Averroes on Aristotle

Islam fell completely under the sway of Aristotelian and neo-Platonic thought. Listen to the incredible praise that Averroes had for Aristotle:

I consider that that man (Aristotle) was a rule and exemplar which nature devised to show the final perfection of man…the teaching of Aristotle is the supreme truth, because his mind was the final expression of the human mind. Wherefore it has been well said that he was created and given to us by divine providence that we might know all there is to be known. Let us praise God, who set this man apart from all others in perfection, and made him approach very near to the highest dignity humanity can attain.

Translating Aristotle

David Knowles writes:

Thus the introduction of the whole canon of Aristotle to the West was a process continuing over a hundred years…the ethical and political and literary treatises presented Europe with a philosopher who regarded human life from a purely naturalistic, this-world point of view. Taken as a whole the translations of Aristotle gave Western thinkers, for the first time, matter on which to construct a full and mature system, but the atmosphere, the presuppositions of this great body of thought were not medieval and Christian, but ancient Greek and non-religious, not to say rationalistic in character.

The ongoing use of Aristotle in Christendom coupled with the loss of many of his works led to a situation where their rediscovery upset the apple cart of systematic theology. The fascination with and recovery of ancient Greek and Roman culture was one impetus away from the Church and towards secularism. Something to think about for proponents of Classical education.