Read Introduction to Saint Thomas Aquinas by Thomas Aquinas Free Online
Book Title: Introduction to Saint Thomas Aquinas|
The author of the book: Thomas Aquinas
Edition: Modern Library
Date of issue: June 1948
ISBN 13: 9780394309743
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 369 KB
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Reader ratings: 5.3
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By the time one has finished a hundred pages of this Introduction to St, Thomas Aquinas, one understands why so many priests and ministers hate theology. This book is truly the most mind-numbing work of pedantry that I have ever tackled. It analyzes in excruciating detail the qualities of man, of nature, of his soul, his essence, his will, his habits, his unity and his appetites. St. Thomas Aquinas presents with a Christianity denuded of any good news. There is no mention our redemption obtained for us by Christ on the Cross. There is no Virgin Mary to comfort us.
I found St. Thomas Aquinas to be profoundly monotheistic (as opposed to Trinitarian) as presented in this work. His prime objective seemed to be to present God as Aristotle's prime mover. In this endeavour be borrows heavily form St. Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius, Averroes ,Avicenna, and even Maimonides. The product at the end is a theology that unites the three great religions that believe in the same God (i.e. Christianity, Islam and Judaism) and classical philosophy. It is a powerful system but one feels remote from the everyday Catholicism that I practice.
It should be noted that the entire work is composed of a series of articles running from one to four pages having the following structure:
1. Question is posed.
2. Statement of Antithesis and best supporting arguments.
3. Statement of Thesis and best supporting arguments.
4. Refutation of Antithesis.
As someone unfamiliar with the form, I found it loopy at first. However, ultimately it allows one to set the work aside and pick it up again easily without losing the logical flow. This allowed me to complete this taxing reading over a two month period.
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Read information about the authorThomas Aquinas (sometimes styled Thomas of Aquin or Aquino), was a Dominican friar and priest notable as a scholastic theologian and philosopher. He is honored as a saint and "Doctor of the Church" in the Roman Catholic tradition.
Aquinas lived at a critical juncture of western culture when the arrival of the Aristotelian corpus in Latin translation reopened the question of the relation between faith and reason, calling into question the modus vivendi that had obtained for centuries. This crisis flared up just as universities were being founded. Thomas, after early studies at Montecassino, moved on to the University of Naples, where he met members of the new Dominican Order. It was at Naples too that Thomas had his first extended contact with the new learning. When he joined the Dominican Order he went north to study with Albertus Magnus, author of a paraphrase of the Aristotelian corpus. Thomas completed his studies at the University of Paris, which had been formed out of the monastic schools on the Left Bank and the cathedral school at Notre Dame. In two stints as a regent master Thomas defended the mendicant orders and, of greater historical importance, countered both the Averroistic interpretations of Aristotle and the Franciscan tendency to reject Greek philosophy. The result was a new modus vivendi between faith and philosophy which survived until the rise of the new physics. The Catholic Church has over the centuries regularly and consistently reaffirmed the central importance of Thomas's work for understanding its teachings concerning the Christian revelation, and his close textual commentaries on Aristotle represent a cultural resource which is now receiving increased recognition.
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