SUMMA w/ BUTT JOKES: how we know we know what we know [I Q. 1, Art. 1]

This is part of an ongoing series in which I read and interpret Thomas Aquinas’s SUMMA THEOLOGICA for butt joke aficionados. See this post for more information.


Honestly, that “know” wedge is pretty generously sized

Let’s start with how the Summa’s organized. It’s broken into three large parts: Part I is mostly about God; Part II is mostly about morality; Part III is mostly about Jesus. Each part is broken down into several “questions,” and each question is broken down into several articles (which themselves are actually phrased as actual questions, so that’s kind of weird).

I’ll be looking at an article a week. Each article has a specific structure:

  • a question, followed by
  • several objections to Aquinas’s answer;
  • (sometimes) an “On the Contrary” section, which provides a counterpoint to the objections;
  • Aquinas’s answer, and finally
  • his responses to the objections.

In other words, the objections to the answer come before the answer itself, sort of like when Fox News interviews a Democrat. I’ll break this stuff down piece-by-piece for you. Good? Good.

As a reminder: I’m doing this as a layman, from the English translation of the Summa that I have on hand. Anything I actually get right is purely coincidental.

FIRST ARTICLE [I, Q. 1, Art. 1]:

Whether, besides Philosophy, any Further Doctrine Is Required?

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Rape Culture, Fundamentalism, and the New Atheism

A Google image search for "Christian patriarchy" brought this up. You can...draw your own conclusion.

A Google image search for “Christian patriarchy” brought this up. You can, uh, draw your own conclusion.

There’s been no shortage of sex abuse scandals in the Christian Church in recent years. By now the Catholic Church scandals are old news, but Protestants have rushed to get in on the action in the last year or three as well, with allegations against dozens of institutions coming to light. Bill Gothard of the respected (by some) Institute for Biblical Life Principles recently resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment, and numerous damning exposés have been written on the entrenched rape culture — where victims are blamed and perpetrators walk free — at universities like Bob Jones and Patrick Henry.

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