teil seines einführenden Werk zur christlichen Philosophie gelesen. Im ersten Kapitel skizziert Gilson einige zentrale Begriffe und Verhältnisbestimmungen.

Thomas von Aquin als christlicher Lehrer

The true function of the Doctor is to teach. Teaching (doctrina) consists in communicating to others a truth meditated beforehand.

Teaching, as well as preaching to which it is allied, is certainly a work belonging to the active life, but it derives somehow or other from the very fullness of contemplation.

St. Thomas never grew weary of defending against the attacks of seculars the legitimacy of the ideal to which he had consecrated his life, monastic poverty and the work of teaching.

(T)o be a Master is not to assume an honor but to accept a charge…

To contemplate truth by his intellect and to communicate it out of love, such is the life of the Doctor. It is an exalted human imitation of the very life of God.

Philosophie im Dienst der Theologie

(W)e are inclined to think first of the philosopher while he thinks first of the theologian.

(H)is own definition of his role as a philosopher is that he is a philosopher in the service of a theologian.

(It) is only in relation to the science of divine things that secular sciences can legitimately interest him.

What he has borrowed now becomes less important than what he has been able to do with this borrowed material.

For St. Thomas Aquinas the problem was rather different. It was a question of how to integrate philosophy into sacred science, not only without allowing either the one or the other to suffer essentially thereby, but to the greater benefit of both.

(T)he main point was not to safeguard the autonomy of philosophy as a purely rational knowledge; rather, it was to explain how natural philosophy can enter into theology without destroying its unity.

Zur Differenzierung der beiden Disziplinen Theologie und Philosophie

… label “theological” any conclusion whose premises presuppose faith in a divinely revealed truth, and to label “philosophical” any conclusion whose premises are purely rational …

According to him, the philosopher considers the nature of things as they are in themselves, whereas the theologian considers them in their relation to God…

(T)heology must be conceived as a science of Revelation. Its source is the word of God. Its basis is faith in the truth of this word.

By the science of the word of God which he constructs, the theologian simply explains, with the aid of natural reason, what has been revealed.

Philosophy deals with truths accessible to the human understanding, knowable by natural reason alone, and without the aid of revelation.

Die erste Ursache und das (thomistische) Verhältnis zwischen Glaube und Vernunft

A truth which is the source of all truth can only be found in a being that is the first source of all being.

First philosophy studies first causes.

"(F)irst philosophy is wholly directed to the knowledge of God as its last end; and is consequently called the divine science.”

The end of man is God, an end obviously exceeding the limits of reason. Yet man should have some knowledge of his end in order to regulate and order his intentions and actions towards that end.

(Zum Verhältnis von Glaube und Vernunft) since man requires knowledge of the infinite God, who is his end, and since such knowledge exceeds the limits of his reason, he simply must get it by way of faith. Nor does such faith do violence to our reason. Rather, faith in the incomprehensible confers on rational knowledge its perfection and consummation.

(A)pparent incompatibility between faith and reason is similarly reconciled in the infinite wisdom of God.

(B)y passing along the road of revelation, reason sees truths which it might otherwise have overlooked.

Sensible objects, the point of departure of all our knowledge, have retained vestiges of the divine nature which created them, because the effect always resembles its cause.

Sensible objects, the point of departure of all our knowledge, have retained vestiges of the divine nature which created them, because the effect always resembles its cause.

What we call Thomistic philosophy is a body of rigorously demonstrable truths and is justifiable precisely as philosophy by reason alone.

Thomism is an immense effort of intellectual honesty to reconstruct metaphysics in such a way that its actual accord with faith should appear as the necessary consequence of the demands of reason itself…