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.
“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.
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
Aidan Nichols is the prior of Blackfriars in Cambridge, England, and a leading Roman Catholic writer and theologian. His other books include A Grammar of Consent, Looking at the Liturgy, No Bloodless Myth, The Panther and the Hind, and Christendom Awake: On Reenergizing the Church in Culture.