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Friday, January 13, 2006

Reading Thomas Aquinas - Recommended Aids & Introductions

Struggling with St. Thomas Aquinas @ Pontifications: "For the past month I have been reading St Thomas Aquinas. If the Summa was written for beginners, then I am not even close to being a beginner! . . ." the author mentions several books recommended to him by Fr. Augustin DiNoia: Timothy McDermott’s Summa Theologiae: A Concise Translation and Fritz Bauerschmidt’s Holy Teaching: Introducing the ‘Summa Theologiae’ of St. Thomas Aquinas, the latter author providing some clarification of terminology.

The author proclaims in exasperation: “If the Summa was written for beginners, then I am not even close to being a beginner! I feel like a fool, dolt, and nincompoop!” -- to which I think most of us can say, join the club. =)

The post ends with a request for any other helpful books or resources. There are many recommendations from the readers, among them:

There seems to be little consensus among them -- some pushing Joseph Peiper, others Garrigou-Lagrange. My very first introduction to The Doctor was by Peter Kreeft's A Summa of the Summa, by way of my dad, featuring a broad selection of his philosophical work along with Kreeft's commentary.

See the original post for more discussion -- and if you have any personal recommendations of your own, do let me know. =)

P.S. Some good comments already, thanks guys -- and one reader has already noted The Dumb Ox, of which Etienne Gilson remarked: "I consider it as being without possible comparison the best book ever written on St. Thomas."

P.S. A reader has a question concerning Aquinas and academic bias.

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