Thomas Aquinas, the most noted philosopher of the Middle Ages, was born near Naples, Italy, to the Count of Aquino and Theodora of Naples. As a young man he determined, in spite of family opposition to enter the new Order of Saint Dominic. He did so in 1244. Thomas Aquinas was a fairly radical Aristotelian. He rejected any form of special illumination from God in ordinary intellectual knowledge. He stated that the soul is the form of the body, the body having no form independent of that provided by the soul itself. He held that the intellect was sufficient to abstract the form of a natural object from its sensory representations and thus the intellect was sufficient in itself for natural knowledge without God's special illumination. He rejected the Averroist notion that natural reason might lead individuals correctly to conclusions that would turn out false when one takes revealed doctrine into account. Aquinas wrote more than sixty important works. The Summa Theologica is considered his greatest work. It is the doctrinal foundation for all teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
Ralph McInerny was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on February 24, 1929. He served in the Marine Corps in the late 1940s. He received a bachelor's degree from St. Paul Seminary in 1951, a master's degree from the University of Minnesota in 1952 and a doctorate in philosophy from Laval University in Quebec in 1954. He was a member of the University of Notre Dame faculty from 1955 until 2009. He gained international renown as a scholar, author and lecturer who specialized in the works of St. Thomas Aquinas. During his academic career, he was the Michael P. Grace Professor of Medieval Studies and director of the Jacques Maritain Center at the University of Notre Dame. He is founder and publisher of Catholic Dossier magazine and co-founder of Crisis magazine. His philosophical works include Aquinas on Human Action, The Question of Christian Ethics, and Aquinas and Analogy. His novels include the Father Dowling Mystery series, an Andrew Broom Mystery series, and the Sister Mary Teresa Mystery series. He also wrote under the pseudonyms of Harry Austin, Matthew FitzRalph, Ernan Mackey, Edward Mackin, and Monica Quill. He died on January 29, 2010 at the age of 80.