The Routledge Guidebook to Aquinas' Summa Theologiae: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Routledge Guidebook to Aquinas' Summa Theologiae

1st Edition

By Jason T Eberl


332 pages

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The Routledge Guidebook to Aquinas' Summa Theologiae introduces readers to a work which represents the pinnacle of medieval Western scholarship and which has inspired numerous commentaries, imitators, and opposing views. Outlining the main arguments Aquinas utilizes to support his conclusions on various philosophical and theological questions, this clear and comprehensive guide explores:

  • the historical context in which Aquinas wrote
  • a critical discussion of the topics outlined in the text including theology, metaphysics, epistemology, psychology, ethics, and political theory
  • the ongoing influence of the Summa Theologiae in modern philosophy and theology.

Offering a close reading of the original work, this guidebook highlights the central themes of Aquinas’ masterwork and is an essential read for anyone seeking an understanding of this highly influential work in the history of philosophy.


'This book is an admirably clear and helpful introduction to the Summa Theologiae. Anyone new to this seminal text or even those who have studied the Summa previously will find Eberl’s guidebook refreshing and logical.'

Dr. Barry Craig, St. Thomas University, Canada

'Eberl's coverage of the huge range of Aquinas' philosophy in the Summa Theologiae is both representative overall, and judicious in its selectiveness. His fine book will be a useful and dependable guide to all students of the Summa.'

Sophie-Grace Chappell, The Open University, UK

This study provides a map for navigating the intricate channels of the masterpiece of medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-74). Given its size, Eberl (philosophy, Marian Univ.) does not offer a comprehensive account of the Summa Theologiae but instead traces the general lines of its argument, identifying major themes along the way. A model of clarity, this volume unquestionably deserves a spot on the ever-expanding list of commentaries on the Summa.

--W. P. Haggerty, Gannon University

October 2016 issue of CHOICE

Table of Contents

Preface Part I. General Introduction 1. Thomas Aquinas’s Life, Work, and Impact Part II. The Exitus/Reditus of the Summa theologiae 2. God’s Existence and Essence 3. Creation 4. Human Nature 5. The Structure of Human Actions 6. The Morality of Human Actions 7. Virtue and Beatitude, Vice and Sin 8. The Theological and Cardinal Virtues (Secunda Secundae) 9. Christ’s Incarnation and the Sacraments of the Church 10. Life and Judgment after Death Part III. The Summa Today 11. Contemporary Thomistic Philosophy Bibliography Index

About the Author

Jason T. Eberl is the Semler Endowed Chair for Medical Ethics and Professor of Philosophy at Marian University in Indianapolis, USA.

About the Series

The Routledge Guides to the Great Books

The Routledge Guides to the Great Books provide ideal introductions to the texts which have shaped Western Civilization. The Guidebooks explore the arguments and ideas contained in the most influential works from some of the most brilliant thinkers who have ever lived, from Aristotle to Marx and Newton to Wollstonecraft. Each Guidebook opens with a short introduction to the author of the great book and the context within which they were working and concludes with an examination of the lasting significance of the book. The Routledge Guides to the Great Books will therefore provide students everywhere with complete introductions to the most significant books of all time.

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