What is a Thomist?

Jörgen Vijgen, in a wonderful essay over at Thomistica, answers the age-old Thomistic question about what it means to be a Thomist. He attempts (successfully) to harmonize the “doctrinal” approach to Thomism and the “methodological” approach through the “moral” or “psychological” approach, which he finds in the five “marks” or signs of a Thomist. This approach appeals to the possession of a certain habitus in one’s soul. Or, in his own words, he calls it the moral approach

because, while clearly combining the doctrinal with the methodological approach, John [of St. Thomas]’s emphasis lies on the intellectual and moral virtues required of a Thomist: humility, honesty, affectus and love for the truth, combined with a sense of realism regarding the human condition.

The essay and the literature it cites are worthwhile resources for teachers and students of the Angelic Doctor.

Categories: Current Reading, John of St. Thomas


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