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Summary

St. Thomas Aquinas is known for producing history's most complete system of Christian philosophy. In the late 13th century, this quiet, reflective Dominican scholar combined the work of Aristotle with Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and pagan thought to reconcile reason and faith. For Thomas, intellectual knowledge is a sign of the spirituality that energizes the human center. He believed we can know that God exists, but not what God is like.

Thomas' masterpiece, the Summa Theologiae, contains over 10,000 objections and replies to fundamental questions about God and the world. It includes Thomas' famous "five ways" to prove God's existence, which are (1) the unmoved mover; (2) the uncaused cause; (3) the necessary being; (4) the perfect Goodness; and (5) the guiding intelligence. His thought continues to influence Catholic philosophy today.

The Giants of Philosophy is a series of dramatic presentations, in understandable language, of the concerns, questions, interests, and overall world view of history's greatest philosophers. Special emphasis on clear and relevant explanations gives you a new arsenal of insights toward living a better life.

Don't miss other titles in The Giants of Philosophy series.
©1990 Carmichael & Carmichael, Inc. and Knowledge Products (P)1990 Carmichael & Carmichael, Inc. and Knowledge Products

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Candice
  • Candice
  • 11-03-07

Mostly on the Summa

I really enjoyed this audiobook. I was expecting a lot more biography, but what I got instead was a summary of several parts of the Summa Theologica, Aquinas's major work. What was covered was mainly Aquinas's argument for What is God? I found it fascinating and wished there were more -- a lot more. I was disappointed when it ended. This is a book for the philosophically inclined. It is not a book for somebody looking for a mere biography of Thomas. But as philosophy of religion, it's great!

26 people found this helpful

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  • Donald Jodon
  • 09-05-12

Worth the time if you don't already know who he is

What did you like best about St. Thomas Aquinas? What did you like least?

Best:
It is a very sterile way to learn a little about this famous philosopher and Saint. It was concise.

Least:
Not enough detail, you can find out everything in this book in any longer book about him.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Well, since he died in 1274, I knew how this book had to end... It's still sad to me however to hear of his reaciton to his own work at the end. After all of his arguing with people over the existance of God, it turned out that Thomas was a very humble man after all...

Did Charlton Heston do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

N/A

Did St. Thomas Aquinas inspire you to do anything?

Pray.

Any additional comments?

This isn't a bad book. If you know nothing about St. Thomas Acquinas, this is a good way to make an introduction. Thomas was one of the ssmartest men to ever live, but in the end he realized that his intellect and defense of God was nothing compared to the love and inteligence of God. If you want an introduction into St. Thomas, listen to this. If you're looking for a more detailed version of his works or life (this sort gives an overview of both) read a different book.

6 people found this helpful

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  • William
  • 23-04-12

Charlton Heston's voice leads you to learn.

What did you love best about St. Thomas Aquinas?

The information is great and listening to Charlton Heston makes it easy to learn a little more than passing knowledge. While it is only a small start to the real study of this landmark thinker, it is a great introduction and the narrator makes it easy.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Pen Name
  • 16-11-20

His title of Angelic Doctor says it all.

Saint Thomas Aquinas is the completion and fulfillment of Aristotle. Like Aristotle he's always seeking the truth and the understanding of truth.
Sadly what is called the great philosophers of our time are really not philosophers at all but those who seek to form an ideology contrary to the truth and the understanding of truth. For an example take Jean-Paul Sartre who revised some of his ideology at the end of his life because clearly a new time period had rendered his first opinions obsolete because they were not founded on reality and truth but the political situation of the day whereas for Aristotle and Saint Thomas: truth is true today and tomorrow regardless of time and situations.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Patrick S.
  • 20-09-21

Good

What this smaller-sized book does is provide a little bit of the life and times of Thomas Aquinas and some good coverage on the main contributions he made to philosophy. So if you're looking for more of a biography focus this one might not cover your need.

With respect to covering the philosophy, the author does a good job of laying out the main arguments to the Summa Theologiae. At the same time, it's not too heady as to have to pause and thumb through a philosophy dictionary but it's not so basic that it's worthless to cover. The one thing that could have been focused on a bit more is actually what people applaud Aquinas for. Many talk about the interesting aspect that Aquinas brought to the table was bring in thoughts from Aristotle but don't really go into what Aristotle had to offer and why it wasn't until Aquinas brought in the ideas that they came over.

So this book balances the length with the life and philosophy with a bit more emphasis on the philosophy work than the events surrounding his life.

Final Grade - B

1 person found this helpful

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  • Laurence of Boulevard
  • 12-02-21

Like a Radio Recording

Saturday mornings, with coffee and a hobby, this is what I would think of listening to on the radio. As it is, I listened to this before the weekend and still found it fitting. It was a neat listen to hear of such a great saint in my Catholic heritage, of which I am proud and a religion that I most thoroughly practice.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Richard
  • 31-05-16

Masterful!

Masterful! If only modern man would spend more time studying writings such as Aquinas and quit their obsession on the political correctness of this modern age this world would have some sanity.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Frazier
  • 25-05-22

Not what I expected

Struggled with it a bit because I was wanting more depth. Hoped to learn more.

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  • James A. Bretney
  • 22-05-22

a brief overview

this work suffers because not all of the narration is from Charlton Heston. Charlton Heston is the most admirable thing about this book. Thomas Aquinas his life his and his thoughts are also very interesting but the jarring Interruption of other voices from other actors really impedes the aesthetic enjoyment of this book

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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-11-21

Interesting, though mostly focused on a handful of writings.

This piece provides a very brief overview of Thomas’s life and dives fairly strongly into his theological and philosophical writings for the rest of the book. It is interesting and gives a solid basis of understanding for just why he became so important to modern religious and philosophical thought, but it would benefit from more historic context. Well performed with no noticeable errors and a worthwhile read despite any flaws.