Item description for Aquinas for Armchair Theologians (Armchair Series) by Timothy Mark Renick...
Overview Renick's engaging narrative presents the key theological views of this important theologian to those with no previous Aquinas background. With cartoons by Hill, this book takes a sound but lighthearted approach.
Thomas Aquinas was one of the most influential thinkers in the history of Christianity and in western civilization. Yet his theological views are complex and presume acquaintance with technical philosophical language. Now Timothy Renick has produced an attractive and accessible account of Aquinas's life and thought that will make his views clear to nonspecialists. The topics dealt with include God, angels, evil, metaphysics, morality, sex, war, abortion, and politics. Illustrations are interspersed throughout the text and humorously illuminate key points providing an engaging introduction to an all-important theologian.
Written by experts but designed for the novice, the Armchair series provides accurate, concise, and witty overviews of some of the most profound moments and theologians in Christian history. These books are essential supplements for first-time encounters with primary texts, lucid refreshers for scholars and clergy, and enjoyable reads for the theologically curious.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.02" Width: 5.04" Height: 0.49" Weight: 0.47 lbs.
Release Date Apr 1, 2002
Publisher PRESBYTERIAN PUBLISHING #86
Series Armchair Theologians
ISBN 0664223044 ISBN13 9780664223045
Reviews - What do customers think about Aquinas for Armchair Theologians (Armchair Series)?
Accessible Aquinas Mar 8, 2006
As a Protestant who went to a secular college and avoided philosophy courses like the plague, I knew that St. Thomas Aquinas was a Medieval monk who had a lot of Catholic high schools named after him, and that was about it.
Then I read "Aristotle's Children" by Richard Rubenstein; Rodney Stark's trilogy on the influence of monotheism, "One True God," "For the Glory of God," and "The Victory of Reason;" and "How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization" by Thomas Woods. It seemed that this Aquinas fellow was worthy of further study. I read "Thomas Aquinas in 90 Minutes," which turned out to be a waste of an hour and a half. Then I found this book, which served as an excellent popular introduction to one of the greatest philosopher/theologians of any age.
St. Thomas' writings have had a profound influence in shaping our modern world. Almost everything about our Western value system owes something to his thought. Renick's book explains how this can be in brief, clear, easy-to-understand English. You can read the book in a single sitting, but I would recommend spending some time thinking about each chapter before going to the next. The last chapter of the book gives advice on how to read Aquinas, which is very helpful, because (1) you'll want to read some of Aquinas' writings after you finish this book (I tried "Aquinas' Shorter Summa"), and (2) you'll find that Aquinas' writings aren't as easy to read as this book.
The book's brevity and humor are both assets and liabilities. They make the book easily accessible and entertaining to read, but brevity must come at the cost of superficiality, and the humor is of the type that will quickly become dated. Readers of the future will doubtless be mystified by the references to Frazier's dog, Eddie.
Quite easy to understand! Dec 11, 2004
Timothy M. Renick does a fairly admirable job at explaining Thomas Aquinas and his thought. He wrestled and explained the often confusing theological issues with surprising clarity. Now I must admit this book is very basic which serves its purpose admirably. The best thing about Renick is his analogies are so relevant and well thought out. There is no doubt he has a skill for engaging and making the reader think. Some of the comments were a little much, but overall if you would like to know more about Aquinas and don't feel particularly confident starting with the Summa, start right here. He will explain things so you have a roadmap and a small foundation so you can expand your studies of Thomas. Just from reading this book I can imagine Renick would be a pretty enjoyable teacher in the classroom.
Thomas was no doubt extremely intelligent and it would be very valuable to study and learn about his thought and influence. This book could have even been expanded or made it to a two part series in order to cover more of Thomas. I found the chapters on abortion, politics, and free will to be extremely important and interesting.
Excellent but opinionated Sep 7, 2004
I, too, found this book to be an excellent summary of Aquinas and his teachings. I found Renick to be witty, yet informative, and exceedingly accessible. He indroduces complex ideas with clarity and simplicy that is hard to find.
Renick did a wonderful job helping the average person see the importance of Aquinas in our lives today. I did, however, find it interesting...almost annoying...to see Renick attempt to apply Aquinas's teachings to modern issues and place the theologian on sides of issues that he clearly doesn't belong (see the chapter on sexuality). Even so, I admire Renick's desire to make the theologian so contemporary.
I strongly recommend this book to anyone wanting a taste of Aquinas. It is a joy to read.
An Excellent Introduction. Very clear. Feb 13, 2002
Aquinas is one of those figures who I know that I should know something about, but his writings are (far too) long and complicated. This book provides an excellent and serious introduction to Aquinas's thought--and one that is also very funny. The book covers topics like Aquinas' views on God, abortion, sex, and war, and it shows how Aquinas shaped our current attitudes. I have similar introductions to Aquinas by Copleston and Chesterton; the Renick volume is by far the most accessible of the three and the one from which I learned the most. It should be required reading.