God the Father in the Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas

February 21, 2013

The Dominican Province of St. Joseph is pleased to announce the following book publication: Fr KuFather John Baptist Ku, O.P., has recently authored God the Father in the Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas (New York: Peter Lang, 2013), which gives an exposition of Aquinas’ theology of God the Father as a coherent whole. Surprising as it might be, there has not been an extended treatment of Aquinas’ theology of God the Father. In his book, Fr. Ku addressed three misconceptions about Aquinas’s theology: (1) the idea that Aquinas’ speculative Trinitarian theology is detached from Scripture; (2) the supposition that in Aquinas’ understanding, the Father’s relation to the Holy Spirit is an afterthought to the Father’s relation to the Son; and (3) the view that for Thomas, the Father has no proper mode of action in the created universe – since Thomas maintains that in all ad extra activity, the Trinity acts as a single principle. In addition to this more polemical issues, Fr. Ku discusses two other important and perennial issues. First, the concept of relation, as the key to a coherent account of three distinct persons in one same divine essence, emerges as an important theme in Aquinas’ exposition of the Father’s paternity and innascibility. Second, Aquinas understands the Father as the source of unity in the Trinity and as the beginning and end of the whole created universe. In this discussion, it becomes clear that St. Thomas places forceful emphasis on the Son’s equality to the Father and on the radical difference between the creator and the creature. In propounding the teaching of the Doctor Communis, Fr. Ku demonstrates his own gifts of rigorous research, lucid prose, and lively faith. God the Father in the Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas is a tour de force of Thomistic scholarship at the service of contemplating the divine mysteries. Father Ku’s new book can be ordered here. Fr. Ku earned his S.T.D./PhD at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) under the world’s finest specialist in Aquinas’ Trinitarian theology, the Dominican Father Gilles Emery, O.P. Before undertaking his doctoral studies in Switzerland, Fr. Ku served for three years as parochial vicar at St. Pius V Parish in Providence, RI. He previously completed his S.T.B./M.Div. and S.T.L. at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., and his B.S. at the University of Virginia in applied math and computer science. He was awarded the Thomas Aquinas Dissertation Prize by the Aquinas Center for Theological Renewal at Ave Maria University in 2010. He teaches such courses as The Introduction to the Life and Works of St. Thomas Aquinas, The Triune God, and Thomistic Seminars at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington. In addition, he serves as book review editor for the Pontifical Faculty’s journal, The Thomist, assistant student master in the Province of St. Joseph studentate, chaplain to the commuter students of the House of Studies, chaplain to the Immaculate Conception chapter of the Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic, and in various other priestly ministries.

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