Albertus Magnus


Albertus MagnusAlbertus Magnus, a German philosopher, theologian and scholastic was also known as Saint Albert the Great and Albert of Cologne. He was Dominican friar who became famous for his comprehensive knowledge and advocacy for the compatibility of the tenets and practices of science and religion. He was the first medieval scholar to apply Aristotle's philosophy to Christian thought. His synthesis of Greek rationalism and Christian docrine came to define Catholic philosophy.

Albertus was educated at Padua, Italy, where he received instruction in Aristotle's writings. Around 1223 he became a member of the Dominican Order. He then studied theology in Bologna and elsewhere and taught in various cities in Germany. In 1245 he went to Paris to study for his doctorate.

Albertus spent the remainder of his life preaching throughout Bavaria and the adjoining districts. At the end of his life, he spent his time defending the orthodoxy of his former pupil Thomas Aquinas.

Albertus wrote 38 books, indicating his knowledge of a wide range of topics including logic, theology, botany, geography, astronomy, mineralogy, chemistry, zoology, physiology, and phrenology. His philosophical works, occupying the first six and the last of the twenty-one of his books, are generally divided according to the Aristotlian scheme of the sciences, and consist of interpretations and condensations of Aristotle's works.

Albertus proved to the world that the church need not be opposed to the study of nature. He showed how faith and science can be compatible. He also showed the importance of experiment and investigation as a way to gain knowledge.

Writings of St. Albertus Magnus

Magnus, Albertus De Principiis Motus Processivi

Writings about St. Albertus Magnus

Kennedy, D. (1907). St. Albertus Magnus. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved January 4, 2009 from New Advent:

Siraisi, Nancy (1980). The medical learning of Albertus Magnus. In J. Weisheipl (Ed.). Albertus Magnus and the sciences (pp. 379-404) Toronto: Pontificial Institute of Medieval Studies.