Saint Thomas Aquinas lived from 1225 to 1274 and is considered one of the greatest philosophers of his time. He belonged to the Dominican order. His theological works and reflections on the nature of the world had a great influence on Christianity. St. Thomas is one of the doctors of ChurchA Catholic. He was canonized in 1323 by Pope John XXII. Thomas Aquinas' most popular works include the Summa contra Gentiles and the Summa Theologica.
St. Thomas made a separation between knowledge and faith. He believed that man is not able to fathom all the truths of faith with reason. We are able to arrive at some of them using only our senses and focus. He did, however, present rational evidence for existence God. One of these is the order and harmony that occurs in nature. St. Thomas Aquinas believed that there must be a cause behind the existence of motion; in this case the existence of a higher power in the form of God. He argued that all creatures have a soul, but man is the most important being after God because he is the only one who can think.
For the most part, St. Thomas' insights about the world and faith remain relevant. However, there are some theses and views in his works whose proclamation today seems very eccentric and hurtful to many people. One such theme is St. Thomas's attitude toward women. He is the author of such quotes, among others:
A male embryo becomes a human being after 40 days, a female embryo after 80. Girls are formed from damaged sperm or as a result of moist winds.
A woman's value lies in her reproductive abilities and her ability to be used for domestic work.
Women are a mistake of nature...with their excess moisture, their body temperature indicative of bodily and spiritual impairment...they are a kind of crippled, missed, failed man.
There is no denying that these are very controversial theses that can make many women uncomfortable. St. Thomas puts women in the role of a weaker being who is not predisposed to be independent. She needs a man to take care of her. Women are meant to reproduce and take care of the home. According to some theologians, by writing about women in this way, St. Thomas undermines the perfection and infallibility of God, who created man in his own image.