Commentaries on the Exhibit’s Works




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A brief commentary prepared by Patrick Thomas, PhD, Assistant Professor in the English department, on the following work:

Thomas Aquinas
Summa theologica, pars prima
Venice, 1484; second of the three editions printed by Antonius de Strata


Thomas Aquinas’s Summa theologica was originally written as a teaching document, a guide for beginning theology students. At more than 3,500 pages, it may seem an intimidating introduction to Christian theology; however, the influence of the Summa exceeds its volume. Aquinas’s work influenced every subject in the liberal arts, especially astronomy, logic, and rhetoric. Aquinas’s methodical disputations, rhetorical style, and logic are as much an education as his insights on the balance of faith and reason within Christian doctrine. The Summa has three parts; pars prima, displayed here, includes Aquinas’s examination of the existence of God, the nature of God and of man, and the creation of the universe.

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Contents of Streaming Media

Daniel Thompson, chair of religious studies, explains Thomas Aquinas’s motivations for writing the Summa, its content, and its organization in three parts.

Aquinas: 'Summa theologica, pars prima'


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