A Shorter Summa by Peter Kreeft
The Essential Philosophical Passages of Saint Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica

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Synopsis

A shortened version of Kreeft's much larger Summa of the Summa, which in turn was a shortened version of the Summa Theologica. The reason for the double shortening is pretty obvious: the original runs some 4000 pages! (The Summa of the Summa was just over 500.) The Summa is certainly the greatest, most ambitious, most rational book of theology ever written. In it, there is also much philosophy, which is selected, excerpted, arranged, introduced, and explained in footnotes here by Kreeft, a popular Thomist teacher and writer. St. Thomas Aquinas is universally recognized as one of the greatest philosophers who ever lived. His writings combine the two fundamental ideals of philosophical writing: clarity and profundity. He is a master of metaphysics and technical terminology, yet so full of both theoretical and practical wisdom. He is the master of common sense. The Summa Theologica is timeless, but particularly important today because of his synthesis of faith and reason, revelation and philosophy, and the Biblical and the classical Greco-Roman heritages. This little book is designed for beginners, either for classroom use or individually. It contains the most famous and influential passages of St. Thomas' philosophy with copious aids to understanding them.

 

About Peter Kreeft

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Thomas Aquinas, the most noted philosopher of the Middle Ages, was born near Naples, Italy, to the Count of Aquino and Theodora of Naples. As a young man he determined, in spite of family opposition to enter the new Order of Saint Dominic. He did so in 1244. Thomas Aquinas was a fairly radical Aristotelian. He rejected any form of special illumination from God in ordinary intellectual knowledge. He stated that the soul is the form of the body, the body having no form independent of that provided by the soul itself. He held that the intellect was sufficient to abstract the form of a natural object from its sensory representations and thus the intellect was sufficient in itself for natural knowledge without God's special illumination. He rejected the Averroist notion that natural reason might lead individuals correctly to conclusions that would turn out false when one takes revealed doctrine into account. Aquinas wrote more than sixty important works. The Summa Theologica is considered his greatest work. It is the doctrinal foundation for all teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Peter J. Kreeft (Ph.D., Fordham University) is professor of philosophy at Boston College where he has taught since 1965. A popular lecturer, he has also taught at many other colleges, seminaries and educational institutions in the eastern United States. Kreeft has written more than fifty books, including The Best Things in Life, The Journey, How to Win the Culture War and, with Ronald Tacelli, Handbook of Christian Apologetics.
 
Published June 23, 2010 by Ignatius Press. 162 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Jerry LeBlanc 5 Apr 2013

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