How Magic Plays in the Real World with St. Thomas Aquinas' Writing, Summa Contra Gentiles

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St. Thomas Aquinas was a Dominican professor that began teaching at the University of Paris in the year 1256, in theology. His works in the field of theology were greatly influenced by Aristotle as well as Plato. His main goal in the section of his writing, Summa Contra Gentiles, was to explain how magic was portrayed in the “natural world”. He was trying to show non-Christians, especially Muslims, how Catholic beliefs could be rationalized. All the documents of St. Aquinas’s that were paired together in the section of the book by the editors were detailed works that were seen as controversial back when they were first published. One of the works in this section, titled Commentary on the Four Books of Sentences: Sorcery and Exorcism, in…show more content…
Based off of Aquinas work, Summa Contra Gentiles, one would assume that he did believe in magic, although he did not come outright and say it. Nevertheless, he informed his readers that magicians performed their magic not just through God and heavenly ways, but also through celestial ways. They may not have performed their magic with just God’s powers help, yet they would not have been able to perform with only celestial ways either, they came together hand in hand. However, he explained that magic that came from the “heavenly bodies” was natural magic. Therefore, anything that could not be considered natural could not have come from heaven or God. He also went into greater detail explaining that an inanimate object could not possibly move by itself through the powers of God or heavenly forces. Aquinas did not speak about witches, however, his brief mention of pacts having been a necessity to speak to a demon later brought up the issue of magicians, and even later the issue of witches signing pacts. Throughout this work of his, he spoke only of magicians and their way of performing magic. In order to perform their magic, he explained that they were to speak certain words to receive the outcomes they desired. The words did not hold the power, the magician himself did. To build upon this, very powerful magicians were able to produce what they desired simply through thought. If someone was able to make what they wanted to happen with words
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