Happy April everyone! With a new month comes a new issue of Femnista! This month’s issue is titled Keeping the Faith, which looks at elements and the evolution of Christianity over time. Took a very long brainstorming session for me (spanning months) as I had a lot of topics I wanted to write on, but in the end I chose to write on St. Thomas Aquinas.
A bit of a personal reason why I chose to write on St. Thomas Aquinas: over the years–since high school, I would say–he’s becoming the saint I would often turn to and pray to, usually over my studies (big exam coming up, finishing my programme (whichever one it was at the time), getting through my MA thesis, getting through my nursing programme). There are other saints in the Catholic Church of course who are patrons of learning and academic studies (St. Dominic Savio was an early one for me), but I stuck with St. Thomas Aquinas over the years.
Oh, and I visited his resting place in Toulouse back in 2010. The church he’s housed at is quite haunting in its bareness (stripped during the French Revolution) but the simplicity and beauty seems fitting for a man dedicated to ideas and learning and his devotion to God (he went through a lot to join the Dominican Order!)
Of course, he’s quite the figure in Christianity. You may have encountered him in high school philosophy, having been the first to reintroduce Aristotle’s works in a large way in the late medieval period and infusing it/taking it a step further with Christian theology. And that’s just the simple explanation: it’s actually a lot complex than that. I learned over the course of pouring over books and online articles (you may have seen my photo on Instagram) that there was quite a vibrant intellectual debate happening in the Church and academic circles at the time and St. Thomas Aquinas’ ideas really pushed things to a whole new level. I also didn’t know that his ideas are more of less the foundations of the present Catholic Church and that it is considered the official philosophy of the Church; I knew his ideas were very influential to the way we think about doctrine and theology, but I never knew the extent of it. It’s really fascinating, and if you’re into reading philosophical tomes, it’s worth peeking at some of his writings, though admittedly they are prety dense (I own the Selected Writings Penguin Classics edition of his works and it was pretty difficult to get through :3 ).
Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy the article and the rest of the articles featured in this issue; there’s a lot of great topics and individuals covered! Just a friendly reminder that if you’re interested in contributing to the e-zine and you love to write and talk about arts & entertainment & history, these are the upcoming issues for 2016. You can contact the editor at femnista [at] charitysplace [dot] com to secure a spot. As for myself, you’ll see me again in the July/August issue–who can resist writing on William Shakespeare’s works? 😀