Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The term Thomism may be understood in two senses. In one it refers to the school of Thomas Aquinas, an unbroken tradition since 1274 in which people study, teach, and promote the thought of Aquinas. In the other sense it seeks to identify the doctrines that distinguish adherents of this school. These distinctive doctrines are, in the first place, metaphysical and theological rather than political, although it can be argued that a distinctive political philosophy emerges from the application of Thomist doctrines to questions of government. In this entry, Thomism is treated in both senses. In the first it requires identifying the important personalities and significant events in the history of the school of Thomas Aquinas. In the second it means considering the philosophical and theological teachings of Aquinas that are relevant to political philosophy, in particular his understandings of natural law, of the distinction between nature and grace, of ...