Colin Brown, Christianity and Western Thought: A History of Philosphers, Ideas and Movements, Vol. 1, From the Ancient World to the Age of Enlightenment (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1990), 150.
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Did Luther Really Understand Aquinas?
“One of the questions that Luther’s theology raises is the question of how good Luther’s knowledge of philosophy was. Luther bitterly attacked Thomas Aquinas. But did he really know Aquinas, or was his knowledge largely secondhand? The answer seems to be that Luther regularly lumped Thomistic teaching on grace with Scotist and Occamist views, and that he read Thomas through the eyes of others, especially those of Gabriel Biel. Moreover, late medieval knowledge of Aquinas seems to have been based more on his commentaries than on the Summa. Even so, the question remains whether Luther’s theology would have been different if he had possessed a firsthand knowledge of Thomas. The answer remains doubtful.”