NPR featured a story this week on a new exhibit on the life and work of Black SciFi writer Octavia Butler.
Butler’s best known book is:
In honor of the occasion, we offer an introduction to his most important work, the Summa Theologica,
This introduction was written by D.J. Kennedy, O.P. and appeared in his 1919 book, St. Thomas Aquinas and Medieval Philosophy [ Download the book in full from Google Books ]
A Summa Theologica is, broadly speaking, a compendium, summary, or manual of theology. There is not in the English language an exact equivalent of the Latin word Summa as it was used by medieval writers. Perhaps the words “Complete Manual” would best convey to people using our language the idea which was in the minds of those who invented the Latin term. We always think of a compendium, or summary, as of a book or Excerpta, in which many things are omitted, some of these being either necessary or important. In a Summa there must be no such omissions. Things may be left out which properly would find a place only in a compete elucidation and development of a subject considered in all its aspects; but the Summa must contain a statement, explanation and proof of all that is necessary for the comprehension of the subject as a whole and in all its essential parts. Some latitude is allowed in the choice of divisions, arguments and illustrations. Summae composed by different men treating the same subject may not be similar in all respects. In all cases, however, the doctrine must be complete, briefly stated, sufficiently proved, illustrated and defended. Many such books were composed in the Middle Ages, some dealing with history, some with philosophy, some with theology or kindred subjects, the best known and most important of these being the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas (see Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v. Summae).
A Feature Review of
Reviewed by Jordan Daniel Wood
Many of us have benefited from the provocative, incisively critical work of theological ethicist Stanley Hauerwas. Here Roman Catholic theologian Nicolas Healy offers a critique no less provocative: Hauerwas’s program to promote the visible distinctiveness of the Church and its practices lacks what is most distinctive about Christianity – its theology (9-10, 16).
Such a sweeping critique need not indicate Healy’s failure to appreciate Hauerwas’s work. Healy makes a helpful distinction between a thinker’s “agenda” and “argument,” which together constitute one’s “project” (4). One’s agenda comprises the changes one desires to see in the Church and its life. One’s argument is how one attempts to present and persuade others to adopt that agenda. While Healy agrees with much of Hauerwas’s “agenda,” he takes issue with Hauerwas’s “argument” in three major areas: methodology, social theory, and theology (6). These weaknesses “undermine” Hauerwas’s agenda and demonstrate that “his argument needs considerable revision” (9).
One of our most anticipated new releases of this week (See the full list here), was:
In our digging around to learn more about this book, we found this really helpful video introduction to foraging that the author produced…
Sergei Boutenko also has a foraging app available to help you identify plants in the field…
Although she is best known for Uncle Tom’s Cabin, she wrote over 30 books.
HT: Rachel Marie Stone for urging us to take a deeper look at Stowe’s work in her Writers on the Classics post for us earlier this year.
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FREE for Kindle
Of course, you should start with her classic novel on slavery, if you haven’t read it already.