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Saint Thomas Aquinas, O.P. (also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino; born ca. 1225; died 7 March 1274) was a priest of the Roman Catholic Church in the Dominican Order from Italy, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus and Doctor Communis. He is frequently referred to as Thomas because "Aquinas" refers to his residence rather than his surname. He was the foremost classical proponent of natural theology, and the father of the Thomistic school of philosophy and theology. His influence on Western thought is considerable, and much of modern philosophy was conceived as a reaction against, or as an agreement with, his ideas, particularly in the areas of ethics, natural law and political theory.
Aquinas is held in the Catholic Church to be the model teacher for those studying for the priesthood. The works for which he is best-known are the Summa Theologica and the Summa Contra Gentiles. One of the 33 Doctors of the Church, he is considered by many Catholics to be the Church's greatest theologian and philosopher.
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