Saturday, February 1, 2014

Excursus:Should Heretics be Tolerated? (Part 3 of ∞)

Thomas Aquinas

I will continue to discuss (in part 4 of this series) Thomas's interpretation and application of the parable of the Wheat and Weeds (I am aiming for Tuesday morning to post the next section). But first some general thoughts about how to incorporate these and other interpretations into the book.

These posts on Thomas Aquinas and his interpretation of the parable of the Wheat and Weeds represent brilliantly the conundrum I face in selecting people and items to include in the book. I can only select an extremely small number of people to discuss, and I can only select an extremely small amount of their contributions to parable interpretation--focusing on a small number of examples. Such selectivity in many instances not only can offer a very narrow view of their contributions but it also therefore sometimes might skew the reader's perspective of that person. Thomas is a prime example, because he offers so much more than just this interpretation of the Wheat and Weeds parable.

There are so many other examples from Thomas that I could include (I intend to discuss his reading of the Sower parable in the book, for example), but I selected his discussions of the Wheat and Weeds parable both for their intrinsic value and for the way they can be compared with the interpretation of Wazo of Liège, who, although his temperament is much more confrontational and abrasive, has a very different view of the parable and how to treat/tolerate "heretics."

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