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In his famous essay “On the Reading of Old Books” C.S. Lewis praises the texts of ages past not because they were so often right–none of us bats a thousand–but that, in being wrong and being right about very different questions, they make apparent to us future-dwellers that we’re not answering their questions otherwise than they did but that, in many cases, we’ve abandoned their questions.  One of his proposals, which I bring with me into every classroom where I teach Sophocles and Plato and Dante and Chaucer, is that we might be able to answer our own questions better if we took the time to attend to our ancestors’ questions alongside our own moment’s. Francis Beckwith’s book Never Doubt Thomas, from Baylor University Press, does just such things, bringing Thomas Aquinas to bear not only on natural law, as we might expect, but also to questions of evolution and creation; the religious claims of Muslims and Jews; and even manners in which Protestants and Catholics can talk intelligently and charitably about our shared medieval intellectual history.  Christian Humanist Profiles is glad to have Dr. Beckwith on the show today.

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