Editor’s note: This blog post asks tough questions on two very esoteric subjects. Please forgive the author.
Today in class, our philosophy teacher explained that Catholics tend to have a very Aristotelian world view, mostly because one of the founding fathers of fundamental Catholic thought, Thomas Aquinas, discovered the works of Aristotle in a once mostly Platonic world and immediately fell in love with his ideas. He published an incredible body of literature that influenced Catholic thought for centuries to come. Protestantism, however, deals mostly with a Platonic lens for viewing the world, partly because of Martin Luther, who belonged to a monastic order influenced by Platonic philosophy. And thus, you can see the dueling views between those participating in that great Christian schism.
This is not to say that Catholics subscribe to everything Aristotle says, or that Protestants quote Plato’s Republic regularly. Simply, their world views mirror that of the those two great philosophers, and a study of any of their theologies simply cannot do without a study of those two giants.
This got my wheels a-turning: The LDS faith prides itself in the fact that our religion cannot categorize itself as either Catholic or Protestant. We are, our chests a-puffin’, at best, a Restorationist church. To many members, we are the Church, the original Church comprised of people like Peter, Elijah, Moses, yes, even Adam. But surely there is a philosophical school out there mirroring our world view? I am a firm believer that our doctrines are sound, but certainly our culture and world view has been influenced by, dare I say, the teachings and philosophizing of men? If you had to choose a philosophical school that mirrors our world view, what would it be? Do we take closely after either the Catholic or Protestant philosophical view, or are we a completely different animal?