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Negotiating Authority and Epistemic Humility: Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae I, 65-74 as a Propaedeutic Training in the Reverential Reading of Patristic Texts

Brandt, Phillip Luther (2014) Negotiating Authority and Epistemic Humility: Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae I, 65-74 as a Propaedeutic Training in the Reverential Reading of Patristic Texts. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent.

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Abstract

Aquinas’ treatment of the Creation narrative (Genesis 1:1-2:4) within QQ 65-74 of the prima pars of his Summa Theologiae (ST) has long been and remains neglected, virtually unread, within the community of the readers of Aquinas. This neglect is born of a mistaken expectation of this section of the ST as a quest for theological or philosophical truth. Those reading his parallel treatments of the same material have deemed ST I, 65-74 insufficiently robust, shallow, even embarrassing for those who see him as a theological touchstone. But the readers of Aquinas in general and of the ST in particular have not asked why Aquinas elected to engage in this apparently simplistic treatment of a Scriptural passage which addressed issues that were foundational to his philosophical and theological project. Drawing upon Aquinas’ historical context and through comparison with his other treatments of the same biblical material this thesis argues that within these QQ Aquinas deliberately shaped his use of patristic sources to create both a primer on the use of these patristic sources for his students and, in so doing, also made a necessary appeal to all his readers that they embrace Augustine’s epistemic humility. Read through this lens, ST I, 65-74 provides important insights into Aquinas’ use of ideas and authoritative texts and once more gives voice to his still relevant call for epistemic humility.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Pollmann, Karla
Uncontrolled keywords: Augustine; Augustinian; Aquinas; Thomism; Genesis; Creation; Epistemic Humility; Medieval Pedagogy; Mendicant Orders; Dominican Order; Ordo Praedicatorum Hermeneutic
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CB History of civilization
P Language and Literature > PA Classical philology
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > Classical and Archaeological Studies
Depositing User: Jacqui Martlew
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2014 23:09 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2019 10:37 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/42924 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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