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This lively and highly accessible introduction to the thought of Thomas Aquinas focuses on his philosophy while making clear its openness to theology as reflection on Revelation.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 168 pages
  • 152.4 x 231.14 x 17.78mm | 340.19g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745626866
  • 9780745626864

Back cover copy

This book is a lively and highly accessible introduction to thethought of Thomas Aquinas. While primarily a theologian, Aquinas' conception of theology presupposed an autonomousphilosophy. This book concentrates on his philosophy while makingclear its openness to theology as reflection on Revelation.

As a philosopher, Aquinas is fundamentally Aristotelian. LikeAristotle, he sees philosophy as emerging from the ordinarythinking of ordinary human beings (and philosophers when they areoff duty). Philosophy does not initiate certain knowledge butprolongs it by perfecting the instrument of thinking and expandingits content. The quest for wisdom, like that for happiness, is aninescapable fact of human existence. This book uses key and crucialtexts to describe the trajectory of Aquinas' philosophicalthought from the analysis of changeable things through the reasonedawareness that to be and to be material are not identical to suchknowledge as we can have of God. This brings Aquinas to thethreshold of Christian faith.
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Table of contents

Part I: A Short Life. 1. Origins. 2. Montecassino (1230--1239). 3. University of Naples (1239--1244). 4. Under House Arrest (1244--1245). 5. Cologne and Albert the Great (1245--1248). 6. Student at Paris (1252--1256). 7. First Paris Professorship (1256--1259). 8. Italian Interlude (1259--1268). 9. Second Paris Period (1269--1272). 10. Naples (1272--1274). selected Further Reading. Part II: In Pursuit of Wisdom. 11. Theology presupposes Philosophy. 12. The Quest of Philosophy. 13. Theoretical and Practical. 14. The Order of Learning. 15. The Two Theologies. 16. The Four Orders. 17. The Logical Order. 18. Our Natural Way of Knowing. 19. Matter and Form. 20. Things that Come to Be as the Result of a Change. 21. The Parmenidean Problem. 22. The Sequel. 23. The Prime Mover. 24. The Soul. 25. Sense Perception. 26. The Immortality of the Human Soul. 27. The Opening to Metaphysics. 28. The Big Problem. 29. The Two Theologies Revisited. 30. Being as Being. 31. Analogy. 32. Being as Analogous. 33. Substance. 34. Presuppositions of Metaphysics. 35. God and Metaphysics. 36. Ipsum esse Subsistens. 37. The Moral Order. 38. Ultimate End in Aristotle. 39. Ultimate End in Thomas. 40. Virtuous Action. 41. Natural Law. 42. Natural Inclinations. 43. Virtue and Law. 44. Practical Syllogism. 45. End/Means. 46. The Common Good. 47. Natural and Supernatural Ends. 48. Preambles of Faith. 49. Christian Philosophy. 50. Beyond Philosophy. 51. The Range of Theology. Sources. Selected Further Reading. Part III: Thomism. 52. The First Phase. 53. Second Scholasticism. 54. The Leonine Revival. 55. Three Thomisms. 56. Whither Thomism?. Selected Further Reading. Index
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Review quote

"Ralph McInerny knows as much about Thomas Aquinas, and about how to communicate his thought, as anyone else alive. He is not only a very learned commentator upon him, but also a fluent, lucid, and often entertaining writer, who can make profound ideas seem deceptively simple...McInerny offers an accessible guide to a difficult and important topic." The Heythrop Journal "McInery is perhaps the most important Catholic philosopher of his generation. While many limit philosophy to textual exegesis of formal logic, McInerny, in the spirit of his immediate predecessors Etienne Gilson and Jacques Maritain, still regards philosophy as the pursuit of wisdom, speculative and practical. Steeped in the history of philosophy, McInerny is a reliable guide to Aristotle and Aquinas and their commentators through the ages. He writes not for colleagues down the hall or for the appreciation of antiquity or who seek an intellectual compass in stormy times. Translated into many languages, his work rightly commands a global audience. For its freshness, Aquinas will only enhance McInerny's status as a major interpreter of the Angelic Doctor." Jude P. Dougherty, The Catholic University of America "Aquinas lived in a time of remarkable intellectual and religious ferment. His thought, which McInerny following John Paul II describes as an implicit philosophy, articulates not just for his own time, but foe all times, the philosophical principles implicitly operative in human nature. In his new primer on Aquinas, Ralph McInerny manages the impossible. He gives us Aquinas, his times, the core of his philosophical teaching, and the significance of his continued contribution to philosophy and theology. With the deft stlye of the novelist and the clarity of a seasoned teacher of Aquinas, McInerny provides a marvelous path into the thought of the greatest of Catholic teachers." Thomas Hibbs, Boston College
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About Ralph McInerny

Ralph McInerny is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame.
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