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Summa Contra Gentiles by Thomas Aquinas (Author) (5 books)

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Summa Contra Gentiles by Thomas Aquinas (Author) (5 books)
  
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'Summa Contra Gentiles; Book 1: God'
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Thomas Aquinas (Author), 
Anton Charles Pegis (Translator)

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'Summa Contra Gentiles; Book 2: Creation'
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St. Thomas Aquinas (Author), James F. Anderson (Translator)

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'Summa Contra Gentiles; Book 3: Providence: Part I'
By St. Thomas Aquinas (Author), Vernon J. Bourke (Translator)

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'Summa Contra Gentiles; Book 3: Providence: Part II'
By St. Thomas Aquinas (Author), Vernon J. Bourke (Translator)

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'Summa Contra Gentiles; Book 4: Salvation'
By St. Thomas Aquinas (Author), Charles J. O'Neil (Translator)

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Description:


The Summa Contra Gentiles is not merely the only complete summary of Christian doctrine that St. Thomas has written, but also a creative and even revolutionary work of Christian apologetics composed at the precise moment when Christian thought needed to be intellectually creative in order to master and assimilate the intelligence and wisdom of the Greeks and the Arabs. In the Summa, Aquinas works to save and purify the thought of the Greeks and the Arabs in the higher light of Christian Revelation, confident than all that had been rational in the ancient philosophers and their followers would become more rational within Christianity. This exposition and defense of divine truth has two main parts: the consideration of that truth which faith professes and reason investigates, and the consideration of the truth which faith professes and reason is not competent to investigate. The exposition of truths accessible to natural reason occupies Aquinas in the first three books of the Summa. His method is to bring forward demonstrative and probable arguments, some of which are drawn from the philosophers to convince skeptics. In the fourth book Aquinas appeals to the authority of Sacred Scripture for those divine truths which surpass the capacity of reason.
 

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Without doubt the most famous and influential of all medieval European thinkers, St. Thomas Aquinas, entitled the Angelic Doctor, was born in Sicily. He was educated in Paris and became a member of the other great medieval order in Christianity, namely the Dominican Order. He studied with Albertus Magnus who was himself influenced deeply by Islamic philosophy and science and was a defender of Aristotelian thought in the Latin world. St. Thomas taught in Paris for many years where he defended his position on the relationship between faith and reason. He was opposed to both the Latin Averroists, that is, those interpreters of Ibn Rushd in the West who emphasized only the rationalistic aspect of the thought of the great Islamic philosopher, and those Christian thinkers who were totally opposed to rational philosophy. St. Thomas created a vast synthesis based on the Aristotelization of Christian thought, drawing heavily from the writings of Ibn Sina, al- Ghazzali and other Islamic thinkers and creating a summa of theology which has been influential to this day and which is still the most impor- tant source of Catholic theology and philosophy. His two best known works, the Summa Theologica and Summa Contra Gentiles, are the greatest summations of classical Catholic philosophy and theology and among the most important works of European thought.
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After St. Thomas, his school of thought continued strong into the eighth/fourteenth century with such figures as Duns Scotus but it was also criticized by the nominalists and gradually began to wane until in the ninth/fifteenth and tenth/sixteenth centuries the new wavt+. of Renaissance thought began to replace Scholasticism in most centers of learning in Europe. Scholasticism, especially in the form of Thomism, survived strongly, however, in Italy and Spain into the tenth/sixteenth and eleventh/seventeenth centuries. Moreover, through the influence of Spain it spread into South America where it continued to produce a large number of philosophers of local significance but was not well known within the mainstream of European philosophy which gradually turned away from the synthesis of faith and reason created by the great theolo- gians of the Middle Ages such as St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Bonaventure. 

(Seyyed Hossein Nasr)
  
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