Of God and His Creatures: An Annotated Translation (with Some Abridgement) of the Svmma Contra Gentiles of Saint Thos. Aqvinas

Burns & Oates
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Burns & Oates
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Dec 31, 1905
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423
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THE SUMMA THEOLOGICA: COMPLETE EDITION

SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS


 — A Classic in Western Philosophy and the Catholic Church

 — Complete and Unabridged, contains the Complete Text and Supplements

 — Three Parts, 38 Tracts, 631 Questions, 3,000 Articles, 10,000 Objections and Answers

 — Over 2.5 Million words


 — Includes an Active Index and multiple Table of Contents to every Part, Question and Article

 — Includes Layered NCX Navigation

 — Includes Illustrations by Gustave Dore


The Summa Theologica, or 'Summary of Theology' was written from 1265 to 1274. It is the greatest achievement of Saint Thomas Aquinas and one of the most influential works of Western literature and Philosophy. His influence on Western thought is considerable, and much of modern Philosophy was conceived as a reaction against, or as an agreement with, his ideas, particularly in the areas of Ethics, Natural Law, Metaphysics, and Political Theory.


It is intended as a manual for beginners in Theology and a Compendium of all of the main Theological teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. It presents the reasoning for almost all points of Christian Theology in the West. The book is famous, among other things, for its five arguments for the existence of God, the Quinque viae.


The Summa Theologica's topics follow a cycle: The Existence of God; Creation, Man; Man's Purpose; Christ; The Sacraments; and back to God.


The first part is on God. In it, he gives five proofs for God’s existence as well as an explication of His attributes. He argues for the actuality and incorporeality of God as the unmoved mover and describes how God moves through His thinking and willing.


The second part is on Ethics. Thomas argues for a variation of the Aristotelian Virtue Ethics. However, unlike Aristotle, he argues for a connection between the virtuous man and God by explaining how the virtuous act is one towards the blessedness of the Beatific Vision (beata visio).


The last part of the Summa is on Christ and was unfinished when Thomas died. In it, he shows how Christ not only offers salvation, but represents and protects humanity on Earth and in Heaven. This part also briefly discusses the sacraments and eschatology. The Summa remains the most influential of Thomas’s works.


Saint Thomas Aquinas was a Dominican Priest, born near Aquino, Sicily in 1225. He was an immensely influential Philosopher and Theologian in the tradition of Scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus. He died in 1274. As one of the 33 Doctors of the Church, he is considered the Church's greatest Theologian and Philosopher. Thomas is held in the Catholic Church to be the model teacher for those studying for the priesthood. He was canonized in 1323.


PUBLISHER: CATHOLIC WAY PUBLISHING


Objection 1: It seems that, besides philosophical science, we have no need of any further knowledge. For man should not seek to know what is above reason: "Seek not the things that are too high for thee" (Ecclus. 3:22). But whatever is not above reason is fully treated of in philosophical science. Therefore any other knowledge besides philosophical science is superfluous.


Objection 2: Further, knowledge can be concerned only with being, for nothing can be known, save what is true; and all that is, is true. But everything that is, is treated of in philosophical science—even God Himself; so that there is a part of philosophy called theology, or the divine science, as Aristotle has proved (Metaph. vi). Therefore, besides philosophical science, there is no need of any further knowledge.


On the contrary, It is written (2 Tim. 3:16): "All Scripture inspired of God is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice." Now Scripture, inspired of God, is no part of philosophical science, which has been built up by human reason. Therefore it is useful that besides philosophical science, there should be other knowledge, i.e. inspired of God.


I answer that, It was necessary for man's salvation that there should be a knowledge revealed by God besides philosophical science built up by human reason. Firstly, indeed, because man is directed to God, as to an end that surpasses the grasp of his reason: "The eye hath not seen, O God, besides Thee, what things Thou hast prepared for them that wait for Thee" (Isa. 66:4). But the end must first be known by men who are to direct their thoughts and actions to the end. Hence it was necessary for the salvation of man that certain truths which exceed human reason should be made known to him by divine revelation. Even as regards those truths about God which human reason could have discovered, it was necessary that man should be taught by a divine revelation; because the truth about God such as reason could discover, would only be known by a few, and that after a long time, and with the admixture of many errors. Whereas man's whole salvation, which is in God, depends upon the knowledge of this truth. Therefore, in order that the salvation of men might be brought about more fitly and more surely, it was necessary that they should be taught divine truths by divine revelation. It was therefore necessary that besides philosophical science built up by reason, there should be a sacred science learned through revelation. 

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