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The Aquinas Catechism: A Simple Explanation of the Catholic Faith by the Church's Greatest Theologian [Paperback]

By Thomas Aquinas (Author) & Ralph McInerny (Foreword by)
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Item description for The Aquinas Catechism: A Simple Explanation of the Catholic Faith by the Church's Greatest Theologian by Thomas Aquinas & Ralph McInerny...

Overview
The essentials of the Catholic Faith clearly, comprehensively, and beautifully explained by one of the Church's greatest thinkers! Although St. Thomas Aquinas was one of the Church's most intellectually powerful theologians, few know that he also wrote a great deal that's well within the reach of ordinary believers. In fact, as you'll find in these pages, St. Thomas had a remarkable ability to communicate the Faith including both its most complex and its simplest elements in plain language. Here you'll find his deeply insightful, straightforward, and clear explanations of the Apostles' Creed, the Commandments, and the Sacraments as well as of the Lord's Prayer and the Hail Mary. In other words, this book will give you a basic course in the Catholic Faith, taught by the Church's greatest theologian. Let him help you gain a better grasp of Church doctrine, pray with greater fervor and understanding, receive the Sacraments more worthily, learn what God requires of you and why, explain Church teachings to non-Catholic friends, discover the scriptural sources of our Catholic Faith, find remedies for moral weaknesses that still afflict you, glimpse the greatness of the Church's supernatural mission, and much more! Above all, let St. Thomas teach you how to explain, defend, and live your Faith . . . with the clear-sighted wisdom of a saint!

Publishers Description
Few know that the great St. Thomas Aquinas, although he was a towering intellectual, also wrote much that's well within the reach of ordinary believers. In The Aquinas Catechism you'll find his deeply insightful, straightforward, and clear explanations of the Apostles' Creed, the Commandments, and the Sacraments -- as well as of the Lord's Prayer and the Hail Mary.In other words, this book will give you a basic course in the Catholic Faith, taught by the Church's greatest theologian. Let St. Thomas teach you how to explain, defend, and live your Faith . . . with the clear-sighted wisdom of a saint

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Sophia Institute Press
Pages   300
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 6" Height: 1"
Weight:   1.15 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2000
Publisher   Sophia Institute Press
ISBN  1928832105  
ISBN13  9781928832102  


Availability  0 units.


More About Thomas Aquinas & Ralph McInerny


Thomas Aquinas Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) lived at a critical juncture of western culture when the arrival of the Aristotelian corpus in Latin translation reopened the question of the relation between faith and reason, calling into question the modus vivendi that had obtained for centuries. This crisis flared up just as universities were being founded. Thomas, after early studies at Montecassino, moved on to the University of Naples in 1244, where he met members of the new Dominican Order. It was at Naples too that Thomas had his first extended contact with the new learning. When he joined the Dominican Order he went north to study with Albertus Magnus, author of a paraphrase of the Aristotelian corpus. Thomas completed his studies at the University of Paris, which had been formed out of the monastic schools on the Left Bank and the cathedral school at Notre Dame. In two stints as a regent master Thomas defended the mendicant orders and, of greater historical importance, countered both the Averroistic interpretations of Aristotle and the Franciscan tendency to reject Greek philosophy. The result was a new modus vivendi between faith and philosophy which survived until the rise of the new physics. The Catholic Church has over the centuries regularly and consistently reaffirmed the central importance of Thomas's work for understanding its teachings concerning the Christian revelation, and his close textual commentaries on Aristotle represent a cultural resource which is now receiving increased recognition.

He was formally canonized in 1323.

Thomas Aquinas was born in 1225 and died in 1274.

Thomas Aquinas has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Latin/English Edition of the Works of St. Thomas Aquinas
  2. St. Joseph Picture Books (Paperback)
  3. Summa Theologiae


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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( A ) > Aquinas, Thomas
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Catechisms
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Catholic
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General


Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic



Reviews - What do customers think about The Aquinas Catechism: A Simple Explanation of the Catholic Faith by the Church's Greatest Theologian?

Thomas at his most approachable  Jan 9, 2003
Despite the book's title, strictly speaking, Thomas Aquinas never wrote a catechism. What he did do was give a series of sermons in 1273, which have since come to be known under the following titles:

Explanation of the Apostles' Creed

Explanation of the Lord's Prayer

Explanation of the Hail Mary

Explanation of the Ten Commandments

The Articles of Faith and the Heresies Against Each

These works have been collected together in "The Aquinas Catechism", but have also been available elsewhere individually and in different combinations ("The Three Greatest Prayers", for example, includes the first three listed works, and "God's Greatest Gifts" contains the last two).

These works differ from more typical works of Thomas in two important ways:

First, Thomas left us with no authoritative written form of them - what we have is a summary of what was said taken by a member of the audience. While that summary was likely quite faithful (the sermons were a major event ; it was recorded by a contemporary that "almost the whole population of Naples went to hear his sermons every day."), the notes should not be assumed to have been word-for-word accurate. Another factor to be taken into account with regard to accuracy is the fact that the sermons were given in the native Neapolitan dialect, whereas the written form passed down is in Latin - so this book is a double-translation (Neapolitan to Latin to English). Finally, the general medieval scribal practice of adding "clarifications" to texts they were copying further distances us from the original sermons. These factors do not mean that what we have is suspect, but it does mean that close textual analysis can only be done with great caution.

Second, the audience for these works was a general lay audience, who would not have been able to understand the specialized philosophical and theological vocabulary that Thomas generally used. As a result, these works were and are in ordinary language - no special training or preparation is required to be able to understand them. Time has not reduced their accessibility - there is nothing here that should intimidate a modern reader (there are some references to "matter" and "form" in the presentation of the sacraments, but readers do not need to understand the full Aristotelian meaning of these terms to understand Thomas's teaching).

That said, the works retain perhaps the most prominent characteristic of all of Thomas's writing, a careful and systematic thoroughness expressed through a strong structural presentation. Topics are broken down, then broken down again, and again, as needed, and each sub-sub-topic is carefully examined and clearly explained.

While Thomas always wrote clearly, he seldom did so without use of a technical vocabulary which acts as a barrier to many readers. One of the nice things about these works is that Thomas here is much more approachable, but he still is going into some pretty tough subjects. Here, for example, is part of his description of the Incarnation:

"In the first place, without doubt, nothing is more like the Word of God than the unvoiced word which is conceived in man's heart. Now, the word conceived in the heart is unknown to all except the one who conceives it; it is first known to others when he gives utterance to it. Thus, the Word of God while yet in the bosom of the Father was known to the Father alone; but when he was clothed with flesh as a word is clothed with the voice, then He was first made manifest and known."

With regard to the subject matter of these works, the subjects of the first four are easily guessed from their titles. For each, Thomas gives a careful, line-by-line reading and commentary. The last work in the collection is different from the others in two ways: first, its subject matter is not easily guessed from the title and it is not a commentary on a text - it is an explanation of the sacraments: what they consist of, and what they are for. Although the title given to this collection, "The Aquinas Catechism", is in one sense misleading, in another it is not. The range of topics covered and the method of presentation do in fact correspond with what a catechism should be. If one compares it, for example, with the recently published "Catechism of the Catholic Church", the equivalencies are immediately obvious - there is no major section of that new work that has no corresponding section in "The Aquinas Catechism" collection.

Finally, with regard to the supporting material, the editorial presence is mostly visible in how the text was formatted - the hierarchical structure implicit in the works is made explicit through use of numbers, paragraph breaks, and carefully applied highlighting. There is also a brief forward by Ralph MacInerny, a pair of outlines of the works (a brief one in the table of contents, and a detailed one in an appendix), references for all quotations, scriptural and others, and a two page biography of Thomas. There is no index, but one isn't really needed - the work is so well-structured that it is trivially easy to find almost any point of interest.

 
Clarity, Simplicity, and Ease of Remembrance  Sep 11, 2002
This is a lovely book, edited for the modern reader, of some of the last sermons of Thomas Aquinas. It is not designed for the theologian (who has the Summa), or for the reasearcher in midaeval sermons (for it is edited and supplemented to be clear to moderns), but for the layman who wants a clear outline of the faith, from the Apostle's Creed (what do we believe?) to the Lord's Prayer and the Hail Mary(how should we respond?) to the Ten Commandments (how should we live?) to a short section on the Sacraments (How does the Church nourish us?). The kindness and holiness of Thomas shines through the book. Buy it, read it, share it.
 
Caveat Emptor - Aquinas It's NOT  Jul 27, 2002
I was reviewing the section on the Sacraments in this book, specifically, the parts on the Holy Eucharist, and noticed that the 'form' (the words of consecration) of this Sacrament is exactly ICEL's MIS-translation of the Canon of the Latin Novus Ordo, and a MIS-translation of the Canon of the ancient Roman Mass. I had to ask "What did St. Thomas really say?" I went to several older translations of his work (the Summa Theologica) and this book completely mis-states what St. Thomas wrote. This is important for many reasons, but one of them is that these words of consecration have been part of internal Church contention in recent years when the new Sacraments were issued in 1970. This book should be avoided, but there are others that are more faithful translations, such as "A Tour of the Summa" by Glenn.
 
THE ESSENTIALS OF THE CATHOLIC FAITH  Jul 31, 2000
Clearly, comprehensively, and beautifully explained by one of the Church's greatest thinkers! St. Thomas explains the Apostles' Creed, The Lord's Prayer, The Hail Mary, The Ten Commandments, and the Seven Sacraments word by word. This book is also extremely easy to read, its a must for NON-CATHOLICS
 

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