Date of Award
Thesis - SCU Access Only
Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2020.
Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL)
Does God exist or not? How can human beings know that God exists? What is God? How can we know what God is? These questions regarding God are the chief concern of theology. Thomas Aquinas defines theology or sacred doctrine as a science, and its object is God.1 In other words, theology might be defined as the study of God. Nonetheless, some could claim that this definition of theology probably reduces God into a studied objection.2 Of course, this is not Aquinas’ thought. Before defining theology, Aquinas identifies two kinds of knowledge of God. The first one is knowledge coming from human reason in the so-called natural knowledge of God, and the second one is the knowledge that is revealed by God. Among natural knowledge and revealed knowledge of God, the question of which one is more dominant has long divided Lutheran and Roman Catholic theologians.3 Leaving aside this question, Aquinas confirms that both kinds of knowledge of God coexist and refer to God.4 In this sense, the object of theology is God. Therefore, one can understand that Aquinas never places God as the object of sacred doctrine; rather, he considers knowledge of God as the object of sacred doctrine.5 In this perspective, knowledge of God is necessary for the salvation of human beings because it leads human beings to truth and the end of human life; that is why it constitutes the higher realm of what can be known by human reason.6
Le, Quang Quoc, "Thomas Aquinas’ Notion of Natural Theology and the Challenge of Religious Experience: The Beginnings of a Conversation" (2020). Jesuit School of Theology Dissertations. 55.