As the most influential apologetic work of the Western Church, the Summa contra Gentiles has shaped and defined theological and philosophical enquiry for hundreds of years. This vast work aims to establish the truth of the Christian religion by laying out a defense of the Christian faith from the perspective of both faith and reason. In doing so, Thomas Aquinas helps establish the method, purpose, and grounding for both theology and philosophy.
The Summa contra Gentiles is divided into four books. In the first three books, Aquinas is concerned the lay out a defense of the Christian faith from the perspective of natural theology—the common ground between “Christians and infidels.” These books contain arguments for the existence of God, discussions of ethics and morality, and other statements about God and the world which can be derived from the faculties of reason. Each section describes and defends God’s knowledge, God’s actions in creation, and the purpose and fulfillment—the telos—of all things in God. The fourth and final book of Summa contra Gentiles delineates the knowledge received through divine revelation, such as the Incarnation, the Trinity, and the Resurrection.
Logos is pleased to offer the English translation of the Summa contra Gentiles by the Fathers of the English Dominican Province—the first unabridged English translation. This translation was first published during the 1920s by Burns Oates & Washbourne and has been reprinted numerous times throughout the twentieth century.
With the Logos edition of the Summa contra Gentiles, references to the Church Fathers and other early and medieval texts are linked, allowing you to click your way to primary and secondary literature instantly. All Scripture references are directly linked to the Bibles in your library, and your digital library also allows you to perform powerful searches by topic, subject, or passage. What’s more, with Logos, every word is essentially a link: double-clicking on any word automatically searches your lexicons for a match, which makes Greek and Latin terminology instantly accessible at the click of a button! That makes the Logos edition of the Summa contra Gentiles the preeminent academic standard for the study of Aquinas!
Perhaps no other man ever came so near to calling the Creator by his own name . . .
—G. K. Chesterton
St. Thomas is important for us today precisely because of our lack. Timeless truth is always timely, of course, but some aspects of truth are especially needed at some times, and it seems that our times badly need seven Thomistic syntheses: (1) of faith and reason, (2) of the biblical and the classical, (3) of the ideals of clarity and profundity, (4) of common sense and technical sophistication, (5) of theory and practice, (6) of an understanding, intuitive vision and a demanding, accurate logic, and (7) of the one and the many, a cosmic unity or ‘big picture’ and carefully sorted out distinctions. I think it a safe judgment that no one in the entire history of human thought has ever succeeded better than St. Thomas in making not just one but all seven of these marriages which are essential to health and happiness.