"If actuality makes modernity, then St. Thomas is the prince of modern philosophers. If a progressive universe is a contemporary ideal, then the philosophy of St. Thomas is its greatest realization. Modern Idealism needs the completion of his realism; empiricism needs his transcendental principles; philosophical biologism his metaphysics; sociological morality his ethics; sentimentalism his theory of the intelligence; and the world needs the God he knew and loved and adored." (Bishop Sheen, 1925)
In this book, Fulton Sheen addresses what G. K. Chesterton called "the most tremendous question in the world; perhaps the only question in the world:" how man, through the power of reason, can know the nature of God. Tracing the course of philosophy from the Middle Ages to modern times, he shows Thomistic realism to be an adequate response to modern ideals. Emphasizing reason as a way of attaining knowledge of God, Bishop Sheen identifies the current age of agnosticism with its simultaneous distrust of reason. In a lucid tone, he analyzes the modern attack on intelligence, while presenting Scholastic philosophy as the solution to modern problems. Bishop Sheen succeeds in actualizing St. Thomas to such a degree that he ends up proving that Scholastic philosophy speaks to the world today as freshly as it did to the world of the 13th century. Catholics will appreciate the book as an astute criticism of modern theory and coherent introduction to St. Thomas, while non-Catholics will find it useful for its strict reliance on reason and not dogma in the pursuit of philosophical knowledge.
Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979) was born in El Paso, Illinois. He was educated in schools, seminaries and universities in Illinois, Minnesota, Washington, D.C., Belgium and Italy. Following graduate studies at Louvain Universiy in Belgium, he taught in England and later at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. His sermons on the radio program, "The Catholic Hour" brought him into national prominence. In 1952 he launched his first television program, "Life is Worth Living" which attracted an audience estimated in the millions throughout the world. As National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States, he wrote and edited two nationally circulated magazines of the Society, Mission and Worldmission. Archbishop Sheen was the author of more than fifty books and a nationally syndicated newspaper column.