This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

NOTICE:
This Dark Age is now available in paperback on Amazon. The print version is MUCH cleaner than this online version, which is largely unedited and has fallen by the wayside as the project has grown. If you’ve appreciated my writing, please consider leaving a review on the relevant paperback volumes. The print edition also includes new sections (Military History, War Psychology, Dogmatic Theology).

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Christianity does not require Aristotle in order to speak about man

Aristotle’s formulation that ‘the soul is the form of the body’, taken for granted by modern Catholic theology as the answer to the unity of the person, is not, at least for Aristotle, so simple as it seems. In some ways his anthropology produces its own difficulties especially with respect to the intellect. Aquinas sought to resolve these difficulties but the point remains that Aristotle does not have ‘the answer’ and that his dialectic and terminology, however useful, had to be modified and re-formulated in order to be Christianized.

Additionally, and since we are about to examine the anthropological doctrines of the early Church, we should remind the reader that Aristotle did not come to Western Christianity until the 13th century, and so the preferred formula of modern theologians was not accessible to anyone for over a thousand years of theological development. This means that as we consider the writings of earlier theologians, we inevitably lean toward one of two possible positions: 1) Everyone before Aquinas, from Clement of Alexandria to Augustine, was only capable of producing incomplete or incorrect teachings about the soul. 2) Or, it is in fact possible to describe the constitution of the human person without reference to Aristotle’s work. The obvious approach, for us, is the latter.

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