In this book (a translation of his well-known work _ L’esprit de la philosophie medievale,_ Etienne Gilson undertakes the task of defining the spirit of mediaeval philosophy. Gilson asks whether we can form the concept of a Christian philosophy and whether mediaeval philosophy is not its most adequate historical expression. He maintains that the spirit of mediaeval philosophy is the spirit of Christianity penetrating the Greek tradition, working within it, and drawing out of it a certain view of the world that is specifically Christian. To support his hypothesis, Gilson examines mediaeval thought in its nascent state, at that precise point where the Judeo-Christian graft was inserted into the Hellenic tradition. Gilson’s demonstration is primarily historical and occasionally theoretical in suggesting how doctrines that satisfied our predecessors for so many centuries may still be found conceivable today.
“Gilson’s style remains relaxed and conversational, graciously avoiding the labyrinthine twists of syntax and logic that often accompany the topic of metaphysics. . . . [The book] is a text of tremendous value—perhaps most especially so in our own particular period in the history of philosophy. Gilson’s book does more than merely overturn a few erroneous notions about mediaeval thinking; it works to remind its reader what it means to think and live within the structure of a metaphysical world-view.” — Faith andCulture