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Aquinas for Armchair Theologians by Timothy…

Aquinas for Armchair Theologians (2002)

by Timothy M. Renick

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Unlike the previous Armchair Theologians book I read (on Calvin), this book discussed very little of Aquinas' life and instead focused on his philosophical works and their impact on the Western world. Renick is a professor of religion at Georgia State and does a good enough job making the complex somewhat humorous, and using some simple analogies to explain difficult concepts. Renick looks mostly at the Summa Theologica, but also explores some of Aquinas' other works. This is not a comprehensive treatment of Aquinas' thoughts, but it does show major ways he differed from Augustine and Calvin, as well as how his teachings on the moral law probably influenced Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and other Founding Fathers. His thoughts on war and morality still influence thinking today as well. His views on sex and reproduction are still the foundation for the Roman Catholic's doctrine today.

Some topics covered:
Nature and Essence of God
Will of God
Reason's role in faith
Theology of Sex
Just War Theory
Types and the Role of Government

Critics take issue with Renick's opinions of how Aquinas would view the American revolution, invitro fertilization, and homosexuality today.

This series is what it is-- an introduction to the character, his major ideas, and his contribution to modern society in a humorous manner.
I give this book 4 stars out of 5. It inspired me to look further into the subject. ( )
  justindtapp | Jun 3, 2015 |
I, too, found this book to be an excellent summary of Aquinas and his teachings. I found Renick to be witty, yet informative, and exceedingly accessible. He indroduces complex ideas with clarity and simplicy that is hard to find.

Renick did a wonderful job helping the average person see the importance of Aquinas in our lives today. I did, however, find it interesting...almost annoying...to see Renick attempt to apply Aquinas's teachings to modern issues and place the theologian on sides of issues that he clearly doesn't belong (see the chapter on sexuality). Even so, I admire Renick's desire to make the theologian so contemporary.

I strongly recommend this book to anyone wanting a taste of Aquinas. It is a joy to read. ( )
  ebnelson | Jul 27, 2008 |
An excellent book describing the basics of Aquinas philosophy and theology. The best introduction to start with if you want to enter the world of Aquinas. ( )
  hnn | Oct 27, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0664223044, Paperback)

Thomas Aquinas was one of the most influential thinkers in the history of Christianity and in western civilization. But his theological views can seem complex, and presume acquaintance with technical philosophical language.

Now Timothy Renick has produced an attractive and accessible account of Aquinas’s thought and life that will make his views clear to non-specialists. The topics dealt with include God, angels, evil, metaphysics, morality, sex, war, abortion, and politics.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:50 -0400)

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