The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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).


Przywara, 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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
offers a succinct yet incisive interpretation of the seminal influence of Thomas Aquinas played out in subsequent "Thomisms"--the 16th-century revival of Cajetan, Vitoria, Suarez and the "imposition of neoscholasticism" in the seminaries by Leo XIII's Aeterni patris (1879).
(4.) On the history of neoscholasticism, see Gerald McCool, Catholic Theology in the Nineteenth Century: The Quest for a Unitary Method (New York: Seabury Press, 1977); From Unity to Pluralism: The Internal Evolution of Thomism (New York: Fordham University Press, 1989); and The Neo-Thomists (Milwaukee, WI: Marquette University Press, 1994.
"Neoscholasticism and the Rule of God's Law: The Thought of the Theologian Alfonso Castro." Historical Reflections / Reflexions Historiques 15 (1988): 81-97.
Among the topics are atheist humanism and neoscholasticism, the political implications of a sacramental ecclesiology, post-liberalism and radical orthodoxy, and political witness and the future of spiritual exegesis.
I consider myself extremely lucky to have been exposed, at such a young age, to glimpses of Neoscholasticism and Phenomenology, two of the most engaging schools of thought then competing in the city's philosophical scene.
The major shift from neoscholasticism in the theology of grace that informed the work of Rahner and many other Catholic theologians had to do with the relationship between created grace and uncreated grace.
Goudriaan does not use his analysis to come to any more general conclusions about reformed neoscholasticism, its place in history, or its role in society or in the Church.
Gleason writes: The task facing Catholic academics today is to forge from the philosophical and theological resources uncovered in the past half-century a vision that will provide what Neoscholasticism did for so many years--a theoretical rationale for the existence of Catholic colleges and universities as a distinctive element in American higher education.
He concluded, "I am personally convinced that Leo XIII's reasoning was flawed by several historical mistakes and by theological presuppositions that were inadequate yet hardly avoidable in the neoscholasticism of the late 19th century."
Interestingly, Curran demonstrates that during the 1880s-90s, when the 'ultramontanist' church was imposing the unitary method of Thomistic neoscholasticism on dogmatic theology, a 'methodological pluralism' existed in American Catholic moral theology.
Sabetti allowed very little dissent from the ordinary magisterium (a term which only dates from the mid-nineteenth century); (2) Thomas Bouquillon, who taught graduate students at the Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and emphasized neoscholasticism. Bouquillon favored the Spanish theologians of the seventeenth-century (e.g.