Commentary on the Summa

I hope I’m posting this in the right category: I’m getting into the Summa because my friend set me on a quest to differentiate between person and nature (we were talking about the Incarnation), and I am wading into the waters of scholastic philosophy without a guide. Does anybody know of some helpful resources to understand the Summa? Commentaries? Websites? There are lots of terms that are confusing and hard to understand. I’m reading it on NewAdvent.org. Free materials would be much appreciated, though if there is a commentary that is within my budget I will consider purchasing.

Thank you!

“Pints with Aquinas” might be useful. I think it’s a book, but also a podcast where they take excerpts from the Summa and explain using today’s language. I haven’t read it or listened to many episodes, but you can at least check it out.

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Thanks, I’ll check it out!

Feser’s “Aquinas: A Beginner’s Guide” is a good introduction.

It’s important to keep in mind the genre of Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae – it’s a “disputation.” In a sense, it’s shorthand of a sort – it cites philosophical arguments of which it presumes the reader is already familiar. So, as you read an objection, you’re expected to recognize “oh yeah, such and such made that argument!”

Aquinas briefly addresses the topics at hand, provides his perspective, and addresses and rebuts the arguments of others.

The Summa is a pretty dense read. :wink:

I recommend One-Minute Aquinas: The Doctor’s Quick Answers to Fundamental Questions by Kevin Vost. The title sounds goofy but it is a really good overview of the Summa.

A seemingly concise abridgment that might be of interest. It sure is on my own list.

“A Summa of the Summa” by Peter Kreeft. PhD.

It’s a very gentle introduction, using selections from the Summa. What’s most valuable is the glossary, because half of Philosophy is understanding the terms. Any translation will use words that seem familiar but have a specific meaning in philosophy.

A Tour of the Summa

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