Thomas Aquinas: Faith, Reason, and Following Christ by Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt

Thomas Aquinas: Faith, Reason, and Following ChristGood history, good analysis, good explanations of philosophy and theology, good structuring, good everything. It is hard to think how this book could be improved. It has some very dense sections that require careful, intent reading; but then, it is Aquinas we are talking about. If I were to own only one book on Aquinas, this would be it.

The premise is that the way Aquinas ought to be interpreted is as a Dominican, concerned for preaching and its supporting intellectual disciplines. In other words, not as a philosopher stuck in a theological world, but as a Christian minister, wanting to ground a robust ministry in clear and thorough theology.

After a very sensible and useful historical setting, you get a lucid explanation of Aquinas’ theological system, beginning with natural theology, moving through the philosophical underpinnings, a sensible explanation of the arguments for God’s existence, through Christology, salvation, humanity, Christian life, and so on.

The final chapter is an explanation of the approaches to Aquinas through the ages, the kinds of Thomism there have been, which is useful for getting one’s bearings and for consulting subsequently.

 

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