On Faith and Reason

On Faith and Reason

On Faith and Reason

On Faith and Reason

Synopsis

The selections included in this anthology, drawn from a variety of Aquinas' works, focus on the roles of reason and faith in philosophy and theology. Expanding on these themes are Aquinas' discussions of nature and the domain of theology; the knowledge of God and of God's attributes attainable through natural reason; the life of God, including God's will, justice, mercy, and providence; and the principal Christian mysteries treated in theology properly speaking -- the Trinity and the Incarnation.

Excerpt

In 1997, Hackett Publishing Company reissued Basic Writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas, edited in 1945 by Anton C. Pegis. This massive two-volume collection of texts from the Summa Theologica and the Summa contra Gentiles of Saint Thomas Aquinas covers many areas of his philosophy and theology. In the hope of making these texts more serviceable to college and university students, the editorial board also has chosen to publish them in a number of separate volumes and under a different format. This volume, On Faith and Reason, includes Aquinas's texts from the Summa Theologica that deal with faith and reason and with the knowledge of God that might be gained from both sources. These sources present a God who is one and triune and a God who became man. This volume not only picks up the texts of the original edition but also adds others that complement and clarify the more terse presentation that at times is found in the Summa Theologica. This is the case, for example, with our addition of Question 2 of Aquinas's Exposition of the “De Trini tate” of Boethius (On the Trinity). The new format also permits us to add other types of Aquinas's works. The Summa Theologica and even the Exposition follow the technical schoolroom method of the Middle Ages. A more specialized set of volumes offers the opportunity to introduce other forms of Aquinas's teaching into the present book: his commentaries on Scripture and his sermons. Thus in the part dealing with the God who became man, we will employ texts from Aquinas's Commentary on the Gospel of Saint John and sections from his Sermon on the Apostles' Creed. These additions allow the readers to see Thomas Aquinas at work in the three forms of teaching required to become a Master of Sacred Scripture in the medieval universities: reading (explaining the Scripture texts), dis puting (debating the difficulties raised by the Scripture texts), and preach ing (proclaiming according to sound understanding of the Scripture message).

We are grateful to those who have given permission to use the texts added to Pegis's original Summa Theologica selections. First of all, we are indebted to the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies at the University of Toronto for allowing us to use Question 2 of Father Armand Maurer's translation of the Exposition of the “De Trinitate” of Boethius, published under the title Faith, Reason and Theology. Likewise, we are grateful to Dr. Thomas Gallagher of Magi Books for permission to use two lectures from Aquinas's Commentary on the Gospel of Saint John. Finally, we wish to . . .

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