Scholastic Humanism and the Unification of Europe

by R. W. Southern
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Why did the scholastics feel compelled to reconcile Aristotle with Christianity?

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The scholastic reconciliation of Aristotle with Christianity is best compared with modern efforts of groups like the Templeton foundation to reconcile reason with religion. When contact with the Moors in Spain and the scholars fleeing the fall of the Byzantine Empire in Italy brought renewed knowledge of the Greek texts of Aristotle to the Latin west, this appeared a great rebirth of scientific and philosophical knowledge. Rather than dismiss this knowledge, as, for example, happens in the United States when pressure groups try to forbid teaching evolution, the Christians of the Middle Ages worked hard to reconcile the new science within their existing framework of Christianity, neither abandoning their faith nor refusing to face new scientific knowledge.

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