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Thomas Aquinas stands among the most important thinkers in the history of Christianity, and his famous Summa Theologica represents the pinnacle of medieval theology and perhaps the most influential theological work in the history of Western Christianity. In the volumes of his writings we find the forerunners of every intellectual development in the eight centuries that followed, and the depth of his understanding of the nature and being of God has left a lasting mark on the enterprise of Christian theological reflection ever since.

Logos is pleased to offer the English translation of the Summa Theologica by the Fathers of the English Dominican Province—a literal translation that remains a standard for Aquinas studies. This translation underlies the 22-volume edition published by Burns, Oates & Washbourne between 1912 and 1936, and has been widely reprinted throughout the twentieth century.

In this massive tome, Aquinas outlines the reasons and meaning of all of Christian theology. As a theologian, Aquinas articulates the goals, purpose, and enterprise of theology, and gives theology a prominent place in scholarship, calling theology “the queen of sciences.” As a scholastic, Aquinas sought to understand Christian theology in light of the rediscovery of Aristotle’s works in the twelfth century, and redefined the relationship between revelation and reason, science and theology, and faith and philosophy for the next eight centuries. As a philosopher, Aquinas developed principles of just war and natural law, and outlined an argument for God’s existence from contingency—the intellectual forerunner to the modern Argument from Design. As an aesthetic, Aquinas articulated a vision of God’s beauty, and his aesthetic influence can be felt in the writings of literary figures as diverse as Dante Alighieri, James Joyce, and Umberto Eco.

Author Bio

Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) entered the Benedictine abbey of Montecassino at the age of five to begin his studies. He was transferred to the University of Naples at age 16, where he became acquainted with the revival of Aristotle and the Order of the Dominicans. Aquinas went on to study in Cologne in 1244 and Paris in 1245. He then returned to Cologne in 1248, where he became a lecturer.

Aquinas’ career as a theologian took him all over Europe. In addition to regularly lecturing and teaching in cities throughout Europe, Aquinas participated regularly in public life and advised both kings and popes. Thomas Aquinas also profoundly influenced the history of Protestantism. He wrote prolifically on the relationship between faith and reason, as well as the theological and philosophical issues which defined the Reformation.

Thomas Aquinas is most well-known for his monumental works Summa Theologica and Summa contra Gentiles