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Angelology and demonology of St Thomas Aquinas

General data

Course ID: WT-DTE-WJA Erasmus code / ISCED: 08.2 / (unknown)
Course title: Angelology and demonology of St Thomas Aquinas Name in Polish: Angelology and demonology of St Thomas Aquinas
Department: Institute of General Theology
Course groups: Courses at UKSW
Course homepage:
ECTS credit allocation (and other scores): 4.00
Language: English
Subject level:


Learning outcome code/codes:

TMA_W07, TMA_U01, TMA_U17, TMA_U18

Short description:

The course attempt to present basic topics of angelology and demonology of St Tomas Aquinas. We can see the consistent growth of interest in the problematic of angels in modern culture. Many of publications and beliefs on angels are based on the week theological background. Presentation of the top achievements of medieval angelology of St Thomas Aquinas can resolve many of problematic issues discussed today since it is based on solid grounds of metaphysics.

Full description:

Main topics:

1. Teaching on angels in philosophical and Christian tradition preceding St Thomas Aquinas.

2. Transformation of angelology in 13 th century A.D.

3. Demonstrations on the existence of angels in writings of Aquinas - are they valid?

4. Claims on the immateriality of angel’s nature.

5. Powers angels - intellect and will.

6. Extent and limits of angelic cognition.

7. Will and love of angels.

8. Sin of angels - its character and consequences.

9. Angels and God’s providence. How angels guards man and material universe.

10. Temptation and possession - actions of demons on man.


St Thomas Aqinas, Summa Theologiae 1889, Ia q. 50-119 cum commentaris Caietani,

St Thomas Aqinas, Tractatus de substantiis separatis. Treatise on Separate Substances: A Latin-English Edition of a Newly-Established Text Based on 12 Mediaeval Manuscripts, with Introduction and Notes, ed. by F. J. Lescoe, Publ. Saint Joseph College, West Hartford 1969.

J. Collins, The Thomistic Philosophy of Angels, The Catholic University of America Press, Washington 1947.

D. Keck, Angels and Angelology in the Middle Ages, Oxford University Press, New York-Oxford 1998.

J. Torrell, Saint Thomas Aquinas, vol. 1: The Person and His Work, Catholic University of America Press, Washington 2005,.

J.F. Wippel, Thomas Aquinas and the Condemnation of 1277, in The Modern Schoolman, 72, 2/3, pp. 233-272.

A Companion to Angels in Medieval Philosophy, ed. Christopher M. Bellitto, Brill, Leiden 2012.

T. Stepien, Aquinas against spiritual matter, Epekeina, vol. 6, n. 2

(2015), pp. 1-13. (

T. Stepien, Angel and the man’s dream of perfection. Remarks on benefits of studying an angelology of st. Thomas Aquinas, Metaphysics 2009 - Proceedings 4 th World Conference, Madrid 2011, s. 628-634.

T. Stepien, Nowe ujęcie natury aniołów w metafizycznej angelologii św. Tomasza z Akwinu, STV (47) 2009 nr 2, s.167-182.

T. Stepien, Niematerialny charakter poznania anielskiego w ujęciu św. Tomasza z Akwinu, Przegląd Tomistyczny, XXI (2015), s. 423-439.

Learning outcomes:

KNOWLEDGE: Student knows the teaching on angels of most important St Thomas Aquinas predecessors; knows the philosophical background of Aquinas teaching. He can describe angel as immaterial created beings, angelic powers and actions of intellect and will. Student knows St Thomas teaching on the hierarchy of angels and their function, as guardian angels. Student knows the Aquinas teaching on sin of angels and the the activities of evil angels on man (temptation).

ABILITIES: Student can refer critically on the importance of angelic beings for medieval worldview. Can discuss on whether existence of angels is only a belief or whether we can formulate demonstrations proofing their existence. Student is able to argue on importance of belief in existence of angels for daily religious life today (guarding activity of good angels, demonic influence, temptation, possession) Student can explain the role of angels in Catholic teaching on sin, temptation, and eternal punishment for the modern world.

Preparation to lectures, learning necessary terms: 30 participation in lecture: 30
preparation of presentation for exam: 60
Sum of hours: 120
Number of ECTS: [120:25 = 4]

Assessment methods and assessment criteria:


-3 student knows basic claims on nature of angels and their activities.

-4 student knows the teaching of Aquinas on angelic presence in place, angelic cognition and will.

-5 student knows and understand the detailed teaching on angelic cognition and activities.


-3 student can formulate and defend rational arguments on existence of angels.

-4 student sees the consequences of proper recognition of angelic nature to understand their activities in the created world and the limitations of their influence.

-5 student can explain how good angel or demon can affect the soul of man and can argue on importance of proper recognition of such activities.

Short essay on paper about the one of the course’s topic chosen by student.

Classes in period "Summer semester 2016/17" (past)

Time span: 2017-02-01 - 2017-06-30
Choosen plan division:

see course schedule
Type of class: Lectures, 30 hours more information
Coordinators: Tomasz Stępień
Group instructors: Tomasz Stępień
Students list: (inaccessible to you)
Examination: examination
Type of subject:


Course descriptions are protected by copyright.
Copyright by Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw.