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[skuh-las-tuh-siz-uh m] /skəˈlæs təˌsɪz əm/
(sometimes initial capital letter) the system of theological and philosophical teaching predominant in the Middle Ages, based chiefly upon the authority of the church fathers and of Aristotle and his commentators.
narrow adherence to traditional teachings, doctrines, or methods.
Origin of scholasticism
First recorded in 1750-60; scholastic + -ism
Related forms
antischolasticism, noun
proscholasticism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for scholasticism


(sometimes capital) the system of philosophy, theology, and teaching that dominated medieval western Europe and was based on the writings of the Church Fathers and (from the 12th century) Aristotle
strict adherence to traditional doctrines
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for scholasticism



1732, from scholastic + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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scholasticism in Culture

scholasticism definition

The philosophy and theology, marked by careful argumentation, that flourished among Christian thinkers in Europe during the Middle Ages.

Note: Central to scholastic thought is the idea that reason and faith are compatible. Scholastic thinkers such as Thomas Aquinas tried to show that ancient philosophy, especially that of Aristotle, supported and illuminated Christian faith.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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