All the philosophic developments of the late Middle Ages always had an important impact on the theology of that period. Murphy (2007) noted that “realism” and “nominalism” are the two basic terms that go to define the domain. Plato or Augustine can be called realists, and as per their ideologies, there must be some forms or there could be an eternal realm of forms. But in most cases, a nominalist generally goes to deny the conception of separate existence of forms or universes.
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According to Schlabach (1994), Augustine had followed the Platonic tradition as he stressed on the fact that the discovery of evil is nothing but a privation of good. But many religious teachers and philosophers say that the ideology of Augustine should not be overemphasized. But still with the help of his ideas, a great deal of gap between the Neo- Platonism and the basic Christian doctrine (the basic concept of Creation out of nothing and the basic dualism of the idea) has been covered. In general, St. Augustine had followed the Platonic tradition saying that knowledge is not derived from the aspects like experience or any type of sense perception, but all the truths that had been in our minds for a long time. Knowledge is the basic understanding of these truths. But in some cases, these truths are being imposed upon our minds.
What are these truths that were discussed by Augustine? Murphy (2007) indicated that most of them are the mathematical and logical propositions that are directly related to the above. Knowledge is not only the proposition, but it is also in a direct relation with the Forms of Plato and the ideologies of the Platonic tradition. One of the most important aspects of the Augustine’s theory is that he contrasted the immutability of the different eternal forms with different human reasons that help to apprehend the subjects more easily. He had adopted the Middle Platonic view which went on to say that all the Forms are direct thoughts of God, who, on the other hand, directly looked into the mind to create the Universe to which we all belong. As per Augustine, he always considered the Platonic theory of anamnesis as the most efficient explanation of the presence of knowledge in human mind. It says that knowledge is not derived from any type of sense-based experience, but it is nohing but a type of recollection or the exercise of the human memory.
In other words, Schlabach (1994) pointed out that a person knows what is latent in his or her mind and with the help of these facts the person is able to find out what is the real truth behind the events that are happening in front of his eyes. God is the light of the mind, which is the primary source of knowledge in human mind. This is also a consideration of the fact that every human being has a soul which is very important in the process of acquiring knowledge, but in the ideology of Augustine it has never been clearly acknowledged. He also said that to acquire the knowledge of the soul, it is very important to have a divine intervention or illumination. God is the ultimate light of mind and in a way, knowing about God is nothing but a great mental process. This is the way in which the Divine light, that is the way of God, goes to illuminate the mentality of a person to the apprehending mind. The light of truth is also the ultimate light of learning.
The idea of the physical existence of God has always been a matter of faith, and hence it is always said that the existence of God cannot be proved to a person who does not believe in the existence of God. Aquinas and Anselm were two great saints and they understood the aspect very well. In all the writings of these two great saints, there is no direct mention of what or who God is in life. Aquinas said in his writings that we cannot really know God by any means possible, here we can only guess about the presence of God.
For a person, Wynn (2007) notes, the knowledge of God comes from the aspects that the person can know with certainty. For example, people know about the existence of different things in the World, they are certain of the behavior of other people and know that the mood of any person can swing in either good or bad ways. Another thing we know is that all the things are caused by something else, something which the mankind is still not certain about, something that had made the things that we see today, and that came long before any one of us.
In the point, we have to talk about the term ‘Judeo-Christian’ which is in common language of the United States of America since the 1940s. Generally, Dombrowski (2007) stateed that it is used to refer to the standards of ethics that were common in both religions, Judaism and Christianity. It was later promoted by the groups and was later evolved at the National Conference of Christians and Jews. The basic motto of the group was to fight anti-Semitism, which was promoted to protect the basic American way of life rather than any Christian or Protestant ideologies. It is an umbrella term in American politics too and had got importance in American politics and the commonly known ‘culture wars’ in the 1990s.
The basic concept of the Judeo-Christian values of life does not rest on the idea that the two religions are identical in many ways. But it goes to reinforce the concept that there is a kind of, according to Wynn (2007), “shared intersection of value system” (p.151) promoted by the Hebrew Bible, or in Judeo languages known as “Torah”. Promoting the Judeo-Christian way of life became a prominent political campaign in America in the end of 1920s. This has been brought into the culture by several generations of biblically inclined Protestant monks. And as it was really molded with American values and way of life, it became fundamental to the American history and cultural developments along with every institution in the country. Some secularists believe that the term is used to denote a Christian America, different from other Christian countries of the world.
The writings of these two great saints are in accordance with the sense. Dombrowski (2007) notes that they always mentioned that if the things are being caused by something, then we have to remember that those things are still being created by something that came earlier than all the other things. The existence of things and all the good deeds of the humans are controlled by something, and that is the thing which can clearly define the question of existence. It is very common that the atheists will certainly criticize the views of Aquinas and Anselm. In common terms, we tend to call the unnamed causes as God. It is the most important aspect of their writing that they have not tried to define God like many other scholars, but they had attempted to define God. Their conclusions are drawn with the help of reasons. This is why the writings of Anselm and Aquinas are popular in the American way of life and Judeo-Christian ideology.
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