The World As God's Icon

Creator and Creation in the Platonic Thought of Thomas Aquinas

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Sebastian Morello
  • New York: 
    Angelico Press
    , October
     154 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


The World as God’s Icon is a scholarly but accessible enquiry into the sources of Aquinas’s thought, and the reception of his realism in the work of the “Existential Thomists” as they uncovered Aquinas’s Neoplatonic themes. In this short but compelling work, the key aspects of Aquinas’s Platonism are brought together to convey a broad ontology, which ultimately presents creation as an icon of God. This is accomplished on three fronts. First, the received notion that Aquinas ought to be understood as a pure—albeit Christian—Aristotelian is challenged, by arguing rather that he was an heir to a much richer synthesis of Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy, which he brought to perfection in his own thought. Second, it is made startlingly clear that it is in fact Neoplatonic ontology that provides the framework for Aquinas’s thought insofar as it reveals the world as an icon of God, allowing for a new way of looking in wonder at creation, while providing a certain “praeambula fidei.” Third, we are offered a way of thinking about aesthetics that follows from the metaphysical view advanced.

While this book is oriented most directly to those familiar with Thomistic approaches to metaphysics, the philosophy of religion, and aesthetics, and especially to those seeking a truly humane application of Aquinas’s thought, beyond the circle of such readers its message will be of keen interest to anyone pursuing a deeper understanding of the Catholic philosophical tradition.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Sebastian Morello was trained in philosophy by Sir Roger Scruton and Andrew Pinsent. He is a lecturer, columnist, and popular public speaker in the United Kingdom and throughout Europe. Morello has previously co-authored books on subjects of philosophy and education. He lives in Bedfordshire, England, with his wife and children.


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