Summa Theologica

Jessica Creel

Professor Perrin

History Philosophy I: Ancient Medieval

February 23, 2012

Analytical Essay II

Summa Theologica represents the works of Thomas Aquinas in his quest to understanding Christianity from an Aristotelian point of view. Summa Theologica gets made up of three parts (Aquinas & Edward 5). The first explains the existence and nature of God and the planet he created. The second deals with human activity and ethics. The third part explains Christ and the sacraments (Brian 22). Neo-Platonism refers to the term associated with the teachings of Plato and the Platonists. It is vital to note that though it bases its arguments on the teachings of Plato, it is quite different from what Plato wrote (Remes 22). Plotinus and his apprentice Porphyry get credited as the founders of Neo-Platonism. This paper will compare and contrast the characterization of God in the Summa Theologica and the Neo-Platonist view.

Both the Summa Theologica and Neo-Platonism account for the existence of a superior being or God. In the Summa Theological, Aquinas advances arguments that seek to establish and prove God’s existence (Brian 22). Aquinas states that there is a God simply because the world itself needs him as an explanation. The first part of the Summa Theologica concludes by Aquinas quipping that God cannot fail to exist. Aquinas proposes that the world cannot function with such efficiency without a grand architect who is God (Edward & Aquinas 39). The smoothness with which the world functions cannot be created by chance but must be the product of God’s work. Aquinas in his first three arguments aims at explaining the existence of God by accounting for change in the physical world, the presence of the physical world, and existence in itself. Neo-Platonism also accepts the existence of the one who is infinite (Albert 30). The one gets painted as the source of life and the sole cause of the only real existence. The one is the source of all life. The one...