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The Thought of Thomas Aquinas (Clarendon Paperbacks) Reprint Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0198267539
ISBN-10: 0198267533
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"The best comprehensive exposition of Aquinas's thought available."--A.P. Martinich, University of Texas at Austin


"An exceptionally well produced introduction to Aquinas....Successfully links Aquinas to the great philosophical tradition and makes an excellent reader for a course in the history of philosophy."--William N. Zulch, Holy Family College


"Clearly presents Aquinas' thought in an accurate yet accessible manner."--Peter Gathje, Kalamazoo College


"A superb study: lucid, with a simplicity that is a marvel to behold. This is the best introduction to Thomas that I know of."--J. William Harmless, SJ, Spring Hill College


"This is a first-rate synthetic treatment of Aquinas's thought according to its religious themes. Excellent for use in either philosophy of religion, Christian thought, or historical theology classes."--Donald G. Schley, University of Colorado


About the Author

Brian Davies is at University of Oxford.
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Product Details

  • Series: Clarendon Paperbacks
  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Clarendon Press; Reprint edition (April 8, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198267533
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198267539
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1 x 5.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
If only every subject were taught with such clarity! The Revd Dr. Brian Davies, O.P. (of Blackfriars and St. Bennett's, Oxford U.) gives the central thought of St. Thomas' magnum opus, the Summa Theologiae. The Summa itself is overwhelming, the English editions are 3 to 5 vols. (approx. 5000 dense pages), the Latin & English edition (Blackfriars) some 60 vols.So, it is easy to miss the forest for the trees, so to speak, so naturally you'll need a tour guide. To study the Summa Theologiae- to do some Summa-wrestling- requires a good grasp of traditional logic (w/ 3 acts of the minds, as the scholastics termed them), a thorough grasp of Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysics, and some Thomistic natural philosophy. Understandably, very few have this background, and that is the beauty of Davies' book. Believe it or not, the Summa Theol. was meant for beginners. It's not, but Davies' book certainly is. Davies assumes nothing more than a desire to understand St. Thomas and his greatest work.Davies' writing is both lucid and luminous, just like the fellow Dominican who's thought he is writing about.The Southern writer Flannery O'Conner once wrote (in _Wise Blood_) that "Thomism usually comes in horrible wrappers." Unfortunately Ms. O'Connor never had the pleasure of reading Brian Davies.
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Format: Paperback
Admittedly, the study of philosophy and Aquinas in particular, can be daunting, but Dr. Davies makes the task achievable. This is one of the best books that I have found that interprets and analyzes the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas. I have purchased several books on Thomistic philosophy and have found that Dr. Davies' is the one I turn to first 90% of the time for understanding of a concept or for an application of particular thoughts.

It is clear and concise and is written in a way that even the novice to Thomistic thought can readily find answers. For me it has been tremendously helpful. The synthesis of Thomas' thoughts is expertly done and the reader will quickly learn to appreciate both the knowledge and skill with which Dr. Davies clearly and thoroughly treats the main philosophical themes that characterize Thomistic thought.

Dr. Davies is extraordinarily insightful. He gives a brief introduction to the life of the Saint which, I think, adds a unique dimension that some other books on Aquinas seem to overlook, to the detriment of the reader. The layout moves the reader or student in a methodical, thorough way, each chapter building on the previous to leave those who are diligent with a robust concept of Thomistic thought and metaphysics.

It is also multifunctional, whether it is the study of the metaphysics of God, the foundation of ethics and morality, or the evangelistic aspect of the Christian life, Dr. Davies' book fills the need. He masterfully distills Thomas' thoughts and works into a cohesive unit that lends itself to the philosopher as an invaluable reference source.
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G. K. Chesterton wrote that Thomas several times experienced "levitation in ecstasy." That may be too much to ask of Davies' (or anyone else's) introduction to the intricacies of Thomas's complex world of thought. But if you're looking for a substantial yet clear guide to Aquinas's theology, this is an excellent place to start. If you don't find ecstasy, you will surely find enlightenment. Highly recommended.
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