144 Pages
112 x 174 mm
Pub date
Nov 2009
Very Short Introductions


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  • The best introduction to Thomas Aquinas aimed at non-specialists
  • Discusses Aquinas as both a philosopher and a theologian
  • Illustrates the different debates and the significant role that the writings of Aquinas play in contemporary debate

Thomas Aquinas, an Italian Catholic priest in the early thirteeth century, is considered to be one of the great Christian thinkers who had, and who still has, a profound influence on Western thought. He was a controversial figure who was exposed and engaged in conflict. 
This Very Short Introduction looks at Aquinas in a historical context, and explores the Church and culture into which Aquinas was born. It considers Aquinas as philosopher, and looks at the relationship between philosophy and religion in the thirteenth century. Fergus Kerr, in this engaging and informative introduction, will make The Summa Theologiae, Aquinas's greatest single work, accessible to new readers. It will also reflect on the importance of Thomas Aquinas in modern debates and asks why Aquinas matters now.


1: Life and formation
2: Works
3: Summa Theologiae: prima pars
4: Summa Theologiae: secunda pars
5: Summa Theologiae: tertila pars
6: Aftermath
7: Further reading

About the author: 

Fergus Kerr is Honorary Fellow of the School of Divinity in the University of Edinburgh. He is widely recognized as a philosopher and theologian of high distinction. He is particularly well known for his work on Ludwig Wittgenstein and Thomas Aquinas . He is also Editor of the journal New Blackfriars.

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