"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).

Friday, August 17, 2018

Aquinas and the Greek Fathers

I spy many good things in the catalogue just sent to me by the Catholic University of America Press.The one that lept out at me in a particular way will be published this November: Thomas Aquinas and the Greek Fatherseds. Michael Dauphinais, Andrew Hoffer, and Roger Nutt (CUAP, 2018), 384pp.

About this collection the publisher tells us the following:
Scholars have often been quick to acknowledge Thomas Aquinas's distinctive retrieval of Aristotle's Greek philosophical heritage. Often lagging, however, has been a proper appreciation of both his originality and indebtedness in appropriating the great theological insights of the Greek Fathers of the Church. In a similar way to his integration of the Aristotelian philosophical corpus, Aquinas successfully interwove the often newly received and translated Greek patristic sources into a thirteenth-century theological framework, one dominated by the Latin Fathers. His use of the Greek Fathers definitively shaped his exposition of sacra doctrina in the fundamental areas of God and creation, Trinitarian theology, the moral life, and Christ and the Sacraments.
Aquinas is one of the three great A-Team Bogey Men (the others being Augustine and Anselm, none of whom are ever read in the originals of course) of the tiresome and puerile Orthodox apologetics one finds on line and in various tawdry books written by people who couldn't conjugate a Latin verb if their life depended on it. But for people who've read him, it's long been obvious that he is deeply immersed in Greek patristic, especially Cappadocian, literature. This was superlatively documented and discussed in Marcus Plested's invaluable book Orthodox Readings of Aquinas, about which I interviewed him here. That book would make a suitable accompaniment for this new collection.

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