Novak (novak) wrote,

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Theological Notebook--Virtual Pilgrimmage

jucundushomo did me the great honour of lighting a candle for me at the tomb of Albert the Great (or "Albertus Magnus," as he's often remembered) in Köln. I'd link to his tasteful account, but I'm afraid it's a locked entry in his journal. Albert was the primary teacher of Thomas Aquinas and has fascinated me by being one of those "what if?" points in history. Albert figured out and used the method of modern science in the 1200s, some 400 years before other European thinkers did. What he apparently didn't do was realize the importance of his methodological discovery. So what would history have been like had we started moving forward in the sciences that early? Still without (as it actually happened) the concurrent use of the printing press, knowledge would have been slower to disseminate. Or would the press have been thought of earlier? Anyway, as you can see: What if?

Beyond that, Albert is still a notable model for the real relationship between science and religious thought: that there is no essential contradiction in these two avenues of exploring Truth. Albert and Thomas would roll in their graves to know that lots of people make such a silly assumption nowadays in our supposedly "advanced" period: yay for the United States still being dominated by Enlightenment philosophy and propaganda. Instead, the unity of Albert's thought is still electrifyingly refreshing, even some 800 years after his birth.

EDIT: Tim went and unlocked and updated the entry!
Tags: catholicism, faith and reason, friends-marquette era, medieval studies, mysticism/spirituality, personal, scientific, theological notebook, thomas aquinas, travel

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