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Discovering Aquinas: An Introduction to His Life, Work, and Influence

, 2002
ISBN: 9780802805140

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Thomas Aquinas is one of the great figures of church history, and his ideas continue to have a powerful effect on theologians and contemporary writers from very different backgrounds and traditions. In Discovering Aquinas, Aidan Nichols offers a lively and authoritative introduction to the life, thought, and ongoing influence of this singular churchman.

This book could not have come at a better time. After a lengthy period of declining interest in Aquinas, we are starting to see a Thomistic renaissance, including a renewed appreciation for the way Aquinas’ work so brilliantly weaves together philosophy, theology, spirituality, revelation, and ethics. As Nichols writes, “It is because of the wonderfully integrated character of the wisdom of Thomas Aquinas—integrated not only as supernatural with natural but also as thinking with love—that the church in our day should not leave him as a fresco on a wall but find inspiration from his teaching and example.”

By means of writing as felicitous as it is insightful, Nichols chronicles the compelling facts of Aquinas’s life, explores the major facets of his thought, establishes Aquinas’s historical importance, and shows why many today are regarding him as a vital partner in current debates about the future of Christianity.

With the Logos Bible Software edition of Discovering Aquinas, you have an abundance of resources that offer applicable and insightful material for your study. You can easily search the subject of natural and supernatural revelation, and access an assortment of useful resources and perspectives from a variety of pastors and theologians.

  • Focuses on the life, thought, and impact of Thomas Aquinas
  • Ideal for clergy, students, and laity looking for an introduction to the study of Thomas Aquinas
  • Includes a bibliography and an index of names

Top Highlights

“the Commentary on the Book of Job (generally regarded as the best crafted and most penetrating of his biblical works” (Page 8)

“Aquinas introduces a new principle of organisation—of theological intelligibility—all his own. He considers all things inasmuch as they come forth from God, the Alpha or absolute Beginning, in dependence on the procession from the Father of the Word, and inasmuch too as they return to God, the Omega or absolute End, by the grace which depends on the procession from Father and Son of the Holy Spirit.” (Page 6)

“There is only one universe, a single, integrated and unified cosmos of which all are citizens, albeit with differing roles. The total good of the universe consists in the interrelationship of things, ordo rerum ad invicem, ‘the ordering of things to one another’.4 Ultimately this is not just an aesthetic question—a matter of the pattern of the world, the ‘rich and complex’ tapestry God has made. More than this, it is a question of the purpose of the universe, and the way in which all the beings which constitute the world in their inter-relation conspire, whether consciously or not, to serve the final purpose of God, his saving plan.” (Pages 85–86)

“Thomas was a theologian who made use of philosophy, not a philosopher who was under an ecclesiastical obligation to say something about faith as well.” (Pages 38–39)

“light of natural reason, whereby man ‘ascends’ or rises up through creatures to the knowledge of God” (Page 37)

This book offers both novice and expert a well-reasoned account of Aquinas’ thought based on faithful readings of primary sources and with a strong argument for its relevancy today . . . The coherence of Aquinas’ thought is convincingly portrayed and must be taken seriously by any student of Christian theology.

Toronto Journal of Theology

Dom Aidan Nichols sets out in this short book to explain why the current neglect of Thomas is a misfortune, and he pleads for a renewal of Thomist studies . . . As an introduction to Aquinas’ thought, this book can be highly recommended.

Churchman Journal

This is an excellent introduction to the work, influence, and significance of St. Thomas Aquinas in a small compass. Written with the general reader in mind, the book does not enter into the intricacies of Thomas' thought, but provides what the author calls a miniature, a work that will portray the beauty of its subject by imparting its essential features in the hope that viewers, or in this case readers, will be moved to pursue the details on their own.

Sixteenth Century Journal

A very good introduction to a particular and influential kind of reading of Thomas. It is subtle, sophisticated, and well worth its price.

Scottish Journal of Theology

  • Title: Discovering Aquinas: An Introduction to His Life, Work, and Influence
  • Author: Aidan Nichols
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Pages: 224

John Christopher “Aidan” Nichols OP (born 17 September 1948) is an academic and Catholic priest. Nichols served as the first John Paul II Memorial Visiting Lecturer at Oxford University for 2006 to 2008, the first lectureship of Catholic theology at that university since the Reformation. He is a member of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) and was formerly the Prior of St Michael and All Angels in Cambridge.


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  1. Stephen Ian Morgan
Save 25% off during the Memorial Day Sale!


Digital list price: $25.99
Regular price: $20.99
Save $5.25 (25%)