"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

On Receiving--or Not--the Great Schoolman Thomas Aquinas

One of the most fascinating books I read in the last decade was and remains Marcus Plested's Orthodox Readings of Aquinas, about which I interviewed him on this blog. It must surely be counted as a key piece of scholarship in dismantling the bogus and tendentious tales told by Orthodox apologists about the Big Bad Schoolmen, and in that way serving as "ecumenical scholarship" of the most precious sort. 

Plested now teams up with the indefatigable Matthew Levering to bring us, early next year, The Oxford Handbook of the Reception of Aquinas. The book contains several chapters on Eastern, Byzantine, and Orthodox responses to Aquinas in a variety of different historical contexts--along with many other riches. About this book the publisher further tells us this: 

The Oxford Handbook of the Reception of Aquinas provides a comprehensive survey of Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant philosophical and theological reception of Thomas Aquinas over the past 750 years.This Handbook will serve as a necessary primer for everyone who wishes to study Aquinas's thought and/or the history of theology and philosophy since Aquinas's day. Part I considers the late-medieval receptions of Aquinas among Catholics and Orthodox. Part II examines sixteenth-century Western receptions of Aquinas (Protestant and Catholic), followed by a chapter on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Orthodox reception. Part III discusses seventeenth-century Protestant and Catholic receptions, and Part IV surveys eighteenth- and nineteenth-century receptions (Protestant, Orthodox, and Catholic). Part V focuses on the twentieth century and takes into account the diversity of theological movements in the past century as well as extensive philosophical treatment. The final section unpicks contemporary systematic approaches to Aquinas, covering the main philosophical and theological themes for which he is best known. With chapters written by a wide range of experts in their respective fields, this volume provides a valuable touchstone regarding the developments that have marked the past seven centuries of Christian theology.

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