St. Thomas


#1

I was wondering if anyone knew where I could get St. Thomas Aquinas Summa Theologgia in paper form (and untill I have the money to purchace the things online)? I heard that he was big into deductive reasoning (stuff that is air tight) and would like to study in as to give a firm foundation for my faith and also something usefull in sharing with others. Thanks and God bless.


#2

I"m so happy you asked that Montie! Hopefully someone will be able to direct you in the right place.

My 20 yr old is crazy about philosophy, and has stepped away from Catholicism, but, he did mention that Aquinas is one of the best philosophers (he knows that Aquinas was Catholic). I’m hoping that through Aquinas, my son will investigate the faith.


#3

It’s on Amazon and other retailers’ sites, is that what you mean? It’s huge too. There are summaries of the Summa as well (books that hit they key points of the Summa), and it’s online also. I am not sure what you are looking for…


#4

Try a public or college library. My daughter just brought home the first book of this to start reading on her Thanksgiving break from college.
I wanted to purchase a used set this summer from an antique book dealer. He was asking $300. :crying:


#5

Oh my goodness! They’re THAT expensive??? Ugh! That would mean that used one here in Canada probably cost well over 450.00!

I was hoping to buy the book (thought it was only one book) for my son, for Christmas. Sheesh!


#6

[quote=Loboto-Me]Oh my goodness! They’re THAT expensive??? Ugh! That would mean that used one here in Canada probably cost well over 450.00!

I was hoping to buy the book (thought it was only one book) for my son, for Christmas. Sheesh!
[/quote]

Haha, the volumes. I was eyeing them the other in my school library. I recommend to Montie to check out if his library has them.

Loboto-Me: Maybe just get him a few volumes of it? Or maybe, if you’re really devious, get him G.K. Chesterton’s book on the Summa, which would be so devious because Chesterton is such a Catholic, and if he starts reading more Chesterton, whoa boy, he’s done for. :smiley:


#7

I watched an issue on Chesterton on EWTN last week. I had no idea he was a philosopher as well. I know I sure liked what they showed me of him… Yes!! I’m a devious mom.


#8

Did you know it is online?

newadvent.org/summa/


#9

I dont know if you should just go out and buy it. As one person said you would be better off going to the public library. In case you didnt know the library has a huge database that also checks surrounding libraries and can get the books to you.

%between%


#10

The Summa is very long - several volumes, so to buy the original, paperback or otherwise, will be very expensive. Aquinas did his own summary of it, which is available in paperback as well. This would be the most authentic summary since it is by the author … but he died before finishing. One that I’ve heard really good things about is “Summa of the Summa” by Kreeft. Kreeft doesn’t editorialize, but, as an Aquinas scholar and professor of philosophy (and heck of a good Catholic apologist), provides a nice summary, all in Aquinas’s own words. It’s next on my pile of t-read stuff.


#11

[quote=Loboto-Me]I watched an issue on Chesterton on EWTN last week. I had no idea he was a philosopher as well. I know I sure liked what they showed me of him… Yes!! I’m a devious mom.
[/quote]

Actually, the book may be about Aquinas in general, not on the Summa. Hrm. The problem is that none of my local libraries have Chesteron stuff, and I just can’t read his books on the web, the computer screen is too hard. Here are Chesteron’s works on the web. Have fun.

And I’d be careful of buying it before you know you can stand it and finish it. IT isn’t going to be light or easy reading.


#12

Many of Chesterson’s books are still in print. Try Amazon.com and Ignatius Press. Most books on Amazon are shipped free, usually about a $5 saving on one or two books costing over a total of $25. Takes between one and two weeks for the free shipping option.


#13

Montie:

There’s a fun to read layman’s version summary of the Summa called My Way of Life, done by the Confraternity of the Most Precious Blood. About $10.00. You can find that in any Catholic bookstore.

As for GKC. You can order at www.chesterton.org—I’m partial to this source for it is the American Chesterton Society. They are all about spreading the works of GKC. Besides that, any help (purchase and or donations) we give them goes back out in the form of the show on EWTN and speaking engagements. That fellow Dale Ahlquist on the show is a convert via GKC and is dedicated full time to advancing Chesterton. Great for Christmas gifts by the way.

Hope these help.

in XT.


#14

Apparently, the Summa is available on CD-ROM.

https:/www.ewtn.com/vcatalogue/pages/itemdetail.asp?itemcode=HM6026&source=categories.asp&category=MULTIMEDIA&pgnu=1

reen12


#15

[quote=Montie Claunch]I was wondering if anyone knew where I could get St. Thomas Aquinas Summa Theologgia in paper form (and untill I have the money to purchace the things online)? I heard that he was big into deductive reasoning (stuff that is air tight) and would like to study in as to give a firm foundation for my faith and also something usefull in sharing with others. Thanks and God bless.
[/quote]

You can get it at amazon.com. St. Thomas has several other writings that can be obtained at amazon as well. Here are some links. The Summa Thelogica costs about $140. The Catena Aurea. which is a continuous commentary on the four gospels summed from the fathers, is about $145. The Shorter Summa is about $20. The Contra Gentiles are about $15 each.

The Summa Theologica

The Catena Aurea

The Summa Contra Gentiles Part I

The Summa Contra Gentiles Part II

The Summa Contra Gentiles Part III

The Shorter Summa


#16

Aquinas’ Summa ranges from printings of 10 to 23 volumes (Black Friars comes to mind) and is not necessarily thrilling reading at points. I would not suggest it to anyone without a deep knowledge of Aristotle, the Middle Ages and deductive reasoning (along with the Scholastic disputation method and two years of spare time). Aquinas’ reasoning is deductive, not inductive and therefore your statement “I heard that he was big into deductive reasoning (stuff that is air tight)” is not necessarily accurate as it is not “airtight” in a Cartesian sense.

Kreeft’s collection is mediocre at best. The best collection of sections of the Summas is without a doubt from the former head of the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies Anton Pegis which is still in print.

Also, there are specialize collections of Aquinas’ writings such as his “Treaty on Law” or “An Introduction to the Metaphysics of St. Thomas Aquinas” both published by Gateway.

Walter Farrell’s Companion to the Summa is an excellent four volume set though I think it is out of print and getting harder and harder to find. Plus, without the Summa itself it is useless.

For Aquinas’ personal history (his life) I would recommend Josef Pieper’s Introduction to Thomas Aquinas or Frederick Copleston’s Aquinas. Etienne Gilson’s “Thomism” (published in English as The Philosophy of St Thomas Aquinas") is excellent but underwent a number of revisions.

For his metaphysics I would recommend Norris Clarke’s The One and the Many or Clarke’s collection of essays (both from Notre Dame press). Also, Jacques Maritain’s “Preface to Metaphysics” is excellent but deep.

For Aquinas’ epistemology consult the Degrees of Knowledge, Existence and the Existent or Bergsonian Philosophy and Thomism all by Maritain again or “The Christian Philosophy of St Thomas Aquinas” by Gilson (not to be confused with “The Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas” by Gilson). Pieper also has a book on Aquina’s epistemology called “The Silence of Aquinas” but I don’t have this one so I don’t know how good it is.

Gilson and Pieper both however admit that Chestertons only book on Aquinas “St. Thomas Aquinas: The Dumb Ox” is the best book ever written on Aquinas. I read this book four times while studying in Europe and I still think that Gilson and Pieper are correct in a sense. It might be the best but it isn’t the deepest. It is a good introduction to the spirit of Aquinas’ philosophy (speaking of which, Gilson’s Spirit of Medieval Philosophy is an excellent collection of lectures about how Thomism is Christian Philosophy par-excellence) but shallow on facts about his life and his philosophy/theology.

Pieper’s Introduction is probably the best introduction to the historical setting of Aquinas and his writings. I recommend Copleston highly also as Cospleston’s Aquinas gives much background information along with Aquinas’ ethics and some interesting criticisms of Aquinas.

I would also recommend Copleston’s “History of Medieval Philosophy” or “History of Philosophy” volume II as more general introductions to the era and the philosophical currents that influenced Aquinas. Dom David Knowles’ “Evolution of Medieval Thought” is another introduction to the era and is a polemaic defense of Catholicism.

For criticisms of Aquinas, Anthony Kenny, dean of Oxford and a former Catholic priest, has a number of books on Aquinas including a collection of critical essays.

If you have any questions please feel free to email me.

One more thing, you can buy used books at www.alibris.com or www.abebooks.com for much cheaper than at amazon. They also have a better collection of used books so many of these out of print books can be found there.


#17

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