a collective term referring to various schools in Catholic philosophy that strive for a restoration of medieval Scholasticism. Neoscholasticism dates from the early 19th century and the revival of Thomism in Italy by G. Cornoldi and by V. Buzzetti and his pupil S. Sordi, in Spain by J. Balmes, and in Germany by J. Kleutgen (mid-19th century).
Neoscholasticism developed on an increasingly broad scale from the second half of the 19th century. Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Aeterni patris (Aug. 4, 1879) proclaimed the teachings of Thomas Aquinas to be the one true philosophy of Catholicism. Subsequently, neoscholasticism developed within the mainstream of neo-Thomism. A list of 24 Thomist theses, which was published by order of Pope Pius X on July 27, 1914, formulated the basic tenets of all the major subdivisions of Catholic philosophy: ontology, cosmology, anthropology, and theodicy. A scholastic tradition based on the ideas of the Spanish philosopher F. Suárez developed in Spain and, in the second half of the 20th century, in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG).
In the contemporary period neoscholasticism, along with strict Thomism and the teachings of Suárez and his followers, includes various philosophical schools whose adherents are attempting to synthesize Thomism with contemporary idealist currents (the Louvain school in Belgium and the Pullach school in the FRG, for example). A Platonic Augustinian school (represented by J. Hessen in the FRG and M. F. Sciacca in Italy) and a school that preserves the Franciscan tradition (J. Möller and T. Barth, FRG) also adhere to neoscholasticism.
Setting itself the task of providing philosophical justification for church dogmas, neoscholasticism retains the methodology of medieval Scholasticism and aims to “overcome materialism and pantheism with more perfect means than those of Scholasticism, include Catholicism in cultural progress, offer people revelation in contemporary arguments, bring knowledge and faith together in a new formula, and make a concession to the development of modern times by admitting human self-consciousness to philosophy” (H. Meyer, Weltanschauung der Gegenwart, Paderborn-Würzburg, 1949, pp. 155–56).
REFERENCESPrzywara, E. “Die Problematik der Neuscholastik.” Kant-Studien, 1928, vol. 33.
Ehrle, F. Die Scholastik und ihre Aufgaben in unserer Zeit, 2nd ed. Freiburg im Breisgau, 1933.
Sbarra, A. I problemi della neoscolastica. Naples, 1936.
L. I. GREKOV