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Étienne Gilson (1884–1978)

Author of The Christian Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas

123+ Works 4,324 Members 33 Reviews 8 Favorited

About the Author

Born in Paris, Etienne Gilson was educated at the University of Paris. He became professor of medieval philosophy at the Sorbonne in 1921, and in 1932 was appointed to the chair in medieval philosophy at the College de France. In 1929 he cooperated with the members of the Congregation of Priests of show more St. Basil, in Toronto, Canada, to found the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies in association with St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto. Gilson served as professor and director of studies at the institute. Like his fellow countryman Jacques Maritain, Etienne Gilson was a neo-Thomist for whom Christian revelation is an indispensable auxiliary to reason, and on faith he accepted Christian doctrine as advocated by the Roman Catholic church. At the same time, like St. Thomas Aquinas, he accorded reason a wide compass of operation, maintaining that it could demonstrate the existence of God and the necessity of revelation, with which he considered it compatible. Why anything exists is a question that science cannot answer and may even deem senseless. Gilson found the answer to be that "each and every particular existing thing depends for its existence on a pure Act of existence." God is the supreme Act of existing. An authority on the Christian philosophy of the Middle Ages, Gilson lectured widely on theology, art, the history of ideas, and the medieval world. (Bowker Author Biography) show less


Works by Étienne Gilson

The Spirit of Mediaeval Philosophy (1936) 411 copies, 1 review
God and Philosophy (1941) 333 copies, 3 reviews
Reason and Revelation in the Middle Ages (1938) 314 copies, 5 reviews
The Unity of Philosophical Experience (1937) 293 copies, 2 reviews
Heloise and Abelard (Ann Arbor Paperbacks) (1948) 167 copies, 1 review
Elements of Christian Philosophy (1959) 141 copies, 2 reviews
Being and Some Philosophers (1949) 132 copies, 2 reviews
Methodical Realism (1990) 100 copies
Painting and Reality (1957) 95 copies, 1 review
Dante and Philosophy (1939) 90 copies, 1 review
The Arts of the Beautiful (1965) 83 copies
The spirit of Thomism (1964) 55 copies
L'être et l'essence (1948) 28 copies
Recent philosophy: Hegel to the present (1966) 26 copies, 1 review
Christianity and philosophy (1939) 19 copies
Choir of muses (2007) 13 copies
Medieval essays (2011) 10 copies
Pour un ordre catholique (2013) 6 copies, 2 reviews
L'atheisme Difficile (2014) 6 copies
Tommaso contro Agostino (2010) 4 copies
Les idées et les lettres (1932) 4 copies
SANTO TOMÁS DE AQUINO (1964) 3 copies, 1 review
La filosofia nel medioevo 3 copies, 1 review
Humanisme et Renaissance (1983) 2 copies
Tanrı ve felsefe (1999) 1 copy
L'essere e l'essenza (1988) 1 copy
Etudes Médiévales (1983) 1 copy

Associated Works

City of God (0426) — Introduction, some editions — 6,293 copies, 34 reviews
Historia Calamitatum (1130) — Introduction, some editions — 247 copies, 10 reviews
The Sheed and Ward Anthology of Catholic Philosophy (2005) — Contributor — 28 copies


Common Knowledge



An authorized translation from "Le Thomisme" by Etienne Gilson. The revival of interest in the name and work of St. Thomas Aquinas is a fact which is bound to impress even the most superficial observer.
StFrancisofAssisi | 4 other reviews | Feb 1, 2023 |
laplantelibrary | Dec 1, 2022 |


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