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The Thought of Thomas Aquinas Hardcover – 30 Jan 1992

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 407 pages
  • Publisher: Clarendon Press (30 Jan. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198264585
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198264583
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 2.8 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,266,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


`Like his master he balances the counterweighted demands of analysis and synthesis, of philosophy and theology, of history and science. In short, this book is the best of its type in English ... The Thought of Thomas Aquinas will be hailed as a great tribute to his master's genius.'Gregorianum, Vol 75 (1994)

`wide-ranging and ... readable. ... it is accurate, accessible, and a thoroughly up-to-date account of the current state of scholarly debate ... It has a very helpful bibliography for the many readers who, while welcoming Davies's book as an overview of the subject, would like to pursue particular issues in more detail.'Heythrop Journal

`It is primarily an introduction to the thought of Aquinas aimed at students of philosophy and theology. ... The book is thorough and economical.'Choice Nov'92

`beautifully produced ... a clear and reliable work of reference for anyone who seeks a serious introduction to the thought of Thomas Aquinas.'Times Higher Education Supplement

`While based on a wide scholarly bibliography, the approach is refreshingly straightforward ... the student, the scholar, the preacher and the general reader alike will find in it fresh perspectives on the intellectual and pastoral concerns of the great Dominican.'Expository Times

`Brian Davies's book is at once timely and most welcome ... he is particularly well placed to offer an authoritative account of Aquinas's thought to an English speaking audience. This volume is aimed more at the general reader, who will appreciate accuracy and a clear overview of what is going on. Davies writes in a style which is clear, readable, and free of unnecessary jargon. He illustrates the more difficult points simply and helpfully. His readings of Aquinas are a distillation of contemporary scholarship, accurate and well-controlled. The book is an excellent introduction to the saint, philosopher and theologian who founded the great tradition of Dominican theology.' Gerard J. Hughes SJ, The Month, June 1992

`This book is a remarkable achievement. It brings alive a man about whose life we really know very little beyond the bare bones of his movements; and makes accessible a body of thought and writing which can seem forbidding to the modern reader.' New Blackfriars, May 1992

'a well-balanced exposition that takes the positive and negative sides in Aquinas' thought with equal seriousness ... The book is likely to establish itself quickly as a standard reference work.'David Brown, University of Durham, Theology

'It is primarily an introduction to the thought of Aquinas aimed at students of philosophy and theology. The book is thorough and economical.'E. Peters, University of Pennsylvania, Choice, Nov '92

'The book is an intellectually serious yet very accessible introduction to Aquinas which will be useful for undergraduates and still offer scholars much to think about and argue with ... Davies's lucid and straightforward exposition of Aquinas' views seems to dissolve many problems.'John Jenkins, Journal of Theological Studies, Vol. 44, No. 1, April 1993

'His survey will interest general readers as well as professional philosophers and theologians.'Theology Digest, Volume 40, No. 1, Spring 1993

'His survey will interest general readers as well as professional philosophers and theologians.'Theology Digest, Vol. 40, No. 1, Spring 1993

'scholarly and certainly very much in touch with much recent philosophical and theological scholarship on the topics it treats'Kenneth Konyndyk, The Cresset, September 1993

'this book is very much the work of a philosopher who is at home in both the scholastic and the contemporary analytic traditions ... He is clearly a highly sympathetic expositor who often goes to considerable pains to eliminate misunderstandings of Aquinas.'The Innes Review, Volume XLV, No. 1

'very much in touch with recent philosophical and theological scholarship on the topics it treats.'Kenneth Konyndyk, The Cresset

'This is a remarkable piece of work. The author writes well, with unusual clarity, showing a rare gift for making the thought of St Thomas understandable to the contemporary reader who is not a Thomist...admirable positive contribution of this masterly exposition of the vast sweep of St Thomas's thought for contemporary thinkers, laid out in such clear and accessible style.'W Norris Clarke,SJ, International Philosophical Quarterly, Vol XXXIV, No 1, March 1994

'A warm and wide welcome may be expected for this book of remarkable clarity and comprehensiveness. The thought of Aquinas has been veiled by the increasing ignorance of Latin, of Church history and of theology, for a good generation now. This book will help to remove some of that ignorance, and perhaps even dispel some prejudice as well.'Bulletin de Théol. Anc. et Méd. - Janv.-Déc. 1993

'the coverage is wide, and shows the subtlety with which an outstanding mind deals with such central problems as: God and His relation to Creation ... the amply documented account shows the relevance of St Thomas today - doubtless practising Christians will find his thoughts profitable for a deeper understanding of their faith.'P.A. Monaghan, University of Exeter, Theological Book Review, Vol. 6, No. 3, June 1994

comprehensive presentation of Aquinas's total thought (Bibliographie de la Philosophie, 1-2-1994)

'...Many of his explicit interlocutors are contemporary English philosophers, and Davies seeks to set Thomas among them. For many readers this will be a strength of the book...' (Pro Ecclesia, Vol.VI, No.4) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Brian Davies is at University of Oxford. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Format: Paperback
I'm not a philosopher, though I have studied theology, and I've never read any Aquinas before, so having tried Aquinas: a new introduction by John Peterson and found it almost unreadable, I didn't hold out a lot of hope for this. I was wrong! Written so anyone can understand it and including a brief summary of Thomas' life, this is a book I can recommend.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For those that want a factual explanation of the issues considered by Aquinas without slant, this volume should not disappoint. Written in clear language. Nicely made book. Recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x98544ac8) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98546154) out of 5 stars The book for neophytes and neo-Thomists 11 Dec. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If only every subject were taught with such clarity! The Revd Dr. Brian Davies, O.P. (of Blackfriars and St. Bennett's, Oxford U.) gives the central thought of St. Thomas' magnum opus, the Summa Theologiae. The Summa itself is overwhelming, the English editions are 3 to 5 vols. (approx. 5000 dense pages), the Latin & English edition (Blackfriars) some 60 vols.So, it is easy to miss the forest for the trees, so to speak, so naturally you'll need a tour guide. To study the Summa Theologiae- to do some Summa-wrestling- requires a good grasp of traditional logic (w/ 3 acts of the minds, as the scholastics termed them), a thorough grasp of Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysics, and some Thomistic natural philosophy. Understandably, very few have this background, and that is the beauty of Davies' book. Believe it or not, the Summa Theol. was meant for beginners. It's not, but Davies' book certainly is. Davies assumes nothing more than a desire to understand St. Thomas and his greatest work.Davies' writing is both lucid and luminous, just like the fellow Dominican who's thought he is writing about.The Southern writer Flannery O'Conner once wrote (in _Wise Blood_) that "Thomism usually comes in horrible wrappers." Unfortunately Ms. O'Connor never had the pleasure of reading Brian Davies.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9822ca44) out of 5 stars Invaulable reference 31 Oct. 2012
By D.J.S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Admittedly, the study of philosophy and Aquinas in particular, can be daunting, but Dr. Davies makes the task achievable. This is one of the best books that I have found that interprets and analyzes the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas. I have purchased several books on Thomistic philosophy and have found that Dr. Davies' is the one I turn to first 90% of the time for understanding of a concept or for an application of particular thoughts.

It is clear and concise and is written in a way that even the novice to Thomistic thought can readily find answers. For me it has been tremendously helpful. The synthesis of Thomas' thoughts is expertly done and the reader will quickly learn to appreciate both the knowledge and skill with which Dr. Davies clearly and thoroughly treats the main philosophical themes that characterize Thomistic thought.

Dr. Davies is extraordinarily insightful. He gives a brief introduction to the life of the Saint which, I think, adds a unique dimension that some other books on Aquinas seem to overlook, to the detriment of the reader. The layout moves the reader or student in a methodical, thorough way, each chapter building on the previous to leave those who are diligent with a robust concept of Thomistic thought and metaphysics.

It is also multifunctional, whether it is the study of the metaphysics of God, the foundation of ethics and morality, or the evangelistic aspect of the Christian life, Dr. Davies' book fills the need. He masterfully distills Thomas' thoughts and works into a cohesive unit that lends itself to the philosopher as an invaluable reference source.
20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x981bd87c) out of 5 stars Best Introduction 8 April 2002
By D. S. Heersink - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Brian Davies' "The Thought of Thomas Aquinas" is to Aquinas what A. E. Taylor's "Plato: The Man and His Works" is to Plato and what John Randall's "Aristotle" is to Aristotle. An excellent introduction to difficult thought, written in clear and coherent simplicity, retaining the nuances that are unique to Aquinas by not oversimplifying.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x983af8a0) out of 5 stars A fine introduction 18 Sept. 2013
By Jim Fann - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
G. K. Chesterton wrote that Thomas several times experienced "levitation in ecstasy." That may be too much to ask of Davies' (or anyone else's) introduction to the intricacies of Thomas's complex world of thought. But if you're looking for a substantial yet clear guide to Aquinas's theology, this is an excellent place to start. If you don't find ecstasy, you will surely find enlightenment. Highly recommended.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98380e40) out of 5 stars Dominican scholar on Aquinas 13 April 2014
By Transcendental Thomist - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Father Brian Davies OP, Dominican priest and scholar, writes a deep tome here on the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. If you're a classically inclined Catholic in the Thomist tradition, you'll probably enjoy this book, particularly if you are a fan of contemporary Dominican scholarship on the Dumb Ox. Personally, I prefer Jesuit interpreters like Fr. Frederick Copleston SJ and Fr. Norris Clarke SJ, who approach Aquinas through a more contemporary and personalist lens. But this book is very good for its kind. If you look up Brian Davies on the internet, you'll have a pretty good idea of what to expect from this weighty paperback volume.
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