This brief historical introduction to Aquinas assesses his impact on the world as it was at the time and outlines the key ideas and values connected with him. It explores the social, political and religious factors that formed the context of his life and writings, and considers how those factors affected the way he was initially received. Part Two: The Legacy (Why does it matter?) This second part surveys the intellectual and cultural 'afterlife' of Aquinas, exploring the ways in which his impact has lasted. Why does he continue to be so influential, and what aspects of his legacy are likely to endure beyond today and into the future?