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A Shorter Summa: The Essential Philosophical…

A Shorter Summa: The Essential Philosophical Passages of Saint Thomas…

by Saint Thomas Aquinas

Other authors: Peter Kreeft (Editor)

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Brief passages from the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas are used to create representative samples of concepts at the foundation of Thomistic thought. Ethics and discussions of reality are contrasted by elaborate descriptions of Aquinas’ Arguments for the Existence of God. Peter Kreeft edits and provides a commentary of these passages for the philosophical lay person.
  cw2016 | Feb 22, 2017 |
I have been putting off reading two saints' works, St. Thomas Aquinas and St. John of the Cross. The reputation of both precede them. I should not have been worried about Aquinas, except for maybe for the sheer volume.

This book, more edited than written by Kreeft, is a marvelous introduction and uses Aquinas's own words in anthology form from a more direct and literal translation than some others books. Kreeft included copious amounts of footnotes that are a great aid in understanding the concepts presented, although I found Aquinas in his own words fairly understandable as is.

This book collects the essential passages of Aquinas' great work and thus much is left out. (Aquinas wrote a Summa of the Summa, cutting it down from 3000 pages to 500. This one pairs it down even further, to under 200 pages.) My appetite has been wetted by this book for more Aquinas. ( )
  CowPi | Jul 30, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thomas Aquinas, SaintAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kreeft, PeterEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

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A shortened version of Kreeft's much larger Summa of the Summa, which in turn was a shortened version of the Summa Theologica. The reason for the double shortening is pretty obvious: the original runs some 4000 pages! (The Summa of the Summa was just over 500.) The Summa is certainly the greatest, most ambitious, most rational book of theology ever written. In it, there is also much philosophy, which is selected, excerpted, arranged, introduced, and explained in footnotes here by Kreeft, a popular Thomist teacher and writer. St. Thomas Aquinas is universally recognized as one of the greatest philosophers who ever lived. His writings combine the two fundamental ideals of philosophical writing: clarity and profundity. He is a master of metaphysics and technical terminology, yet so full of both theoretical and practical wisdom. He is the master of common sense. The Summa Theologica is timeless, but particularly important today because of his synthesis of faith and reason, revelation and philosophy, and the Biblical and the classical Greco-Roman heritages. This little book is designed for beginners, either for classroom use or individually. It contains the most famous and influential passages of St. Thomas' philosophy with copious aids to understanding them.… (more)

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