While there has been agreement among followers of Aquinas that being insofar as it is being (being qua being) is the subject of metaphysics, there is not agreement on how this being qua being is to be understood, nor on how we come to know the being that is the object of metaphysical investigation. The topic of what being is, as the object of the science of metaphysics, and how to account for the “discovery” of the being of metaphysics have emerged as central problems for the contemporary retrieval of Aquinas and for the larger project of post-Leonine Thomism in general. This lack of agreement has hampered the retrieval of Aquinas’s metaphysics.
The collection of essays within The Discovery of Being and Thomas Aquinas is divided into three major parts: the first set of essays concerns the foundation of metaphysics within Thomism; the second set exemplifies the use of metaphysics in fundamental philosophical issues within Thomism; and the third set employs metaphysics in central theological issues.
The Discovery of Being and Thomas Aquinas allows major scholars of the different types of Thomism to engage in a full-scale defense of their position, as well as expanding Thomistic metaphysics to the discipline of theology in important ways.
Jan-Heiner Tück presents a work that explores the sacramental theology, lived spirituality, and Eucharistic poetry of the Church’s doctor communis, St. Thomas Aquinas. Although Aquinas’ Eucharistic poetry has long occupied an important place in the Church’s liturgical prayer and her repertoire of sacred music, the depth of these poems remains hidden until one grasps the rich sacramental theology underlying it. Consequently, Tück first offers a detailed but approachable primer of Aquinas’ theology of the sacraments, before diving deeply into the Angelic Doctor’s theology and poetry of the Eucharist. The Scriptural accounts stand at the heart of the systematic framework developed by Aquinas, and thus significant attention is devoted to showing the harmony between the accounts of Christ’s passion and the detailed exposition of the Summa theologiae. Moreover, the Eucharistic controversies of the ninth and eleventh centuries provide the contrapuntal context in which Aquinas did his thinking, praying, and writing. Not surprisingly, therefore, the response he crafts to these controversies draws upon both speculative powers and contemplative prayer, brought together in the unity of Aquinas’ theology and spirituality. The net result is a twofold treasure for the Church: a careful systematic presentation of Eucharistic theology and the lived devotional expression of the same in the carefully constructed—and now much beloved—stanzas of Pange lingua gloriosi, Lauda Sion, Adoro te devote, etc. By revealing the lively interplay of the saint’s powerful speculative intellect and a heart steeped in love for the Eucharistic Lord, Tück offers a sophisticated exposition of Aquinas’ Eucharistic poetry and the roots it sinks into a wider theological framework. Finally, the contemporary significance and power of Aquinas’ work is drawn out, not only in the rarefied realm of intellectual inquiry but also in the everyday expanse of ordinary life.
This book sets out a thematic presentation of human action, especially as it relates to morality, in the three most significant figures in Medieval Scholastic thought: Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham
In this volume, John Wippel has collected a number of his essays dealing with Aquinas's metaphysical thought. The volume begins with a presentation and critical evaluation of certain twentieth-century attempts to describe the philosophical thought of Thomas Aquinas as a "Christian philosophy."
Metafisica della Conoscenza e Politica in S. Tommaso d’Aquino was originally published in Bologna in 1985 by the Centro Studi Europa Orientale. This English translation has been prepared with the explicit permission and encouragement of Buttiglione. The work grew from a series of lectures Buttiglione gave on the relationship between metaphysics, knowledge, and politics based on a critical reading of Thomas Aquinas’s Commentary on Aristotle’s Politics and other relevant texts. His aim was to advance Thomistic thinking by incorporating the insights of modern philosophy on subjectivity and relationality.
In addition to its primary audience of philosophers, theologians, and political theorists, the book surprisingly enjoyed a wide general readership in Italy at the time of its publication. It represented an exciting attempt to harmonize medieval philosophy and the insights of personalism that had already had a deep impact on European intellectual life. Buttiglione was able to describe this attempt in a way accessible to a general readership, and in a way that confronted the political challenges Italy had been confronting for the last forty years.
Now, thirty-five years after the book’s initial publication, the conclusions Buttiglione draws from reading Thomas Aquinas’s commentary on Aristotle’s Politics––and the connections he makes between philosophy, theology, and political theory––are more relevant than ever. He argues that the traditional definition of “person” as rationalis naturae individua substantia––an individual substance or substrate (hypokeimenon) of a rational nature––“lacks that certain element that makes Augustine’s approach to personhood so appealing.” Hence Aquinas’s definition “is left wanting since it fails to elaborate on the crucial aspect of interpersonal relationship.”
The ingenuous way in which Buttiglione enlivens Thomistic political thinking with personalist philosophy helps to explain not only why free societies are more stable, tolerant, and respectful of human rights than totalitarian states, but theocratic ones as well. Only by raising the interpersonal aspects of political society to an ontological level—indeed, only by affirming and esteeming the self-transcendence of the human person as evidenced through ontological analysis—do the personal relationships that root and enliven the human person also lead to a realistic, dynamic, and convincing vision of the person’s real existence.
Buttiglione was startlingly prescient of the problems we confront at the beginning of the third millennium. This book will spark new discussions as it explains the importance of both the medieval tradition and twentieth-century personalism. The book also draws on a wide range of secondary sources unavailable to English readers that I and will have the unique ability to introduce readers to the “Italian” way of relating speculative and political philosophy in a relatively slim volume.
This book provides a fundamental introduction to Aquinas's theology of the One Creator God. Aimed at making that thought accessible to contemporary audiences, it gives a basic explanation of his theology while showing its compatibility with contemporary science and its relevance to current theological issues. Opening with a brief account of Aquinas’s life, it then describes the purpose and nature of the Summa Theologica and gives a short review of current varieties of Thomism. Without neglecting other works, it then focuses primarily on the discussion of the One God in the first part of the Summa Theologica. God's transcendence and immanence is a recurrent theme in that discussion. Evidence of God's immanent causality in the natural world grounds Aquinas's five arguments for the existence of God (the Five Ways) which then open onto God's transcendence. The subsequent discussion of the divine attributes builds on the modes of God's causality established in the Five Ways. It also shows the need for a language of analogy to preserve God's transcendence and prevent us from reducing God to the level of creatures, even as qualities such as "goodness" and "love," which we first know from creatures, are applied to God. The discussion of God's providence and governance establishes that the transcendent Creator God is most intimately present in creation. God acts in all creatures in a way that does not diminish their proper causality, but is rather its source. As there is no contradiction between God's transcendence and immanence, so there is no competition between the primary causality of God and the secondary causality of creatures. Empirical science, which is limited by its method to the secondary causality of creatures, is shown to be compatible with the broader discipline of theology which also embraces the primary causality of the Creator.
Salvation through Temptation describes the development of predominant Greek and Latin Christian conceptions of temptation and of the work of Christ to heal and restore humankind in the context of that temptation, focusing on Maximus the Confessor and Thomas Aquinas as well-developed examples of Greek and Latin thought on these matters.
Maximus and Thomas represent two trajectories concerning the woundedness of human emotionality in the wake of the primordial human sin. Heidgerken argues that Maximus stands in essential continuity with earlier Greek ascetic theology, which conceives of the weakness of fallen humankind in demonological categories, so that the Pauline law of sin is bound to external demonic agents that act upon the human mind through thoughts, desires, and sensory impressions. For Thomas, on the other hand, this wound consists primarily of an internal disordering of the faculties that results from the withdrawal of original grace: concupiscence or the fomes peccati. Yet even in this framework, the devil plays a significant role in Thomas’s account of postlapsarian temptation.
On the basis of these differing frameworks for human temptation, Heidgerken demonstrates the centrality of Christ’s exemplarity in the Greek account and the centrality of Christ’s moral perfections in the Latin account. As a consequence of these emphases, the Greek tradition of Maximus places distinct limits on the ability of human emotionality (even that of Christ) to be perfected in this life, whereas Thomas’s approach allows Christ to completely embody a perfected form of human emotionality in his earthly life. Reciprocally, Thomas’s account of Christ’s moral perfections and virtue places distinct limits on his affirmation of Christ’s experience of postlapsarian temptation, whereas Maximus’s account allows for Christ to experience interior forms of temptation that more closely mirror the concrete moral experiences and circumstances of fallen human beings. Salvation through Temptation recommends a retrieval of early ascetic theology and demonology as the best contemporary systematic and ecumenically-viable approach to Christ’s temptation and victory over the devil.
Pasquale Porro Catholic University of America Press, 2016 Library of Congress B765.T54P6713 2016 | Dewey Decimal 189.4
The development of ideas in Thomas Aquinas's philosophical thinking has been the subject of numerous smaller studies, but no contemporary work in the English-speaking world covers his every single work in chronological order in terms of philosophical development, influences, manuscript evidence, and historical setting. In Thomas Aquinas: A Historical and Philosophical Profile, Pasquale Porro has provided a complete landscape of Thomas's corpus that will give Thomistic scholars and students an invaluable reference point for research, discussion, and debate.
The ten essays in this collection approach the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas not merely as an object of scholarly interest but also as a framework for addressing perennial philosophical questions, even as they are raised and debated in our own times. The f
Thomas Aquinas and His Predecessors takes us on a voyage through the history of philosophical thought as present in the works of Thomas Aquinas. It is a synthetic presentation of the works and thought of the great predecessors of Aquinas, as he kne
Thomas Aquinas on Faith, Hope, and Love is designed to make as easy as possible a first reading of key passages from the Summa theologiae. This book contains selections from the Summa that are most influential, most important, or likely to be most interesting to the contemporary reader. The text of the Summa itself is edited and arranged for beginners. Each article begins with Thomas’s answers to the question at hand and then goes to the first objection, followed by the reply to the first objection, the second objection and its reply, and so on. This arrangement provides a greater accessibility and ease in following the argument. Below the text, copious footnotes illuminate the text as a professor in the classroom might. Some notes provide historical background to figures that Thomas presupposes his reader will know such as Gratian, Dionysius, and Lombard. Other notes offer doctrinal summaries of other parts of the Summa that illuminate what Thomas says about faith, hope, or love. Thomas had an enormous influence on theologians, Church councils, and popes after his time, so some footnotes examine this influence. Thomas drew heavily on sources of wisdom before him, so other footnotes summarize the teachings of earlier authors, such as Aristotle and Augustine. This book also contains introductory essays on the Summa, on faith, on hope, and on love, which provide an overview to situate the reader and place treatment of the theological virtues in its larger context of the Summa. For those who have never read Thomas Aquinas on faith, hope, and love (and for those who teach them), this book provides ready access to the wisdom of the Angelic doctor.
Thomas Aquinas on the Cardinal Virtues provides essential passages from Thomas's treatment of the cardinal virtues in the Summa theologiae, edited and explained for classroom use or the independent reader. Arranged for beginners, this book contains passages from the Summa theologiae of great historical import, contemporary relevance, or intrinsic interest combined with abundant footnotes aiding the modern reader. Each individual article is arranged so that the question, e.g. “Is capital punishment moral?” is followed directed by Thomas’s answer. Then the first objection is raised, followed immediately by Thomas’s response, the second objection is raised and then Thomas answers it, and so forth. The abundant footnotes help first time readers navigate key theological and philosophical terms which may be unfamiliar. In addition, the notes provide biographical information about key authors cited by Thomas, such as Tully, Vegetius, and Gregory the Great. The footnotes sometimes look back at the sources and philosophical roots of what Thomas teaches. Other notes note how authors after Aquinas including theologians, church councils, and popes developed, synthesized, and sometimes rejected what Thomas teaches. In sum, this book seeks to illuminate Thomas’s teaching on the cardinal virtues such as a teacher might do in the classroom.
The chief aims of Thomas Aquinas on the Immateriality of the Human Intellect are to provide a comprehensive interpretation of Aquinas's oft-repeated claim that the human intellect is immaterial, and to assess his arguments on behalf of this claim. Adam Wood argues that Aquinas's claim refers primarily to the mode in which the human intellect has its act of being. That the human intellect has an immaterial mode of being, however, crucially underwrites Aquinas's additional views that the human soul is subsistent and incorruptible. To show how it does so, Wood argues that the human intellect's immateriality can also be put in terms of the impossibility of explaining its operations in terms of coordination between bodily parts, states and processes. Aquinas's arguments for the human intellect's immateriality, therefore, can be understood as attempts to show why intellectual operations cannot be explained in bodily terms. The book argues that not all of them succeed in this aim and also proposes, however, a novel interpretation of Aquinas's argument based on human intellect's universal mode of cognition that may indeed be sound. Wood concludes by considering the ramifications of Aquinas's position on matters pertaining to the afterlife.
Thomas Aquinas on the Immateriality of the Human Intellect represents the first book-length examination of Aquinas's claim that the human intellect is immaterial, and so — given the centrality of this claim to his thought — should interest any scholars interested in understanding Thomas. While it focuses throughout on careful attention to Aquinas's texts along with the relevant secondary literature, it also positions Thomas's thought alongside recent developments in metaphysics and philosophy of mind. Hence it should also interest historically-minded metaphysicians interested in understanding how Thomas's hylomorphism intersects with recent work in hylomorphic metaphysics, philosophers of mind interested in understanding how Thomas's philosophical psychology relates to contemporary forms of dualism, physicalism and emergentism, and philosophers of religion interested in the possibility of the resurrection.
In this magisterial work, Michele M. Schumacher seeks to promote dialogue between disciples of the Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar (d. 1988) and those of the church's common doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274) on a critical theological question. How are analogies and metaphors from the philosophy and theology of the person (anthropology) rightly used to address the mystery of the Trinity? She does so by considering the specific setting of Balthasar's theology: the inseparability of his work from that of the Swiss physician and mystic Adrienne von Speyr (d. 1967).
The Unchanging God of Love provides a clear and comprehensive account of what Aquinas really says about divine immutability, presented in a way that allows his theology to address contemporary criticisms