Catholic Systematic Theology Textbook

Can anyone recommend an orthodox Catholic systematic theology textbook?

We have Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” which, while Reformed, is a superb statement of systematic theology from that perspective. Unfortunately I cannot find a Catholic equivalent that is orthodox but instead which is by theologians who are often internal critics of the Church.

Any good suggestions will be much appreciated.

I would count the Catechism as fulfilling the technical requirements of being a systematic theology textbook. That it is a theology textbook is obvious. It’s systematic nature can be more easily discerned by reviewing the table of contents, which I think presents the topics in a systematic way. It also is copiously documented with footnotes and cross-references, and the index helps you easily find individual passages about the Church’s various doctrines. Can you think of any reason why the Catechism couldn’t serve your purpose?

Apart from that, I think Ludwig Ott’s Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma is verrry systematic and beats the pants off Mr. Grudem’s book.

If you were to look at the outline of the Systematic Theology of Paul Tillich you would see

Volume 1, Introduction
Volume 1, Part I: Reason and Revelation
Volume 1, Part II: Being and God
Volume 2, Part III: Existence and the Christ
Volume 3, Part IV: Life and the Spirit
Volume 3, Part V: History and the Kingdom of God

This is not unlike the outline of the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas, who has been at the center of Catholic Theology for centuries.
Knowing Thomas as his student will make you wise both in knowing yourself, your own soul and being, and in understanding other theologians and philosophers you may read in your life.

It can be read online here: or at, although I like having the books.

Tillich was not Catholic; thus his works seem outside of the O.P. 's desire for a Catholic Systematic theology Textbook.
Ott and Aquinas both work within this parameter. :slight_smile:
Prayers for a blessed Easter to all who visit our thread.

Thanks - Grudem quotes Ott as representative of Catholic thought. But it seems from all I can find that Ott is ‘it’.

Why wouldn’t the Catechism count?

Ott is “Dogmatic Theology”, not “Systematic Theology”.
The Catechism is also not Systematic Theology in the sense of reasoning through the content, but is more like dogmatic theology outlined systematically.

Aquinas is still your best bet for Systematic Theology, unless you are looking for something “new and innovative” as if that makes something relevant. If you are read Aquinas you will find newness and relevance that you did not know, and that can be more “reformative” than any of the reformed thinkers dream of being.

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