Of God and His Creatures

The above is a summary of the scholastic theology of original sin. If I mention biblical criticism of the historic value of the early chapters of Genesis; evolutionist views of the gradual development of man from bestial ancestors; the observations of the anthropologist on what he calls 'primitive man,' a being far removed from 'original justice,' and only innocent inasmuch as he lived without law (Rom. vii, 9); I do so by way of recognition of the many sciences that now claim the attention of the ecclesiastical student over and above scholastic theology. The leisurely hours of the seventeenth century were occupied with discussions as to the number of days that Adam spent in Paradise, and whether original justice consists of one 'form ' or many. That leisure is gone: scholê (whence scholastic) has passed into ascholia. Still, to be deep, one must specialise; and one field of specialisation is scholastic theology. Only let the modern scholastic specialist never take his eyes off the thought of the century in which he lives. St Thomas is brimful of the speculations that were rife in his own University of Paris. So is Suarez replete with the best contemporary thought of Spain, and was not neglectful even of England. A great theologian is never behind the times.

Of God and His Creatures: 4.51