A Short History of Thomism

A Short History of Thomism

Copyright Date: 2005
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    A Short History of Thomism
    Book Description:

    Using carefully selected resources, Romanus Cessario has composed a short account of the history of the Thomist tradition as it manifests itself through the more than seven hundred years that have elapsed since the death of Saint Thomas

    eISBN: 978-0-8132-1593-8
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-xiv)
    Ralph McInerny

    That brevity is the soul of wit may seem an ironic remark when we consider its connection with Polonius, but it contains an important, one might almost say Thomistic, truth. Simplicity in an important sense rides on profundity. It is the mark of the wise man that he can marshal and order vast amounts of material, and possesses a keen sense of the beginning, the middle, and the end of inquiry; only a very learned author could have provided the tour du monde thomiste that Father Romanus Cessario gives us here. Thomas Aquinas himself was not much given to historical...

  4. Chapter One THOMISM
    (pp. 1-39)

    In the broadest sense of the term, “Thomism” refers to a body of tenets in both philosophy and theology that derive from and are held to represent faithfully the doctrine of the thirteenth-century Italian priest Thomas Aquinas (1224/5–1274). But Thomism stands for more than an accumulation of teachings: it also embodies a conception of philosophical and theological enquiry that owes its genius to the insight and resourcefulness of the first Thomist. In his 1988 Gifford Lectures, Alasdair MacIntyre carefully demonstrates that Aquinas’s approach to theology provides a standpoint that suffers from less incoherence, is more comprehensive and more resourceful,...

  5. Chapter Two THE THOMISTS
    (pp. 40-81)

    In one sense, Thomas Aquinas can claim no immediate disciples. The Dominican friars who succeeded to his chair at Paris, Hannibal de Hannibaldis (d. 1272) and Romanus of Rome (d. 1273), both preceded him in death, and neither, in any event, seems to have fathomed the innovations that Aquinas had introduced into theology. His faithful secretary and confessor, Reginald of Piperno, was content, so it appears, with receiving abridged forms of his master’s theological opera, and there is nothing, moreover, to indicate that he considered himself to be the leader of a newly formed Thomist school. Even those who reasonably...

    (pp. 82-92)

    Though the Church and her institutions suffered at the hands of the French Revolutionaries as well as from the social reforms that Napoleon and his proxies introduced into most of Europe, these and other civil disturbances did not succeed in eradicating the Thomist tradition. The texts of Thomas Aquinas, in one form or another, still were available and transmitted. In fact, new historical research has uncovered evidence of the sustained interest in Thomism that flourished, especially among Italian ecclesiastics, through the late eighteenth and into the early nineteenth centuries.¹ The Kennedy Catalogue lists more than three hundred Thomists at work...

    (pp. 93-96)

    The preceding pages tell about the many Thomists who have developed the one Thomism. Who are they? Thomists are scholars of all sorts who have inserted themselves into a living tradition of historical, philosophical, and theological reflection that finds its origin and sustaining force in the work of a most eminent Christian figure who lived during the High Middle Ages. Without Thomas Aquinas, of course, there would be no Thomism. But something else is also true: without active Thomists, very little of Thomas Aquinas nowadays would be available to us. The present account of Thomism and its partisans argues that...

  8. Index of Names, Subjects, and Book Titles
    (pp. 97-106)