Read Shorter Summa: Saint Thomas's Own Concise Version of His Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas Free Online
Book Title: Shorter Summa: Saint Thomas's Own Concise Version of His Summa Theologica|
The author of the book: Thomas Aquinas
Loaded: 2682 times
Reader ratings: 4.8
Edition: Sophia Institute Press
Date of issue: December 1st 2005
ISBN 13: 9781928832430
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 26.91 MB
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I read this as part of a project to familiarize myself with some of the fundamental works of medieval literature and scholarship. I was not disappointed. While the unabridged Summa is rather daunting unless you know precisely which chapters to seek out, this Shorter Summa is eminently approachable, both as a student of history, and, I think, as a student of theology or ordinary Christian. I actually use my notes from this work as a short-form guide to the unabridged Summa, reminding me where to look for various topics.
Aquinas' work is monumental and yet to be surpassed, because it came at the culmination of scholasticism and before the Papal schism and Protestant reformation that tore the Church apart and shaped the thoughts of later theologians. While in late life, St. Thomas is said to have in some way rejected his own scholarly approach to his faith in favor of some true experience of the divine (Martin Luther would have been thrilled), the work still stands as one of the best expositions of Catholic doctrine for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of theology.
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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.