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Nobilior Modus Est: The Importance of Music in the Theology of Thomas Aquinas

   | 30 paź 2023


This paper presents a reading of Aquinas’ treatment of the value of music in religious teaching and preaching about God that reinterprets his claim in ST II-II, q. 91, a.2 that language is of ‘a more noble kind’ than music. Through an understanding of Aquinas’ writings on ‘contemplation’ a more complex and thorough treatment of music can be outlined. Far from simply presenting an argument for the superiority of language over music for the purpose of gaining religious understanding, this paper argues that Aquinas’ wider literary corpus on the subject of contemplation provides both implicit and explicit support for the parallel value music and language.