Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $33.26
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

A Lexicon of Saint Thomas Aquinas Hardcover – January 1, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-1930278455 ISBN-10: 1930278454

6 New from $68.00 8 Used from $67.00
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
$68.00 $67.00


Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1185 pages
  • Publisher: Loreto Publications (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930278454
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930278455
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.9 x 2.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #751,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Because Church Latin has never been in colloquial use, its standards are set in stone (or ink, if you will). It has never changed (except by the addition of new theological or canonical terms) since the Church adopted it. Many of the more gifted fathers and doctors have made use of the poetic beauty of classical Latin, but when one comes to the Latin of the Middle ages (and, pre-eminently, the Latin of Saint Thomas Aquinas), the beauty is far more prosaic; it has that angelic simplicity that comes with the clarity of ordered thought. Not that the "angelic doctor" never incorporates the genius of classical expression, for he does, but generally speaking, especially in the Summa Theologica, he avoids that.

The Summa was originally written somewhat in the line of lecture notes from which to teach his students at the university of Paris. In fact, his closest disciples edited the entire work under the saint's direction, while finishing the uncompleted last section on the sacraments after his death. In order to understand the thought of Saint Thomas one must have a teacher who understands the thought of a Latin doctor of the thirteenth century. No one, even if he has more than a basic knowledge of Latin, can just pick up the Summa Theologica and presume that by reading the original language he will fully appreciate the mind of this doctor. No, one needs a teacher who has a command of the language's philosophical and theological syntax and who can, not just translate the Latin text literally, but transmit the meaning of a phrase in its particular context. Even if one is a seminary student fortunate enough to have a good Latinist to help him through the Summa, one will not have that teacher at hand for more than a few semesters. To fully appreciate the thought of Saint Thomas, and utilize his wisdom throughout one's life, one needs a ready guide that will help him understand the original text without having always to depend on someone else's translation. That ready guide is Dr. Roy Deferrari's twelve hundred page Lexicon of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Published in 1948, it is based on the greatest of the doctor communis' works, the Summa Theologica, together with selected passages from other writings of the saint. There is a tremendous advantage in utilizing a lexicon for specific definitive information rather than a dictionary.

Lexicon is actually a Greek word meaning the same in its original use as our word dictionary, only it did not provide definitions for every word in the language. The term lexicon was used to describe a book that listed the meanings of words, or terms, dealing with a particular subject. For example, there are Greek and Hebrew lexicons for the bible. There are lexicons for theology, philosophy, medicine, etc. This kind of research book further distinguishes itself from a dictionary by providing examples of a word's use in syntax, thereby demonstrating the variant uses that a word can take on in different kinds of sentences. Dr. Deferrari and his team (especially the Dominican scholars, Sister M. Inviolata and Ignatius McGuiness) took on an enormous task in compiling this monumental work for English speaking students. Every word of the Summa Theologica, as well as terms from other of the angelic doctor's works, is analyzed. As the author says in his Foreward:"Each word as it appears will be followed by the different English meanings with which it is used, followed in turn by some illustrations of its use in each meaning taken from the works of Saint Thomas."

"This is an "epoch-making work," wrote an exuberant Father Ignatius Smith, O.P., who penned the Preface to this lexicon. And, again, in an even more generous burst of enthusiasm, he added this commendation:

"In view of the emphasis placed by the Code of Canon Law [1947] on the study by seminarians of St. Thomas' philosophy and theology in their Latin texts, this monumental work has brilliant significance."

Loreto would also like to highlight what a worthy response this production is to Pope Leo XIII's encyclical, Aeterni Patris, issued in 1880, on the "Restoration of Thomistic Philosophy." Many seminaries and theologates are now coming to grips with the terrible effects on the unity of the Church (and its doctrine) that the abandonment of Latin has brought about. Just as the royal prophet lamented before God over the evils heaped upon him three thousand years ago, Usquequo, Domine? (How long, O Lord? -- Psalm 12), faithful Catholics today keep repeating this same prayer in hope. One good sign is the fact that, though small in number, there is a vibrant new wave of serious priests and levites who want to restore the materna lingua ecclesiae. It is about time! Deo volente et Deo gratias. This lexicon is for all those who love the Summa, who love Saint Thomas, and who love the Church and her adopted tongue.

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 4 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cathbad on December 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a classic text for understanding the thought and the Latin terminology of Thomas Aquinas, as well as being useful for anyone researching Scholastic philosophy in general. No other Latin to English text comes close to this one in terms of completeness; this is an essential text for anyone researching Scholastic Philosophy, and the philosophy and theology of Thomas Aquinas in particular. And the book is a bit of a page-turner too, those who spend their days studying mediaeval philosophy will find it enjoyable just to browse through entries, you will no doubt find illumination.
It's great to see this huge tome back in print from "Loreto Publications" at $89 for nearly 1200 pages of text.

Here's the entry for this Lexicon of St. Thomas Aquinas, from Philosophy: A Guide to the Reference Literature
by Hans Edward Bynagle:

"Designed to facilitate understanding of Aquinas's language generally "and not philosophical and theological aspects exclusively," this Lexicon "includes all the words in the Summa Theologica and such other words from the remaining works as seem in the judgment of the authors to be of great importance" (foreword). For each word, one or several differing English meanings are given, followed by illustrations of its use in each meaning. If a definition of a term is supplied by Aquinas himself, this precedes any other examples. The text used is that of the Leonine edition (Rome, 1888-1906) for the Summa, that of Vives (Paris, 1871-80) for the other works."
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Benjamin on June 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a heavy tome of Thomistic scholarship, perfect for those who wish to study the Summa in the original Latin. For those lacking a strong background in Scholastic Philosophy the dictionary provides almost encyclopedia like entries for key concepts. This book is a delight and a major aid to study. I only wish that in the larger entries, such as 'esse' which span several pages, there were better organization. I went looking for 'esse commune' and it took twenty minutes to find it after I had opened to 'esse'. This isn't really a drawback, as it was an opportunity to learn about a wide array of uses this infinitive has in S. Thomas.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gary Moore on May 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is definitive for the discovery of what is really in Aquinas as opposed to what people `say' is in Aquinas.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Phu Yen on May 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
1)I need this book for my academic work,research and especially for my theological studies.
2) The price was reasonable and its arrival was prompt.
3) This book can help students understand the difficult Latin texts.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?