Thomas Aquinas was the most influential theologian in the Middle Ages. Most later theologians copied their arguments from him.
In Thomas’ time women were excluded from the ordained ministries. Thomas had to find justification for this as a theologian. The main reason, he decided, was woman’s inferior nature.
Thomas based his reasonings on what he read in Aristotle’s work, whose books became known in Europe at the time through Arab scholars.
Like Aristotle, Thomas believed that only the male seed carried life. Following Aristotle’s assessment, he judged women as having less intelligence and being weak in character. Everything was determined by God in the laws God laid down as Creator in nature.
On this page we outline Thomas’s teaching. To read the exact words of Thomas, click on the links indicated!
For an analysis of the validity of Thomas’s arguments, click here!
|Documents on St. Thomas Aquinas|
|Women and procreation||Inferiority of women||Arguments||Overview||The priest as sign||Women and holy orders||If Thomas had known|
This website is maintained by the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research.
The Institute is known for issuing academic reports and statements on relevant issues in the Church. These have included scholars’ declarations on the need of collegiality in the exercise of church authority, on the ethics of using contraceptives in marriage and the urgency of re-instating the sacramental diaconate of women.
You are welcome to use our material. However: maintaining this site costs money. We are a Charity and work mainly with volunteers, but we find it difficult to pay our overheads.
Visitors to our website since January 2014.
Pop-up names are online now.
The number is indicative, but incomplete. For full details click on cross icon at bottom right.