Oxford Handbook of Aquinas

June 13, 2012

Oxford University Press has recently published its new Handbook of Aquinas.  The book serves as an introduction to the writing of the Angelic Doctor and includes essays on most of the major topics in Aquinas’s thought.  Edited by Eleonore Stump (at St. Louis University) and Brian Davies (at Fordham University), each chapter is an essay written by a different expert in the thought of Aquinas. Contributing to the book are two American Dominicans.  Fr. James Brent, OP, of the Province of St. Joseph, has a chapter on God’s Knowledge and God’s Will.  Fr. James is currently an assistant professor of philosophy at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.  Fr. Dominic Holtz, OP, of the Province of St. Albert the Great, has contributed a chapter on Sacraments.  Fr. Dominic is professore incaricato in the Department of Philosophy at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome (the Angelicum). The publisher offers the following description of this new work:

The book begins with an account of Aquinas’s life and works. The next section contains a series of essays that set Aquinas in his intellectual context. They focus on the philosophical sources that are likely to have influenced his thinking, the most prominent of which were certain Greek philosophers (chiefly Aristotle), Latin Christian writers (such as Augustine), and Jewish and Islamic authors (such as Maimonides and Avicenna). The subsequent sections of the book address topics that Aquinas himself discussed. These include metaphysics, the existence and nature of God, ethics and action theory, epistemology, philosophy of mind and human nature, the nature of language, and an array of theological topics, including Trinity, Incarnation, sacraments, resurrection, and the problem of evil, among others. These sections include more than thirty contributions on topics central to Aquinas’s own worldview. The final sections of the volume address the development of Aquinas’s thought and its historical influence.

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