Debate topic - That St John of the Cross beats St Thomas Aquinas
#1
Anyone up for it? [Image: smile.gif]
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#2
Do you mean in terms of who has offered more insight at the service of the Faith in general? I would have to say Saint Thomas. He isn't Universal Doctor without a reason. Moreover, in our times today his system offers a robust defence of the Faith in face of modernism and all these ethical nonsense-theories trashing the natural law. In terms of life issues and sexual morality, the Church really can't do without Saint Thomas as a way of setting forth clearly and reasonably her teaching.  

Or do you mean in a specific area, i.e.: spiritual life? In this regard, John of the Cross arguably offers more insights. Though didn't he somewhat base this on St. Thomas anyway?

 



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#3
Imho if someone wants to understand the XVI century mistics, St Theresa of Avilla, especially the

Life of St Teresa
http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/8120

The Interior Caste
http://books.google.com/books?id=zQOPWScxlmgC&dq=st+teresa+of+avila&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=xzY9vzla_2&sig=ODucwbQ3wuY2rjEvupdDx-1f8-k&hl=en&ei=amzXSdqyJ4vuMv3w5P0O&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6#PPA6,M1

and the Way of perfection
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/teresa/way.html

gives better view than St John the Cross.

He was the confessor of St Teresa and her view could be deeply influenced by him, but she talks in plain language, and offers something what could be followed.

As For St Thomas he is for study in details, not to read as book. I personally like the Franciscans especially Duns Scotus better, but he is not for reference in details.

laszlo


Lagrange Wrote:Do you mean in terms of who has offered more insight at the service of the Faith in general? I would have to say Saint Thomas. He isn't Universal Doctor without a reason. Moreover, in our times today his system offers a robust defence of the Faith in face of modernism and all these ethical nonsense-theories trashing the natural law. In terms of life issues and sexual morality, the Church really can't do without Saint Thomas as a way of setting forth clearly and reasonably her teaching.  

Or do you mean in a specific area, i.e.: spiritual life? In this regard, John of the Cross arguably offers more insights. Though didn't he somewhat base this on St. Thomas anyway?

 
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#4
This is not a tangible comparison. Tomas Aquinas' teachings were very technical and theological - example, his Summa. St. John of the Cross was a mystic. Perhaps the argument of Augustine v. Aquinas is more interesting.
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#5
Sorry for the ambiguous topic, but I didn't know a short way to say what I'm interested in. And I still don't unfortunately. I wanted a debate that showed that St John of the Cross isn't a mere "mystic" or "spiritual guide" etc but actually a real Doctor who had just as penetrating an understanding of the Faith as Aquinas, and whose writings were just as "technical and theological" (though using different language, method etc).

But I've decided that this will be too complicated and time-consuming for me to get into right now, so maybe I'll just leave the thread for others if they're interested in discussing it.

I was especially interested in tackling their respective understandings of Revelation, Faith and the Intellect, if that helps! In my mind, there's a lot of over-lap, and in some ways I think St John of the Cross goes further than Aquinas. I realize most people would find that a ridiculous comment, but that's why I wanted a bit of a controversial debate!
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#6
DeMaistre Wrote:This is not a tangible comparison. Tomas Aquinas' teachings were very technical and theological - example, his Summa. St. John of the Cross was a mystic. Perhaps the argument of Augustine v. Aquinas is more interesting.

St. Thomas Aquinas represent the systematical view of our faith representing the comon approach of the thirtinth Century, at the highest level of the One Saint Catholic and Apostolic Church

St. John the Cross represents the view and advises of a nonconformist individual about the monastic life and misticism, at the time which was quite low level related to the life of the Church.

It is possible to choose one or more particular quations and compare the view of the two saints, but generic comparison is probably impossible.

Here are the main works od St John the Cross

http://www.ccel.org/j/john_cross/?show=worksBy

Interestingly by the end of their life both got to the same conclusion:

'A the top of the mountain there is nothing' (St John the cross)

'Brother, whatever we wrote is straw' (St Thomas Aquinas)

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#7
Like star-gazing, it occurs to me your proposal to compare/contrast the two is mind boggling, but might lead to hypoglycemia, maybe even manic depression.  For instance, it's like comparing Solomon's first two writings and excluding the  Song (vis Doctor Montfort).  Wisdom and vanity...  Jews and Greeks...
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#8
Well, yes and no. See that's what I mean about St John of the Cross being pigeon-holed as "just a mystic" etc. He dissected things just as "scientifically" (if not as concisely!) as Aquinas, and treated some of the same subject matter much more comprehensively, IMO. His detailed description of the process in which the Intellect assents to doctrinal truths through Faith etc is brilliant, for example. Fr Garrigou-Lagrange certainly didn't see them in an "apples and oranges" kind of way, and he was an expert on both. But any way...
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#9
(04-06-2009, 11:00 PM)Benno Wrote: Well, yes and no. See that's what I mean about St John of the Cross being pigeon-holed as "just a mystic" etc. He dissected things just as "scientifically" (if not as concisely!) as Aquinas, and treated some of the same subject matter much more comprehensively, IMO. His detailed description of the process in which the Intellect assents to doctrinal truths through Faith etc is brilliant, for example. Fr Garrigou-Lagrange certainly didn't see them in an "apples and oranges" kind of way, and he was an expert on both. But any way...

To further complicate the matter, it's not right to characterize St. Thomas as exclusively a theologian.  He was also a mystic who was given ecstasies and visions.  His hymns and prayers are considered by some to be his best work.  Pope Urban IV was drafting a new liturgy and office for the newly extended feast of Corpus Christi in 1264 asked for hymns and texts from both St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure, who was no slouch in either the mystical or theological department. (considered by the Church to be  Aquinas' only equal as a theologian.)  Bonaventure destroyed his work after hearing Aquinas' effort. 

We are in a Church full of riches, let's not sell any of our saints short.
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#10
Yes!
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