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St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

“It was necessary for man’s salvation that there should be a knowledge revealed by God besides philosophical science built up by human reason. Firstly, indeed, because man is directed to God, as to an end that surpasses the grasp of his reason. But the end must first be known by men who are to direct their thoughts and actions to the end. Hence it was necessary for the salvation of man that certain truths which exceed human reason should be made known to him by divine revelation. Even as regards those truths about God which human reason could have discovered, it was necessary that man should be taught by a divine revelation; because the truth about God such as reason could discover, would only be known by a few, and that after a long time, and with the admixture of many errors. Whereas man’s whole salvation, which is in God, depends upon the knowledge of this truth. Therefore, in order that the salvation of men might be brought about more fitly and more surely, it was necessary that they should be taught divine truths by divine revelation. It was therefore necessary that besides philosophical science built up by reason, there should be a sacred science learned through revelation.”

Theology, then, is “a knowledge revealed by God”, and distinct from Philosophy, which is a knowledge “built up by human reason”.   It is clear, however, that while God has revealed the knowledge necessary for our salvation, it remains for us to study it and allow it to enlighten our darkness.  The content of this divine revelation has been collected and is contained in the Sacred Scriptures.   The understanding of the Scriptures is attained through study, prayer and obedience.  Living in the 21st century, we have the assistance of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, who have gone before us and have shared the fruits of their years of study, prayer and obedience.

This written knowledge, however, covers thousands of pages and, therefore, we must not think that any such knowledge can be received in a simple course of schooling, covering a few years.  Therefore, in the CLAA, we make sure that we gain a simple knowledge of the content of the Sacred Scriptures and skill in the method by which the teachings of the Scriptures may be employed to answer controversial questions that may only be answered by conclusions rightly drawn from them.

Subject Areas

Theology divides into two subject areas:

  • Sacred Scripture:  The canonical Scriptures believed to be inspired by God
  • Sacred Tradition:  The Church’s doctrinal and liturgical works that authoritatively expound Christian faith and morals as received through divine revelation.  It is helpful to know that the Church’s traditional catechesis consists of four divisions:
    • The Profession of Faith, based on the Apostles Creed
    • The Celebration of the Christian Mystery, based on the Seven Sacraments
    • The Christian Life, based on the Ten Commandments, and
    • Christian Prayer, based on the Lord’s Prayer

Each of these divisions of the Theology is taught in taught in the CLAA’s Sacred Scripture, Catechism and Theology course offerings.

If you have any questions concerning Theology courses offered by the CLAA, please contact us.

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