The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas (Five Volumes)

49 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0870610639
ISBN-10: 0870610635
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Language Notes

Text: English, Latin (translation)

About the Author

Thomas Aquinas lived in the thirteenth century. He is one of the foremost theological saints in the world.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 3020 pages
  • Publisher: Christian Classics (June 1, 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870610635
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870610639
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 7.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #186,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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329 of 333 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica is the premier work of Catholic theology, studied at all major Catholic universities and seminaries, as well as by theologians and philosophers of religion of all denominations. Of St. Thomas' many works, this 5-volume masterpiece presents a systematic and organic treatment of several thousand important theological questions, ranging from God, the Trinity, and the nature of Christ, to the nature and psychology of the human person and the nature and mission of the Church. St. Thomas considers creation in its natural light, as well as under the operations of grace, including discussions of morality, redemption, the sacraments, and the operation of divine providence. The scope of topics is enormous, and these few hardly do justice to the contents.
The format of this work is arranged into individual articles for easy reading of St. Thomas' answers to individual questions, but there is a continuity to the way questions are raised and answered that makes the work a unified whole -- not simply a theological manual or encyclopedia, but also a profound read from cover to cover. A leading biographer of Thomas (O'Meara) has called the Summa "a cathedral of thought," which is perhaps the best description for such a short space here.
This translation has been prepared by the Fathers of the English Dominican Province. This information is not evident in the on-line description, but it should be, since it is very important that the translation of the Latin is accurate and in conformity with modern usage. (I found out by searching the ISBN at the Library of Congress website). There are many translations of the Summa available, but not all are good.
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69 of 69 people found the following review helpful By James Layne on November 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Summa Theologica of Saint Thomas is without doubt one of the greatest works in the history of the Christian faith. The logical order and progression is simply amazing and the scope of the work monumental.

This translation is generally very close to the sense of the Latin original, although in a few cases I have noticed some strange differences. For example, in Pt. 1 Q.1 A. 4. The Dominican Fathers translate the Latin (which reads "Magis tamen est speculativa quam practica") as ". . . speculative rather than practical" although the Latin reads ". . . speculative MORE than practical." This is a substantial change in the meaning which ends up creating confusion in the next article when Thomas says that theology is ". . . partly speculative and partly practical". There are other variations from the Latin throughout the rest of the work, some more and less important.

I urge those who are interested in a serious study of Saint Thomas to use this text as an aid to a deeper study with the Latin. If this is not possible for you, this translation will nevertheless give you a good introduction and tool for an introductory and intermediate understanding of Saint Thomas's thought.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Roberto P. De Ferraz on September 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The Summa Theologica is the masterwork of an indefatigable outstanding man who, having what is reputed to be the most prodigious mind of his time, pursued the mind of God (mens Dei) as his philosophical goal. He could have opted instead to follow (rather lamely it must be said) a militar career as his brothers did, or a bishopric in a rich country in northern Italy near the state of his rich father, supported by his family wealth and background, being akin to the most important men of his time (he was nephew to Frederick II, privy to Saint Louis, king of France, and many others potentates of his epoch). But he decided to be simply a humble Dominican friar , sloughing of all the perquisites of wealth, to be totally devoted to settling down the most intricate points in the Catholic doctrine, to be equaled only by Saint Augustine in doctrinal preeminence, his rulings being adopted as authoritative enough to be perused by popes and religious scholars inside and outside of the church for the next centuries. His access to the library of the University of Paris, where he studied for many years and where he got the nickname the Dumb Ox, that was to be his personal trademark for eternity, was instrumental to his reading of ALL that had to be read at the time, being his mastering of Greek a plus he had against Saint Augustine, who never got familiar enough with that language.

The importance Plato had for Saint Augustine, Aristotle had for Thomas Aquinas, who respectfully called him The Philosopher (sic).
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38 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Dr. John Switzer on September 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The people of his time and culture knew him as "Tommaso D'Aquino." We know him as Thomas Aquinas ... but we also know him as probably the greatest, most systematic thinker that Christianity has ever produced. This five-volume work is the classic Dominican translation of his SUMMA THEOLOGIAE and is probably the most widely used English translation of the work. (As an aside, you may enjoy the encyclical of Pope Leo XIII that sought to rebuild Roman Catholic philosophy and theology on the work of Aquinas; it is included in this edition.) If your love is classic catholic theology, you need a copy of this work in your library. All of Roman Catholic theology was firmly based upon it for centuries and it remains an important foundation for modern catholic theology. Whether you buy it new or get yourself a used copy, you will enjoy the clear thinking process that Aquinas used as he explored the issues and questions of faith. Laid out question by question as Aquinas originally intended, this classic version of his work will endure for as long as the church endures. Though Aquinas seems to have suffered a breakdown at the end of his life and though he pronounced all of his work "but straw," I doubt that you'll agree with that assessment when you venture into this masterpiece.
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