Archives For St. Thomas Aquinas

 

Unraveling the Tension
Between Faith and Science

 
A Review of 

Aquinas and Modern Science: A New Synthesis of Faith and Reason
Gerard Verschuuren

Paperback: Angelico Press, 2017
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Reviewed by Amy Gentile
 
 
Faith and Reason, or religion and science, are often set up as polar opposites in modern discourse. Debates on such topics as evolution or the origins of the universe can make it seem as though faith and reason are diametrically opposed, further entrenching people in both “camps”. Yet there are many wonderful scientists who remain fully committed to reason and trust in the evidence of science while also valuing the place of faith and religious thought. It is in this vein that Gerard Verschuuren writes, and his specific focus on Thomas Aquinas and Thomistic philosophy provides a unique contribution to those interested in the intersection of faith and science.

Verschuuren’s book is impressive in its scope; he begins the book by describing the historical context of Aquinas as well as outlining the broad contours of his thought. He especially focuses on: Esse, Essence, Existence, and Substance; Matter and Form; Fivefold Causality; and Primary/Secondary Causes. Here, Verschuuren does a good job of explaining Aquinas’s thought in understandable ways: the ideas are certainly complex, but the author uses helpful analogies and explains terms thoroughly to aid the reader’s comprehension. These aspects of Thomistic philosophy are then applied to very diverse fields of scientific study, encompassing everything from Physics to Biology to Neuroscience, and even the Social Sciences.

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Tomorrow, January 28 is the Feast Day of St. Thomas Aquinas…

 

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 ]

Complete, Unabridged Kindle Edition
of the Summa Theologica for 99c!

[ BACKGROUND ]   [ OVERVIEW ]   [  ASSESSMENT ]

 
 

Background of the Book

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).

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Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious.”
– Thomas Aquinas
Today is the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas
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The Wake Up Call
 
Poem of the Day:
Friends
William Butler Yeats,
who died on this date, 1939
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Kindle Ebook Deal of the Day:
The Intimate Merton: His Life from His Journals

By Thomas Merton
Only $2.99!!!
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*** NOTE: This stated price is for the United States. Unfortunately, this offer may or may not be available in other countries. Sorry!
 
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The Wake Up Call – January 28, 2015

 

We have a special Advent gift for our readers who receive the ERB through email subscription: your choice of a free e-book from Doulos Christou Press.

Farming as a Spiritual Discipline - Ragan Sutterfield Water, Faith and Wood - Chris Smith Thomas Aquinas - Prayer and Contemplation
  • Farming as a Spiritual Discipline
    – Ragan Sutterfield
    (Limited Availability)
  • Water, Faith and Wood: Stories of the Early Church’s Witness for Today – (ERB Editor) Chris Smith
  • On Prayer and the Contemplative Life – Thomas Aquinas

If you are an email subscriber, send us an email from the address you use to subscribe and tell us which e-book you want:

EDITOR [ a t ] e n g l e w o o d r e v i e w [ d o t ] o r g

If you are not yet subscribed, it is not too late to subscribe and get your FREE e-book.  CLICK HERE to subscribe.  You must click the link in the confirmation email in order to activate your subscription, and then you may request your free e-book according to the above instructions.

This offer will end at 11:59PM EST on Thursday December 24.  Friday December 31 (deadline extended!)

 

Doulos Christou Press has recently released a new volume in its “Resources for a New Monasticism” series: On Prayer and the Contemplative Life By St. Thomas Aquinas.

You can order this new book through Amazon.

Here is an excerpt:

Is the Active Life a Hindrance to the Contemplative Life?

St. Gregory says: “They who would hold the citadel of contemplation must first exercise themselves on the battle-field of toil.”

We may consider the active life from two points of view. For we may first of all consider the actual occupation with, and practice of, external works; and from this point of view it is clear that the active life is a hindrance to the contemplative, for it is impossible for a man to be simultaneously occupied with external works, and yet at leisure for divine contemplation.

But we may also consider the active life from the standpoint of the harmony and order which it introduces into the interior passions of the soul; and from this point of view the active life is an assistance to contemplation since this latter is hindered by the disturbance arising from the passions. Thus St. Gregory says: “They who would hold the citadel of contemplation must first needs exercise themselves on the battle-field of toil; they must learn, forsooth, whether they still do harm to their neighbors, whether they bear with equanimity the harm their neighbors may do them; whether, when temporal good things are set before them, their minds are overwhelmed with joy; whether when such things are withdrawn they are over much grieved. And lastly, they must ask themselves whether, when they withdraw within upon themselves and search into the things of the spirit, they do not carry with them the shadows of things corporeal, or whether, if perchance they have touched upon them, they discreetly repel them.”

Thus, then, the exercises of the active life are conducive to contemplation, for they still those interior passions whence arise those imaginations which serve as a hindrance to contemplation. Continue Reading…