Basic Writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas - Vol. 1

Basic Writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas - Vol. 1

Basic Writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas - Vol. 1

Basic Writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas - Vol. 1

Synopsis

This volume is part two of a two-volume set. It may be purchased separately or in conjunction with volume one. Includes substantial selections from the Second Part of the Summa Theologica and the Summa Contra Gentiles. Pegis's revision and correction of the English Dominican Translation renders Aquinas' technical terminology consistently as it conveys the directness and simplicity of Aquinas' writing; the Introduction, notes, and index aim at giving the text its proper historical setting, and the reader the means of studying St. Thomas within that setting.

Excerpt

The purpose of the present edition of St. Thomas' Basic Writings has been to prepare a useful and reasonably clear English text for students. I have not intended to make a completely new translation, but to revise, correct and annotate the edition generally known as the English Dominican Translation of St. Thomas begun in 1911. The cloud of anonymity surrounding this labor was dispelled about ten years ago when, in the Introduction to the third volume of the treatise On the Power of God, Father Laurence Shapcote, O.P., is acknowledged as the man "by whom alone the entire work of translation has been done."

It has not been difficult to choose the writings of St. Thomas included in this Random House edition. The First Part of the Summa Theologica surely comprises the most widely read group of treatises in St. Thomas. The selections in the second volume also suggest themselves inevitably to anyone who wishes to present St. Thomas' conception of the life of man within the divine government and of the principles, internal and external, which man needs and can find in working out his destiny. The introduction, notes, bibliography and index aim at giving to the text its proper historical setting, and to the reader the means of studying St. Thomas within that setting.

The extent of my indebtedness in the preparation of the text will be recorded in the Introduction. Here I should like to express my thanks to those whose co-operation and generosity have facilitated this work: to the Rev. L.-M. Régis, O.P., now director of the Institut Médiéval Albert le Grand in Montreal, as well as to the Dominican Fathers in Ottawa, for permitting me to use the notes in their edition of the Piana text of the Summa Theologica; to the Rev. Gerald B. Phelan, Director of the Mediaeval Institute, University of Notre Dame, and to the Rev. Ignatius Eschmann, O.P., of the Pontifical Institute, Toronto, for kindly checking some references in Averroes, Ptolemy and Jean de la Rochelle; and to my assistant during 1942 and 1943, Miss Mary C. Caffrey, of Hunter College, for her help in the preparation of the notes. To my publisher, Mr. Bennett Cerf, I am particularly indebted for his enthusiasm for St. Thomas Aquinas; and to Mr. Saxe Commins, who has guided me, gently but firmly, during the long process of seeing the manuscript through the press, I wish to express my appreciation of his long-suffering patience.

A. C. PEGIS

July, 1944 . . .

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