Whose philosophies do you think most advanced western religious thought? Explain your answer.
Western Philosophy and Religion
Before we can discuss a particular Philosophy that has highly influenced or advanced Western Religious thought, let us first go back to define what 'Western Philosophy' is. There are two 'main' divides in Philosophy from a semi-geographic/cultural point of view. The Eastern Philosophies like Western Philosophies are deeply tied to the socio-religious and cultural norms of their regions of origin. And while they might share similarities they are very particular in the way they are interpreted by the people whom they greatly influence. Western Religious philosophy refers to the prominent religions in Europe & the 'Anglicized', that is, European colonized or formerly British-occupied nations/regions of the world. Predominantly following religion stemming from 'Abraham' (i.e. Christianity, Judaism), the religious thought that it has brought to fore has come into various discussions & metamorphosis from the period of European Medieval Scholarship, to the Renaissance, to the Enlightenment, to Conservative Debates of today. It has heavily influenced the Academe and while scientific advance in terms of the study of the natural world has started in the grounds of Scholastic Abbeys, the Religious & Scientific forms of inquiry has battled it out in various sensitive topics to this day. Western Religious Philosophies heavily influenced European Governance since the medieval period and only with the 19th Century Lockean ideas of equality and separation of Church and State has religion lost its iron grip in informing national governance. Eastern Religious Philosophies on the other hand are divided prominently between Chinese Taoic/Confucian Beliefs (with its' many adaptations & branches) and the Buddhist/Linguistic beliefs stemming from India since the ancient period into various Asian Cultures as far flung as Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand and even it's adaptation into a sort of Confucian-Buddhist mix that is heavily practiced in parts ...
This solution looks at the work of St. Thomas Aquinas, the particulars of his teachings and philosophy that made it one of the most influential & enduring to have advanced Western Religious Though more than any other Theologist.