Although a controversial figure in
his own day, St. Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-74) forged a unique synthesis of faith
and reason, of ancient philosophy and sacred scripture, which decisively
influenced Dante and the whole subsequent Catholic tradition.
Intensely interested in Aristotle, as well as Plato, Paul and Augustine,
Thomas believed that unaided human thought can take us a long way towards wisdom
and truth, although it must always be supplemented by the central mystery of
revelation. His writings contain many classic statements of doctrine about
angels, the Incarnation, Trinity, sacraments and the soul, and also penetrating
discussions on choice, creation and conscience, law, logic and the purpose of
In this superb selection, arranged chronologically, Ralph McInerny brings
together sermons, commentary responses to criticism and substantial extracts
from one of Christianity's supreme masterpieces, the Summa theologiae.
For anyone concerned to find ways of reconciling science and reason and
religion, Thomas has always been a major source inspiration. This volume reveals
both the development and sheer scope of his work.