Thomas Aquinas stands among the most important thinkers in the history of Christianity, and his famous Summa Theologica represents the pinnacle of medieval theology and perhaps the most influential theological work in the history of Western Christianity. In the volumes of his writings we find the forerunners of every intellectual development in the eight centuries that followed, and the depth of his understanding of the nature and being of God has left a lasting mark on the enterprise of Christian theological reflection ever since.
Logos is pleased to offer the English translation of the Summa Theologica by the Fathers of the English Dominican Province—the standard translation for Aquinas studies. This translation underlies the 22-volume edition published by Burns, Oates & Washbourne between 1912 and 1936, and has been widely reprinted throughout the twentieth century.
In this massive tome, Aquinas outlines the reasons and meaning of all of Christian theology. As a theologian, Aquinas articulates the goals, purpose, and enterprise of theology, and gives theology a prominent place in scholarship, calling theology “the queen of sciences.” As a scholastic, Aquinas sought to understand Christian theology in light of the rediscovery of Aristotle’s works in the twelfth century, and redefined the relationship between revelation and reason, science and theology, and faith and philosophy for the next eight centuries. As a philosopher, Aquinas developed principles of just war and natural law, and outlined an argument for God’s existence from contingency—the intellectual forerunner to the modern Argument from Design. As an aesthetic, Aquinas articulated a vision of God’s beauty, and his aesthetic influence can be felt in the writings of literary figures as diverse as Dante Alighieri, James Joyce, and Umberto Eco.
With the Logos edition of the Summa Theologica, references to the Church Fathers and other early and medieval texts are also linked, allowing you to click your way through the history of the church and across the theological spectrum. Your digital library also allows you to perform powerful searches and word studies, and Scripture passages are linked to your Hebrew and Greek texts, along with your English translations. That makes the Logos edition of the Summa Theologica a vital tool for research on Aquinas and the preeminent academic standard for both Latin scholarship and English-only studies!
The Logos edition of the Summa Theologica combines the 8-volume Latin text and the 22-volume English text into two individual electronic books, which means you can utilize the power of your digital library to read the Latin and English side-by-side!
In addition to this English-only edition, Logos also offers a combined English and Latin edition of the Summa Theologica for those who wish to work with the Latin text or supplement their English translation. The English and Latin edition of the Summa Theologica includes everything in the Fathers of the English Dominican Province translation, along with Aquinas’s original Latin writings. What’s more, the English and Latin edition of the Summa Theologica combines the 8-volume Latin text and the 22-volume English text into two individual electronic books, which means you can utilize the power of your digital library to read the Latin and English side-by-side! That makes the English and Latin edition of the Summa Theologica from Logos the preeminent academic standard.
“Man is said to be after the image of God, not as regards his body, but as regards that whereby he excels other animals. Hence, when it is said, Let us make man to our image and likeness, it is added, And let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea (Gen. 1:26). Now man excels all animals by his reason and intelligence; hence it is according to his intelligence and reason, which are incorporeal, that man is said to be according to the image of God.” (source)
“It may well happen that what is in itself the more certain may seem to us the less certain on account of the weakness of our intelligence, ‘which is dazzled by the clearest objects of nature; as the owl is dazzled by the light of the sun’ (Metaph. ii. lect. i). Hence the fact that some happen to doubt about articles of faith is not due to the uncertain nature of the truths, but to the weakness of human intelligence; yet the slenderest knowledge that may be obtained of the highest things is more desirable than the most certain knowledge obtained of lesser things, as is said in de Animalibus xi.” (source)
“The existence of God and other like truths about God, which can be known by natural reason, are not articles of faith, but are preambles to the articles; for faith presupposes natural knowledge, even as grace presupposes nature, and perfection supposes something that can be perfected. Nevertheless, there is nothing to prevent a man, who cannot grasp a proof, accepting, as a matter of faith, something which in itself is capable of being scientifically known and demonstrated.” (source)
Perhaps no other man ever came so near to calling the Creator by his own name.
—G. K. Chesterton
It is certainly clear that the Summa Theologica can only be the work of a heart fundamentally at peace.
I couldn’t make any judgment on the Summa, except to say this: I read it every night before I go to bed. If my mother were to come in during the process and say, ‘Turn off that light. It’s late,” I with lifted finger and broad bland beatific expression, would reply, ‘On the contrary, I answer that the light, being eternal and limitless, cannot be turned off. Shut your eyes,’ or some such thing. In any case I feel I can personally guarantee that St. Thomas loved God because for the life of me I cannot help loving St. Thomas.
St. Thomas is important for us today precisely because of our lack. Timeless truth is always timely, of course, but some aspects of truth are especially needed at some times, and it seems that our times badly need seven Thomistic syntheses: (1) of faith and reason, (2) of the biblical and the classical, (3) of the ideals of clarity and profundity, (4) of common sense and technical sophistication, (5) of theory and practice, (6) of an understanding, intuitive vision and a demanding, accurate logic, and (7) of the one and the many, a cosmic unity or ‘big picture’ and carefully sorted out distinctions. I think it a safe judgment that no one in the entire history of human thought has ever succeeded better than St. Thomas in making not just one but all seven of these marriages which are essential to health and happiness.
Thomas Aquinas was born in 1225 in what is now Italy. He entered the Benedictine abbey of Montecassino at the age of five to begin his studies. He was transferred to the University of Naples at the age of sixteen, where he became acquainted with the revival of Aristotle and the Order of the Dominicans. Aquinas went on to study in Cologne in 1244 and Paris in 1245. He then returned to Cologne in 1248, where he became a lecturer.
Aquinas’s career as a theologian took him all over Europe. In addition to regularly lecturing and teaching in cities throughout Europe, Aquinas participated regularly in public life and advised both kings and popes.
Thomas Aquinas died on March 7, 1274 while traveling to the Second Council of Lyons.
Fifty years after his death, Pope John XXII proclaimed Aquinas a saint. The First Vatican Council declared Aquinas the “teacher of the church.” In 1879, Pope Leo XII declared the Summa Theologica the best articulation of Catholic doctrine, and Aquinas was made the patron saint of education.
Thomas Aquinas has also profoundly influenced the history of Protestantism. He wrote prolifically on the relationship between faith and reason, as well as the theological and philosophical issues which defined the Reformation.
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