There is a thing of which it is said, “See, this is new.” The new thing is the gospel. The new thing is Jesus, the Christ of God. The new thing is the Spirit of Pentecost. The new thing is the church. The new thing is the kingdom of God. Indeed, the entire curriculum of the new covenant is packed with new things.
Immediately before discussing the vice of curiosity in the Summa Theologiae, Saint Thomas Aquinas deals with the topic of studiousness (ST II-II, q. 166). He treats curiosity as a vice but regards studiousness as a virtue. In other words, it is not knowledge per se, but the immoderate or otherwise wrongful pursuit of knowledge that is the problem. Borrowing the language of Ecclesiastes: Recognition of the gospel as new distinguishes studiousness from curiosity.
Vigilance is required for those wishing to be students of new things, for Herod’s approach is easier than Peter’s and curiosity easier than studiousness. Curiosity is the lustful pursuit of the pleasures of the eyes; studiousness the sacrificial pursuit of things that are unseen (cf. 2 Cor. 4:18). Both Herod’s and Peter’s approaches to knowledge are open to students of Jesus. We are called daily to engage in the fight against curiosity as we explore ever more deeply the one question that truly matters: “Who do you say that I am?”
Theological studies are not immune to the vice of curiosity.https://t.co/2OFVpDtuSA
— First Things (@firstthingsmag) September 30, 2020