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Scholasticism

Scholasticism, philosophical system of medieval Church teachers, or scholastics, who applied philosophic (primarily Aristotelian) ideas to Christian doctrine. They held that although reason was always subordinate to faith, it served to increase the believer's understanding of what was believed. Typical scholastic works are the commentary on an authoritative text and the quaestio, in which the writer sets out opposing authorities and then reconciles them in answering a question. St. Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica consists of a systematically constructed series of quaestiones. The influence of Aristotle on medieval thought was enormous but was not available in the West until a Latin translation appeared in the 13th century.

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