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Understanding (intellectus)

SG Understanding

In the third window a discerning use of the intellect is represented by St. Paul and by St. Thomas Aquinas. Understanding is the capacity to evaluate both the form and the content of belief and to grasp those truths which follow from such belief. St. Paul's theological formulations within the New Testament epistles form the basis for much Christian doctrine and understanding of Christian truth. The traditional symbol for Paul is the sword, illustrating both the power of his eloquence as an author of Scripture (the double-edged sword) and also the manner of his death. St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), the Angelic Doctor, is one of the most influential theologians and philosophers in the history of the Christian Church. His Summa Theologica is a compendium of philosophical reasoning as well as of Christian theological understanding.

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Intellectual Virtues