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The Christian Philosophy Of St Thomas Aquinas Paperback – March 31, 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0268008017 ISBN-10: 0268008019

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 502 pages
  • Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press (March 31, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0268008019
  • ISBN-13: 978-0268008017
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #537,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 63 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
Gilson has exceptional skill in explaining difficult philosophical concepts. He lays out the existential foundations of St. Thomas Aquinas' thought and makes a compelling case that "the metaphysical positions of Aquinas are still far ahead of what is considered most progressive in the philosophical thought of our own times." Gilson relates the thought of Aquinas to that of his predecessors, especially Aristotle and Augustine. Although this book can be difficult reading at times, the reader will be rewarded by the effort.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
As the other reviewers have said, this book is truly a classic, and like most of Gilson's opus is well worth reading by anyone interested in philosophy. Particularly strong are the early chapters on being (ontology) and on Aquinas's famous proofs of the existence of God.
Gilson wants to convince as well as explain, so the tone can be a little tendentious at times, but generally his prose is lucid, even lyrical. Also, in my opinion the final chapter somewhat blurs the distinction between Thomism and saving faith.
Ultimately, however, this book fully succeeds in getting under the skin of Thomistic philosophy. After reading it, you may never see "things" in quite the same way.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Kiersky VINE VOICE on July 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
This reader sees that the Summma Theologica of St. Thomas Aquina is indeed the Summmit Theologica -- and, that Etienne Gilson is, perhaps, the clearest and sharpest proponent [still available] of St. Thomas Aquinas -- and, that "The Christian Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas" by Etienne Gilson is, perhaps, the best single work [still available] on this topic. To amplify on the impact of Thomism [and most especially as demonstrated by Etienne Gilson via this work], I quote from the start, middle and ending of an earlier edition's dust-jacket +++

"St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1279) is the medieval mind at its finest, its most powerful and its most modern. Never before -- and possibly never since -- in the history of man's quest for knowledge of God and the universe has any one man produced such a profound and original synthesis of philosophies. The sweeping range and organic unity of Thomistic thought is a philosophical system created by a thinker of genius."

"Drawing from pagan, Mohammadan and Jewish sources in addition to Christian writers and the Bible, his broad vision combines in one synthesis the metaphysical principles of reality, its inward structure, the nature of man, the principle of his moral and civil conduct and the solution of his destiny. This Doctrinal statement -- written in the form of the Summa Theologica -- was fraught with incalculable philosophical, moral and religious consequences."

"A synthesis of faith and reason, of moral and political science, and of Hellenism and Christianity, the philosophy of St, Thomas Aquinas stands as one of the greatest achievements of human thought, and the brilliant culmination of the Scholastic philosophy of the Middle Ages."

"Etienne Gilson's incomparable scholarship combines the insight of a philosopher and a theologian with the sensibilities of a dedicated artist."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
Gilson's work on the philosophical side of Aquinas is a masterful work. It reflects a very mature appreciation of Aquinas, which serves as a very good basis for his exposition of the philosophical side of Aquinas's theological work. Make no mistake, it takes a very focused reading to appreciate the extremely subtle insights that lay at the heart of Aquinas's reflections on Being. Without such a disciplined readying the exposition will dissolve into seeming endless, nuanced abstractions that even Gilson will not be able to surmount for you. Bringing such dedication to the reading will reward you with nothing less than Beauty and a true appreciation for why Aquinas is "Saint Thomas Aquinas".
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