Thomas Aquinas, St.
THOMAS AQUINAS, ST.
Italian Dominican theologian, Doctor of the Church, patron of Catholic schools; b. Roccasecca, near Monte Cassino, c. 1225; d. Fossanuova, near Maenza, March 7, 1274; honored under the scholastic titles of Doctor Communis (13th century), Doctor Angelicus (15th century), and many others. [see doctor (scholastic title).] He is the most important and influential scholastic theologian and philosopher, one whom the Church has made "her very own" [Pius XI, Studiorum ducem, Acta Apostolicae Sedis 15 (1923) 314]. This article treats of Thomas's life and doctrine, the ecclesiastical approval that has been accorded him, and his works and their English translations. (For a synthetic statement of Thomas's doctrinal positions and of his influence, see thomism.)
Life and Doctrine
The youngest son of Landolfo of Aquino (c. 1163–Dec. 24, 1245[?]), master of Roccasecca and Montesangiovanni, justiciary of frederick ii, and his second wife, Teodora of Chieti (d. 1255), of Lombard origin, Thomas had five sisters (Marotta, a Benedictine abbess of Santa Maria di Capua in 1254; Teodora, wife of Count Roger of San Severino and Marsico; Maria, wife of Guglielmo of San Severino; Adelasia, wife of Count Roger of
Aquila; and one killed by lightning c. 1230), three older brothers (Aimone, soldier of Frederick II until 1233, when he began supporting the papal cause; Rinaldo, troubadour and soldier of Frederick until 1244, when he joined papal troops; and Landolfo), and at least three half brothers (Giacomo, Filippo, and Adenolfo). The family castle where Thomas was born, midway between Rome and Naples in Terra di Lavoro, was situated in the northern portion of the Kingdom of Sicily, ruled by the Hohenstaufen Emperor Frederick II from 1220 to 1250. Landolfo and his older sons were soldiers and civil officials in the service of Frederick, who was in almost continuous warfare with armies loyal to Popes honorius iii (1216–27) and gregory ix (1227–41). Political and religious loyalties rendered the position of the Aquino family very precarious. Amid political unrest, Thomas spent his first five years at the family castle of Roccasecca under the care of his mother and nurse.
Monte Cassino and Naples (1231–45). At the age of five or 6 (1231) Thomas was given (oblatus ) to the Benedictine abbey of Monte Cassino by his parents in the hope that he would eventually choose this way of life and become abbot of the ancient monastery. A distant relative, Landolfo Sinnibaldo, was then abbot (1227–36). At Monte Cassino the oblate learned the elements of piety and grammar, although he never mastered calligraphy, which in part accounts for Thomas's notorious littera inintelligibilis. The struggle between Pope and Emperor reached a climax in 1239, when Frederick, infuriated by a second excommunication, exiled foreign monks and sent troops to occupy Monte Cassino as a fortress. By the spring of 1239 the new abbot sent the oblates, including Thomas, to one of the two Benedictine houses in Naples, San Demetrio or San Severino, to complete their studies at the imperial university of Naples, founded by Frederick II in 1224 as a rival to Bologna and other papal institutions.
At the University of Naples, where Thomas remained until 1244, he had Master Martin for grammar and logic and Peter of Ireland for natural philosophy [William of Tocco, Ystoria, 6; in Ystoria sancti Thome de Aquino, ed. Claire Le Brun-Gouanvic. (Toronto 1996)]. It was at Naples that Thomas was first introduced to aristotelianism and the recently translated commentaries of Averroës. By 1243, at the latest, Thomas had become attracted to the dominicans with their ideal of evangelical poverty, study, and service to the Church without ecclesiastical preferments. Deciding firmly to abandon family plans for him, he offered himself at the priory of San Domenico in Naples and received the mendicant habit toward the end of April 1244, at the age of 19. Normally Thomas would have completed his novitiate year at the priory in Naples, but Neapolitan Dominicans, having had previous experience (1235) with sons of noble and determined families, rushed Thomas immediately to Rome. Early in May 1244, Thomas set out on foot from Rome to Bologna in the company of John of Wildeshausen, Master General, and other friars en route to the general chapter, held annually at Pentecost.
Learning of her son's entry into a mendicant order, Donna Teodora hastened to Naples, then to Rome, only to learn that Thomas was traveling north to Bologna on the Via Cassia. She sent word to her older son, Rinaldo, camping at Frederick's temporary headquarters at Terni, near Acquapendente, to intercept Thomas and return him home, forcibly if necessary. Rinaldo encountered the traveling Dominicans a few miles north of papal territory near Acquapendente and forced Thomas to return by horseback to the family castle of Montesangiovanni, then to Roccasecca. The adamant arguments and appeals of Donna Teodora were of no avail even after many months. Thomas was determined not to be an abbot or any other ecclesiastical dignitary, but simply a Dominican friar, no matter what family plans had been made for him when he was a child.
Although Thomas spent most of his novitiate at home, it is incorrect to call this an imprisonment or captivity,
although his abduction was irregular and improper. There seems to be no historical truth to the legends of an attempt to seduce Thomas with prostitutes or of his miraculous girding with an angelic cord of chastity, edifying as they may have seemed to thomas of cantimprÉ, William of Tocco, and other hagiographers. Teodora and Landolfo (if he was still alive), aware of the change of political affairs and their inability to alter Thomas's decision, finally allowed him to rejoin the friars in Naples by the summer of 1245. Frederick II was deposed as Holy Roman Emperor at the Council of Lyons on July 17, 1245. The family of Aquino, accused of plotting his downfall, fled northward to Montesangiovanni in papal territory; Rinaldo was executed by Frederick and was considered a martyr by the Aquino family.
Early Studies in the Order (1245–52). In 1245 or 1246 Thomas resumed his northward journey to Paris, then to Cologne. Some scholars (e.g., A. Walz, I. T. Eschmann) maintain that Thomas was sent directly from Paris to Cologne for his early studies in the order. Others (e.g.,P. Mandonnet, M. Grabmann, V. J. Bourke) maintain that Thomas studied under St. albert the great at Saint-Jacques in Paris between 1245 and 1248. And others still (e.g., R.-A. Gauthier, J.-P. Torrell) are convinced that Thomas did study in Paris, but studied philosophy at the Faculty of Arts, as well as some tutelage under Albert.
It is certain that when Albert returned to Cologne in the summer of 1248 to organize and direct the studium generale ordered by the 1248 general chapter of Paris, he really "discovered," befriended, and sponsored Thomas, undoubtedly choosing him as his bachelor, i.e., assistant, in the newly organized studium.
Between 1248 and 1252 Thomas was Albert's pupil at Cologne, reporting Albert's extraordinary Quaestiones super librum ethicorum (at least 4 MSS extant) and Quaestiones in librum de divinis nominibus Dionysii (autograph, Naples, Bibl. Naz. B. 1, 54). It is probable also that as bachelor under Albert he read "cursorily" his Expositio in Jeremiam, Expositio in threnos Jeremiae, and part of Expositio in Isaiam (ch. 12–50). At Cologne Thomas was ordained to the priesthood at an early age, etate adhuc juvenis (bull of canonization; Codificazione orientale, Fontii 5:520).
In 1252 John of Wildeshausen asked Albert to recommend a suitable candidate for the doctorate at Paris, the Dominicans having two chairs at the university, one for Dominicans of the province of France (since 1229), the other for foreign Dominicans (since 1230). Albert recommended Thomas. Despite Thomas's youth and the growing antipathy toward mendicants at Paris, the master general was persuaded by Albert and Cardinal hugh of saint-cher to assign Thomas to Saint-Jacques in Paris
to read the Sentences, "ad legendum Sententias" (Tocco, Ystoria, 15; Codificazione orientale, Fontii 2:80).
Paris and University Conflicts (1252–56). Arriving in the fall of 1252, Thomas began lecturing on the Sentences under his new master, Elias Brunet de Bergerac, who had succeeded Albert in the Dominican chair for foreigners (1248–56). Tension between secular and mendicant masters at the university started at the university before the arrival of Thomas, but he and Dominicans in general were the center of the increasing storm (Y. M. J. Congar, 35–151). Jealous of the growing popularity of mendicant masters, the secular clerics, conspicuously unproductive in the middle of the 13th century, resented mendicant independence, concern for their own needs, and appeals for Roman dispensations, privileges, and special considerations. The mendicants, concerned with the education of their own men for the wide apostolate of revitalizing Christendom in a new age, were indifferent to local concerns of Parisian clerics. When secular masters voted to stop lecturing (March 1253), Dominican and Franciscan masters refused to comply; when secular masters urged an oath of retaliation against townsmen for killing a cleric in a brawl, mendicants refused and were expelled from the "consortium magistrorum" (September 1253). The second Dominican chair, for which Thomas was preparing, was particularly resented. More important, secular clerics, having no clear concept of the new mendicant way of life in a changing world, confused friars with monks and objected to their desire to teach, preach, and care for souls.
Early Writings. During the growing conflict, Thomas prepared his lectures on the Sentences and wrote two youthful though significant works that expressed his clear, perceptive originality, De ente et essentia ad fratres et socios and De principiis naturae ad fratrem Sylvestrum. The former, purporting to clarify intricate logical concepts, is a highly original and unequivocal expression of (1) a real distinction between created essence and existence, (2) the pure potentiality of primary matter, (3) denial of materiality in separated substances,(4) participation of all created reality, material and immaterial, in the divine being, and (5) the Aristotelian dependence of logical predicables and abstracted forms (forma totius and forma partis ) on existing individual realities. De principiis naturae is a brief, simple explanation of Aristotle's matter, form, and privation as principles of change, with an emphasis on the pure potentiality of primary matter.
Papal Intervention. In 1254 the Franciscan Gerard de Borgo San Donnino published an Introductorius in Evangelium Aeternum, applying the prophesies of Abbot joachim of fiore to the mendicant orders, particularly to Franciscans. St. francis of assisi was seen as the new Christ who inaugurated the new and last age of humanity, the age of the Spirit and the eternal gospel. The critical stage of evolution wherein the material institutions of Christ would give way to the spiritual Church of the Holy Spirit was declared to be at hand in the 1250s. This work provoked william of saint-amour and other secular masters to open warfare against the mendicants. William's Liber de antichristo et eius ministris listed 31 heresies in the Introductorius and declared mendicants to be the precursors of antichrist foretold by Abbot Joachim. A university delegation under William was sent to persuade Pope innocent iv to revoke all mendicant privileges, which he did in the bull Etsi animarum (Nov. 21, 1254). Innocent died on December 7. His successor, alexander iv, immediately annulled his predecessor's action by the bull Nec insolitum (Dec. 22, 1254). Infuriated, William continued to debate the issues at Paris, particularly with St. bonaventure. In March 1256 William published the first version of his devastating attack, De periculis novissimorum temporum.
In this tense atmosphere Alexander IV ordered the chancellor of the university to grant Thomas Aquinas the license to teach (licentia docendi ), even though he was under age, and to arrange for his inaugural lecture as soon as possible (Chartularium universitatis Parisiensis 1:307, dated March 3, 1256). On June 17, 1256, Alexander again ordered that Thomas be allowed to hold his inaugural lecture as master (ibid. 1:321). When Thomas finally gave his lecture (principium ) on the text of Ps 103.13, he and his audience had to be protected by soldiers of St. louis ix.
Although both Thomas and Bonaventure lectured for some months in their respective colleges as regent masters, the university refused to recognize their status. On Oct. 23, 1256, Pope Alexander sent a lengthy letter to the university, sternly commanding the recalcitrant administration, among other things, "to receive, insofar as it is within their power, into the academic community and into the University of Paris, the Friars Preachers and Minors now stationed in Paris, and also their students; and in particular and by name, the Friars, Thomas of Aquino, of the Order of Preachers, and Bonaventure, of the Order of Minors, as Doctors of Theology" (Chartularium universitatis Parisiensis 1:339). Actually it was not until Aug. 12, 1257, that the two friars were grudgingly admitted by Canon Christian of Verdun, the delegate of Bishop Reginald, to full magistral privileges in the university. The formal ceremony took place in the hall of the Franciscan house, the bishop and most secular masters being conspicuously absent.
Although excluded from the society of Parisian masters, both Thomas and Bonaventure replied pointedly to William of Saint-Amour's De periculis, which appeared in five versions between March and August 1256. Thomas attacked the doctrine in two disputations (Quodl. 7.7.1–2) and in a lengthy hurried reply, Contra impugnantes Dei cultum et religionem (between September and November 1256). William's book was condemned by the Holy See on October 5; the author was exiled permanently to his native town of Saint-Amour. Temporarily subdued, the conflict was revived ten years later by Gerard of Abbeville, an ardent disciple of William, between whom there was continuous correspondence during the interval.
First Paris Professorship (1256–59). Outstanding as Thomas was as a bachelor, lecturing between the Hours of Tierce and Sext (9 a.m. to 12 m.), he matured enormously as a master. Although young, he took his responsibilities seriously. "In his lectures he presented new problems, discovered a new and clear way of solving them, and he used new arguments in making these solutions" (Tocco, Ystoria, 15; Codificazione orientale, Fontii 2:81). As master his task was to lecture doctrinally on the Bible between the Hours of Prime and Tierce, resolve disputed questions in the afternoon, and preach to university clerics on special occasions. During his first three years at Paris as master, according to Mandonnet and others, Thomas lectured on Isaiah and Matthew, but this is not historically certain (Eschmann, 395–397); in fact, the lectures on Matthew are almost certainly later (Torrell, 55–57).
The most masterful and important product of Thomas's first Parisian professorship was the disputed questions De veritate (1256–59) and the supervision of young bachelors assigned to him. Although present published versions cannot be considered actual classroom disputations, but polished, formalized versions of them, it is probable that De ver. 1–7, dealing with divine truth, were disputed and determined in the academic year 1256–57; De ver. 8–20, dealing with created truth, both angelic and human, originated in 1257–58; and De ver. 21–29, dealing with appetitive powers and grace, originated in 1258–59. Exceptionally conversant with current translations of source materials, Thomas adjusted many fundamentally Platonic and Augustinian views to his personal Aristotelian approach to Christian mysteries. As other great masters of the day, Thomas held quodlibetal disputations (Quodl. 7–11) during Advent and Lent. (see scholastic method; education, scholastic.)
During his first Parisian professorship Thomas seems to have had a fellow Dominican, Raymond Severi, as socius, i.e., secretary, confessor, Mass server, and general companion. By 1259 Thomas had a well-organized staff of other secretaries to copy needed texts and to take dictation. He also had at least two bachelors to train in theology, William of Alton, an English Dominican of Southampton, who succeeded Thomas as regent master in 1259–60, and a particularly close friend, hannibaldus de hannibaldis, regent master (1260–62), who was created cardinal by Pope Urban IV in December 1262. Hannibaldus's commentary on the Sentences so closely followed the teaching of Thomas that it was once considered a work written by Thomas "ad Hannibaldum" and was published among his works (ed. Parma 22:1–436).
Completing his regency in Paris, Thomas was summoned to the general chapter at Valenciennes, midway between Paris and Cologne, in June 1259 under humbert of romans. Appointed to a special commission on studies together with four other masters of Paris (Albert the Great, Bonhomme, Florent of Hesdin, and Peter of Tarantaise, later Pope innocent v), Thomas helped to devise the first Dominican ratio studiorum. This emphasized the necessity of philosophical formation, the establishment of studia artium in Dominican provinces, the necessity of bachelors to assist lectors, and the importance of readily granting dispensations from other obligations for the sake of study (Chartularium universitatis Parisiensis 1:385–386). By 1259 many young men had entered the order who lacked a university training in arts. The requirements of theology and the demands of Parisian masters were met by the new ratio.
Maturity in Italy (1259–68). After the chapter at Valenciennes, Thomas returned to the Roman province, where he was given reginald of piperno as his constant socius. The reasons for his return to Italy are much discussed by scholars. Thomas's personal motives aside, it seems that the needs of his order were best served there, particularly since his chair of theology at Paris was to be turned over to a new Dominican theologian and he was a member of the Roman province.
Chronology. The chronology of Thomas's stay in Italy is not at all clear. Most recent writers follow that suggested by Mandonnet, according to which Thomas first taught at Anagni from 1259 to 1261, this being where the papal Curia resided during the last years of Alexander IV's pontificate; then from 1261 to 1265 he passed the school years in Orvieto, the residence of Urban IV, with whom Thomas was on particularly friendly terms; then from 1265 to 1267 he taught in Rome at the Dominican priory of Santa Sabina; and finally, from 1267 to the fall of 1268, when he returned to Paris to begin his second regency, he served with the Curia of Clement IV in residence at Viterbo [Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques 9 (1920) 144].
Several observations are to be made with regard to this common account. Although there is no doubt that Thomas was highly regarded by both Urban IV and Clement IV, it seems improbable that he was ever master of the sacred palace in the modern sense or even lector in the papal curial school that was founded by Innocent IV in 1245. Likely as not, Thomas taught in Anagni, Orvieto, and later in Viterbo, but in each case at the Dominican priory that happened to be near the Roman Curia. This interpretation is strengthened by an ordination of the general chapter of Bologna in 1267 to the effect that the superior of the Roman province should take care always to have a competent prior and a competent lector in the priory near the papal residence.
Again, some documentary evidence suggests that in 1260 Thomas was made a preacher general in his province. This title was not only a sign of distinction; it also authorized him to take part in the provincial chapters that were held each year. Since the places of these chapters are known, one is able to reconstruct where Thomas probably was each year, in the early summer, for a limited period.
A second fact, probably one of the best documented in Aquinas's life, is that Thomas was in charge of a studium at Rome in 1265. An ordination of the provincial chapter of 1265 in Anagni, in fact, enjoined Thomas, "in remission of his sins," to inaugurate and direct such a studium in the priory of Santa Sabina. bartholomew of lucca mentions this in his biography of Thomas, and leads one to understand that two of Aquinas's major enterprises, the Summa theologiae and the commentaries on Aristotle, were intimately connected with this regency in Rome. It could well be that the erection and organization of the studium at Santa Sabina was Thomas's main, if not his only, scholastic activity in Italy.
A third document bearing on this period is more mysterious. It is a letter of June 9, 1267, from Clement IV enjoining Thomas to assign two brethren to serve with the Dominican bishop of Jibleh in Syria, Walter of Calabria (A. Potthast, Regesta pontificum romanorum inde aba. 1198 ad a. 1304 20037). Since Thomas, as far as is known, never had any jurisdictional authority over other friars, the letter can only give evidence of the special relationship that obtained between Thomas and Clement IV, probably not unlike that between him and Urban IV.
Writings. Additional information on Thomas's life may be gleaned from the works composed during this period. He continued work on the Summa contra gentiles, begun in Paris (1.53 completed there), which many scholars attribute to a request made of Thomas by raymond of peÑafort, to assist Spanish missionaries in their debates with cultivated Muslims and Jews. Expressing the intent of this highly original summa, Thomas said, "My intended purpose is to show, within the limits of my capacity, the truth that the Catholic faith professes, by means of the refutation of the errors opposed to it" (C. gent. 1.2.). The result was a theological synthesis that departed radically from the Sentences of Peter Lombard. Thomas wrote this work by hand, the last he would so compose, a possible indication that he had more time at his disposal in Italy than he had had at Paris.
Another significant work dating from this period is the Catena aurea (golden chain), as it was called from the 14th century on; Aquinas himself referred to its as the Expositio continua in Matthaeum, Marcum, Lucam, et Johannem. This work was commissioned by Urban IV, to whom the part on Matthew is dedicated. Urban died in 1264, and a manuscript of this portion fixes the date of its composition in 1263. The remaining portions were dedicated to a former student, the Dominican Cardinal Hannibaldus de Hannibaldis, and thus were not completed until after the death of Urban. The Catena is a gloss in the technical medieval sense, i.e., a string of passages selected from the works of various writers and arranged for the elucidation of some portion of Scripture, in this case, the four Gospels. It was an immediate success, and is among the most widely diffused works of Aquinas in both the manuscript and the early printed editions. Although a mere compilation, containing not one word of Thomas himself, the Catena seems to mark a turning point in Aquinas's thought. For beginning with the gloss on Mark, Aquinas's research into Greek patristic sources became more and more intense; he seems even to have procured new translations of certain Greek Fathers. Indeed, some of his treatises in the Summa theologiae are differently constructed from the corresponding ones in the commentary on the Sentences precisely because of the influence of Greek theology.
A related work of Aquinas, Contra errores Graecorum, grew out of a request of Urban IV, who asked Thomas for an expert opinion of a work by Bp. Nikolas of Cotrone that attempted to show a harmony between the Greek Fathers and the main points of Latin orthodoxy. The Latin version of Nikolas misrepresented the Greek; and Thomas, although not questioning the authenticity of the text, was evidently ill at ease with expressions contained in it. Thomas's evaluation was written probably in the summer of 1263.
According to Bartholomew of Lucca, the plan of the Summa theologiae was conceived in Rome in 1265, and the prima pars was almost certainly finished before Thomas left Italy to teach again in Paris. The fact that the Summa, as Aquinas himself notes in the prologue, was written for students of theology, and that it departed radically from the conventional theological syntheses of the time seems to confirm that it was written for use in the studium. Here Thomas could present an innovation in theological learning that might have been unacceptable at Paris but that could now be ventured in his order and within the confines of his home province.
Bartholomew holds also that Aquinas composed his commentaries on the Aristotelian corpus while at Rome. But this is questionable, since recent scholarship shows that the greater part of these commentaries were composed at a later date. Yet it appears that the plan of the enterprise was conceived, and its foundation laid, while Aquinas was in Italy. When he returned to his province in 1259, his knowledge of Aristotle, impressive as this was, was largely second-hand and based on translations from the Arabic rather than from the Greek. While in the company of Urban IV, who had been in the East before becoming pope, Thomas became more aware of the need for direct translations. Already in the Contra gentiles (e.g., 2.21) Aquinas showed a preoccupation with the littera and the intentio of Aristotle. Tradition credits him also with the initiative in regard to new, more accurate translations both of Aristotle and of his Greek commentators. His chief translator was william of moerbeke, a Flemish Dominican who had been in Greece and was later to become archbishop of Corinth, with whom Aquinas worked personally, possibly during the pontificate of Urban IV, but certainly during the reign of Clement IV. The written exposition of the commentaries, although perhaps based on lectures given in Rome, was not finished until later.
Bartholomew of Lucca is the basis also for the attestation that Aquinas, at the mandate of Urban IV, composed the Office of the feast of Corpus Christi. This must have been prior to 1264, when the feast was inaugurated. Modern liturgical scholars question Bartholomew's accuracy, since the feast was celebrated earlier in Belgium and several of the hymns antedate Aquinas. Yet as William of Tocco records, "[Thomas] wrote the Office of Corpus Christi at the command of Pope Urban, in which he expounded all the ancient forms of this sacrament and compiled the truths that pertain to the new grace" (Tocco, Ystoria, 18). Tocco speaks of the work as a compilation, and thus it is quite clear that it was not an original composition. It seems that Thomas functioned there as an editor, working under the direction of the Pope, and that he should be credited with this work. The liturgical text used in the 20th century, it may be noted, is not identical with what Thomas compiled, being based on interpolations introduced in later centuries.
Second Paris Professorship (1269–72). Exactly when, and under what circumstances, Thomas began his second term of teaching at the University of Paris is not clear. It is certain, however, that he was already in Paris in May of 1269 (the school year ran until June), for he was present at the general chapter in Paris at that time. Moreover, he was there not as a delegate of his province but rather as a master present in Paris. Thus at this time he must have been teaching in Paris. Mandonnet argues that it is probable that Thomas had completed one quodlibetal disputation, viz, Easter 1269, when he appeared at the general chapter. He may even have left Italy earlier, as some have argued, and arrived in Paris in the fall of 1268.
Either date for the beginning of Thomas's second professorship at Paris raises the question as to why he would have left Italy in the midst of a school year to go to Paris. The answer that some have proposed—that the Dominican holding the chair for foreigners was sick or died, and thus a substitute had to be found—will not stand close scrutiny. More plausible, perhaps, is the explanation of H. C. Scheeben that the master general, john of vercelli, in view of the disputed status of Aristotelianism at the university, had invited Albert the Great to return to Paris [Albert der Grosse (Vechta 1931) 91]. His invitation reached Albert rather late, i.e., some weeks before Sept. 1, 1268, and Albert, who was then about 75 years old, declined. Thus the plan concerning the chair at Paris had to be recast, and there was some delay; according to this interpretation, Thomas was a second, if a more fortunate, choice.
Augustinian Orthodoxy. Whatever the details, the motivation behind this assignation of an eminent Dominican to a second term at Paris is fairly clear. The crisis provoked by the rise of Latin Averroism at the university was already sufficient reason, but there was the additional concern of defending the philosophy and theology that had been developed among the Dominicans generally, mainly through the efforts of Albert and Thomas, against the older type of doctrine that may be characterized as Augustinian. Gilson, considering the latter situation, puts his finger on St. Bonaventure, who was the superior of the Franciscan Order with his headquarters at Paris, as the source of the difficulty [The Philosophy of St. Bonaventure, tr. I. Trethowan and F. J. Sheed (New York 1938) 23]. Yet Bonaventure never came out directly against Thomas. That there was a personal friendship between them, as tradition affirms, seems doubtful; whether there was or not, Gilson correctly detects "fairly good grounds for maintaining that any esteem that may have existed between them did not extend to each other's ideas."
Although Bonaventure did not criticize Thomas openly and directly, the Franciscan john peckham, who was then at Paris, did. The doctrinal controversies between Thomas and siger of brabant were in fact preceded by a violent discussion between Peckham and Aquinas. And behind Peckham there was of necessity the figure of Bonaventure, who was directly opposed to the type of theological Aristotelianism that Albert and Thomas were standing for. Thomas in particular was maintaining against Augustinianism that one of his own doctrines, a doctrine that seemed to concede most to the principles of Latin Averroism, viz, that of creation in time, cannot be philosophically demonstrated, since philosophically there is no contradiction in the notion of a world created from eternity. In any event, this is the type of controversy that could well have caused the master general to take such an unprecedented step as this second assignment of a master to the University of Paris.
Mendicant Controversy. Apart from the question of Augustinian theology, the issue raised earlier against the mendicants by William of Saint-Amour continued to be disputed. In 1266–67 a voluminous encyclopedia, Collationes catholicae et canonicae scripturae, had appeared; this was nothing but a considerably enlarged revision of De periculis novissimorum temporum. Thus, when Thomas returned to Paris, he found the atmosphere quite uncongenial. In the summer of 1269 a pamphlet of anonymous authorship was directed against the Franciscan thomas of york; its writer was later revealed to be gerard of abbeville, a secular master at Paris, who turned out to be the main figure in this second phase of the controversy. Against Gerard, Bonaventure wrote his Apologia pauperum contra calumniatorem. At the same time, Thomas entered the arena with his opusculum De perfectione vitae spiritualis. The major part of the work is a systematic theological treatise on the perfection of the Christian life, but the concluding chapters (21–26) are clearly a rejoinder to Gerard. This opusculum, dating from the beginning of 1270, soon enjoyed great popularity at the university.
Another secular master who involved himself in the controversy was Nicholas of Lisieux, who wrote the pamphlet De perfectionibus status clericorum. Apparently on the occasion of this, Thomas composed his Contra pestiferam doctrinam retrahentium pueros a religionis ingressu, a work that reflects concern also with other pamphlets, sermons, and academic discussions. His concluding words are worthy of note, for they reflect the gravity of the situation. Thomas cautioned that these problems are not solved simply by discussing them with young students and so misleading them; rather they should be worked out in writing, according to strict reasoning, and with the most careful consideration.
Other of Thomas's writings contain elements that belong to the Geraldinist (so named after Gerard or Gerald of Abbeville) controversy. Among these may be enumerated some of the questions of the 2a2ae of the Summa theologiae, Quodlibets 1, 3, 4, 5, and 12, and a series of sermons edited by T. Käppeli [Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum 13 (1943) 59–94]. Despite such efforts on the part of the mendicants, Nicholas of Lisieux would not give in, but wrote a special pamphlet entitled Contra Thomam et Pecham. Thus the battle went on, although it did relax somewhat after the death of the main protagonist, Gerard of Abbeville, on Nov. 8, 1272.
Latin Averroism. Another controversy in which Thomas became involved during his second professorship at Paris concerned his interpretation of Aristotelian philosophy; this was challenged by a group of professors in the arts faculty, led by Siger of Brabant, who came to be known as Latin Averroists (see averroism, latin). These thinkers saw in Aristotle conclusions that contradict Christian doctrine; they were good students of Aristotle, but in fairness to Thomas it must be noted that, in drawing their conclusions, they were also influenced by non-Christian thinkers such as Averroës, Avicenna, and proclus, and by Neoplatonic treatises such as the liber de causis. Their interpretation was influential in the arts faculty and soon drew the opposition of the theologians. The situation came to a head on Dec. 10, 1270, when the bishop of Paris, Étienne tempier, drew up a list of 18 errors and condemnable propositions that contained the essence of Averroistic teaching (Chartularium universitatis Parisiensis 1:486).
In the condemnation of 1270 Thomas's Aristotelianism was in no way mentioned. Propositions 10–12 are directed against the negation of divine providence in the order of contingent things; prop. 5–6, against the eternity of the world; prop. 1, 2, 7, 8, and 13, against the thesis that there is numerically only one human intellect; and prop. 3, 4, and 9, against negations of free will. This syllabus was clearly addressed to an exaggerated Aristotelianism, viz, that of the Averroists and not that of Albert and Thomas. Yet there are intimations that the traditionalist theologians, e.g., the Augustinians led by Bonaventure, were convinced of the futility of using Aristotle in any way in theology, and thus were implicitly attacking Thomas's doctrine. In fact, the project of the condemnation of 1270 had already included two more propositions that corresponded to Thomas's teaching, viz, prop. 14, concerning the doctrine of one substantial form in man, and prop. 15, concerning the simplicity of spiritual substances. These propositions were withheld in the actual condemnation, and Thomas was never excommunicated during his lifetime. But in a later condemnation, that of 1277, not only the two omitted in 1270 but at least thirteen more propositions relating to Thomas's teaching were included. It is a sad commentary on Tempier that his syllabus of 1277 is a disordered jumble of theses with no distinction between heretical error and controversial school opinion. True, it contains sound warnings against a pagan philosophy that could not be tolerated in Christendom, but it is even more emphatically the manifesto of a party, the self-defense of one particular school, viz, that of Augustinian traditionalism.
Thomas intervened in the Averroistic controversy with his famous De unitate intellectus, written probably before the condemnation, but not long before it, in 1270. In two manuscripts this polemical writing bears the phrase contra Sigerum; from the conclusion of this work, it seems probable that Thomas was answering an Averroistic treatise that thus far has not been discovered.
Another treatise that grew out of the controversy but that is directed against the Augustinians is the polemical De aeternitate mundi contra murmurantes. The murmurantes, or murmurers, were the overorthodox, overzealous, integralist theologians who were muttering complaints about their colleagues who, on the basis of Aristotelian doctrine, held that an eternally created world is not inconceivable or, in other words, that creation in time (and not creation as such) is an article of faith. Aquinas, in his usual fashion, discusses the arguments of these integralists serenely and objectively, but cannot refrain from uttering what is perhaps the most biting criticism in all his works: "they speak as though they alone were rational beings and wisdom had originated in their own brains." This opusculum, according to a good but probable conjecture, was composed in the beginning of 1271.
It should be noted, however, that Aquinas's proper contribution to such questions is not to be found in his special works, least of all in his polemical writings, but is to be found in all that he wrote, in these years especially, when constructing his philosophical and theological synthesis. The Aristotelian commentaries may here be mentioned first, for the greater part of them was finished or elaborated at this stage. Thus he produced his detailed expositions of the Physics, the Nicomachean Ethics, the Politics (to 1280a 7), On Interpretation, the Posterior Analytics, and possibly part of On the Heavens and Earth. Thomas's literary activity in these years assumed almost incredible proportions. Among his scriptural writings is the commentary on St. John (the first five chapters written by Thomas himself, the rest a reportatio ); possibly the commentary on Matthew; and part of the commentary on the Epistles of St. Paul (Rom 1.1 to 1 Cor7.9). Of the works of theological elaboration, the Quaestio disputata de virtutibus is almost certainly from this period, as are six, if not seven, of the quodlibets. Work on the Summa theologiae progressed steadily in these years; although the 1a2ae was probably begun in Italy, the remainder of the secunda pars and some 30 questions of the tertia pars were probably done at Paris. The 2a2ae, Thomas's most original contribution to theology, is surely a work of the second Parisian period.
Naples and Death (1272–74). Thomas left Paris in 1272 shortly after Easter, which fell on April 24. On the feast of Pentecost, June 12, 1272, he was already at Florence, where a general chapter of the order was being held in conjunction with a provincial chapter. The latter entrusted to Aquinas the erection of a studium generale in Naples. Thus he moved on to that city, where he resided until Feb. 12, 1274.
In Naples Thomas held class, lectured, and directed disputations in the halls of the still existing priory of San Domenico Maggiore, which was then next door to the University of Naples. At the time, Charles I of Anjou, reigning over the Kingdom of Sicily, was attempting to inject new life into the university. Thomas may have been recalled from Paris at his insistence, but it seems unwarranted to say that Aquinas became a professor at the university. He taught at the Dominican studium, which, together with similar institutions of the Franciscans and the Augustinians, were independent faculties. Their lecturers were appointed not by the king but by their own ecclesiastical superiors. Thomas was not the King's professor, and yet Charles I paid his prior 12 ounces of gold per year, the same stipend as was given the professors in the constitutional faculties.
In the Neapolitan period, Thomas's literary activity diminished considerably. His lectures on the Psalms belong in this period; he also commented on Aristotle's On Generation and Corruption, probably finished the commentary on On the Heavens and Earth, and possibly commented also on the Meteorology. He also preached a Lenten cycle of sermons in Naples during 1273 that formed the basis for the De duobus praeceptis caritatis et decem legis praeceptis; his exposition of the Our Father and the Hail Mary also seem to date from this period.
Thomas likewise continued his work on the tertia pars of the Summa theologiae, though the rhythm of its composition seems to have slowed down. The treatise on the Incarnation was completed and that on the Sacraments begun. The work progressed through the Sacraments in general, Baptism, and Holy Eucharist, and then stopped in the midst of the treatment of Penance. The date was Dec. 6, 1273, the feast of St. Nicholas, in whose chapel Thomas usually said Mass. In the words of Bartholomew of Capua something extraordinary happened: "After the Mass, he never wrote nor dictated anything, in fact he hung up his writing instruments"—an allusion to the Scriptures, for the Jews in their captivity hung up their musical instruments. This occurrence in the life of a man whose habit it was, after Mass and thanksgiving, to spend the whole day writing, dictating, or teaching, was indeed a surprising change. His socius Reginald inquired as to why he had given up his work. Thomas replied, "I cannot go on…. All that I have written seemsto me like so much straw compared to what I have seen and what has been revealed to me" (Tocco, Ystoria, 47; Codificazione orientale, Fontii 4:376–377). He may have had a breakdown of some type; medieval hagiography would not disclose such particulars, but the fact remains that his productive life had come to an end.
The rest of Thomas's life may be related briefly. He had been summoned to the second Council of Lyons, which was to treat of the union of Latins and Greeks; his health was obviously not good, so he left Naples in due time to allow for the long journey to France. The only fixed points of this trip are, according to Tocco, Maenza and Fossanuova, both a few miles north of Terracina, near the Via Appia. In the castle of Maenza Thomas fell sick with a mortal illness. When he felt his end nearing, he had himself transported to the nearby Cistercian Abbey of Fossanuova. There are, as may be expected, many details recorded about Thomas's last days and hours, some of which are only legendary. It is frequently said, for example, that he dictated a commentary on the Song of Songs to the Cistercian monks, this notwithstanding the experience of Dec. 6, 1273. The absence of a manuscript tradition for this commentary would argue that the work possibly never existed. Other details convey the general impression of a holy death. Two are especially noteworthy, viz, Thomas's emphatic insistence on his faith in the Real Presence and his submission of all his theological doctrines to the judgment of the Church. He died before he was 50 years old. Few men in history have been able to look back on so productive, fruitful, and holy a life.
The holiness of Thomas's death at Fossanuova, and the miracles that accompanied it, soon led to his being venerated as a saint in the monastery and its vicinity. He was buried in the abbey, and peasants began to bring the sick and infirm to his tomb, where many cures were reported. His memory was also alive and revered in his own order, particularly at Naples, where the priory of San Domenico became a center of devotion to him. Reginald of Piperno returned to Naples after preaching at the funeral at Fossanuova, and there seems to have stimulated William of Tocco and Bartholomew of Capua to document Thomas's life and preserve his cult. The Neapolitan tradition was likewise furthered by Bartholomew of Lucca, who had studied under Thomas at Naples and who was at San Domenico when news came of the master's death.
Canonization. Meanwhile, as early as May 1274, the arts faculty at Paris had requested the master general to send Thomas's body to the university. Yet his teaching continued to meet stiff opposition in the faculties of theology at both Paris and Oxford. At Paris, as has been seen, Tempier's condemnation of 1277 was at least implicitly directed against Thomas; at Oxford two successive archbishops of Canterbury, robert kilwardby, himself a Dominican, and John Peckham, Thomas's former antagonist who had since been elevated to the episcopacy, continued the attack against him. The Dominicans generally, however, were closing their ranks around their greatest teacher. By 1316, when the prospect of Thomas's canonization was already being entertained, the Dominican john of naples was publicly upholding his doctrine at Paris "with respect to all its conclusions." And in 1325, two years after the canonization, Stephen Bourret, Bishop of Paris, formally revoked Tempier's condemnation, so far as it "touched or seemed to touch the teaching of Blessed Thomas" (K. Foster, 4).
The initiative for the canonization possibly came from the Pope, john xxii, but more probably from the Italian Dominicans. William of Tocco was commissioned in 1317 to collect materials for the Holy See. Several subsequent inquiries were instituted by John XXII, the last of which was conducted in November 1321 to examine Thomas's postmortem miracles. The canonization itself took place at Avignon with exceptional solemnity on July 18, 1323. It was a great public occasion, attended by King Robert of Sicily, and John XXII did not hesitate to create the impression that he was glorifying Aquinas as much for his doctrine as for the holiness of his life.
The canonization was the first step of a movement that developed and grew stronger in the course of history. Some two centuries later, Thomas was elevated to the dignity of a Doctor of the Church by Pope pius v (Mirabilis Deus, April 11, 1567; see J. J. Berthier, 97–99). Finally, in 1918, St. Thomas became an institution in the Church with his being mentioned in the Code of Canon Law—this is the only name in the Code—with the injunction that the priests of the Catholic Church should receive their philosophical and theological instruction "according to the method, doctrine and principles of the Angelic Doctor" (1917 Codex iuris canonicis c. 1366.2; cf. c. 589.1).
Other Approbation. This culmination of the Church's approval, of course, would not have been possible without a long history of endorsement by popes and Church councils. Shortly after the canonization, in 1344, clement vi praised the Order of Preachers for producing St. Thomas, and bore witness to the fact that his teaching was spreading throughout the entire Church; the same Pope proclaimed to a Dominican general chapter (Brives 1346) that no friar was to dare depart from the common doctrine of Aquinas (Berthier, 55–56). urban v praised St. Thomas's excellence as a Scripture scholar, and in 1368 enjoined the masters and doctors of the University of Toulouse to follow his doctrine (ibid. 53–65). Both nicholas v in 1451 and alexander vi in 1496 testified that Thomas's teaching was enlightening the universal Church (ibid. 76, 84); in this they were merely echoing the sentiments of their predecessors. pius iv, in 1564, also acclaimed Aquinas, and St. Pius V declared him "the most brilliant light of the Church" (ibid. 96, 98). In 1603 clement viii praised him as the angelic interpreter of the divine will and claimed that no error was to be found in his work (ibid. 109, 112); 11 years later, paul v cited him as the "defender of the Catholic Church and conqueror of heretics" (ibid. 117). In 1724 benedict xiii pointed out that his was the "surest rule of Christian doctrine" (ibid. 147); and benedict xiv, who himself had written many learned works, confessed in 1756 that any good to be found in them must be ascribed wholly to the Angelic Doctor (ibid. 158). In 1777 pius vi commended his doctrine as most consistent with Sacred Scripture and the Fathers (ibid. 170).
In a letter to the Dominican Raymond Bianchi, dated June 9, 1870, pius ix observed "that the Church, in the ecumenical councils held after his death, so used his writings that many of the decrees propounded found their source in his works; sometimes even his very words were used to clarify Catholic dogmas or to destroy rising errors" (ibid. 177). This statement may be substantiated by a study of the councils and their enactments (ibid. 281–319; G. M. Manser, 75–79). The Council of Vienne (1311–12), for example, condemned the teaching of peter john olivi for holding that the intellect of soul is not per se et essentialiter the form of the human body, which was one of Aquinas's teachings. Martin Luther himself remarked that at the Council of constance (1414) it was Thomas Aquinas who had prevailed over John Hus (Berthier, 287). The Council of florence (1439–45) has been observed to be little more than a compendium of the Summa theologiae of Aquinas (ibid.289). When the Fifth lateran council reopened the question of the teaching on the human soul that had been treated by the Council of Vienne, it again reaffirmed Aquinas's doctrine (ibid. 294–295). And leo xiii, describing Thomas's influence on the Council of trent (1545–63), was substantially correct when he said that "the Fathers of Trent, in order to proceed in an orderly fashion during the conclave, desired to have opened upon the altar, together with the Scriptures and the decrees of the supreme pontiffs, the Summa of St. Thomas Aquinas whence they could draw council, reasons, and answers" (Aeterni Patris ). The Summa was not actually on the altar, as the sequel proved, but for all practical purposes it might as well have been. That Aquinas had a similar influence on vatican council i (1870) is universally agreed.
Apart from the approbation of the Roman Church, many of Aquinas's works have been translated into Greek and have thus exerted an influence on Eastern theology (see Manser, 72–74). And ecclesiastical approval aside, even non-Catholic philosophers and theologians have praised his doctrine. According to erasmus, there was no theologian equal in industry, or more balanced in genius, or more solid in learning. G. W. leibniz admired the solidity of his doctrine, and C. wolff praised the keenness of his intelligence. A. von harnack attested to his brilliance, as did R. Eucken in giving at least indirect testimony to the strength of the Thomistic revival that was taking place in his lifetime (ibid. 85–89; S. Ramírez, 20).
But it remained for the more recent popes, from Leo XIII to Pius XII, to accord the fullest possible approbation to the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas. The encyclicals aeterni patris of Leo XIII, Studiorum Ducem of Pius XI, and, less explicitly, the humani generis of Pius XII all affirm and endorse Thomism as the Church's answer to the most pressing problems of the day (see scholasticism, 3).
Authority of St. Thomas. So unique and unanimous an endorsement, along with the prescription of the Code of Canon Law, has conferred a special authority on the teachings of Aquinas. And yet, as the discussions surrounding the renewal of vatican council ii have witnessed, such authoritative ordinations have not been without their undesirable side effects. Through the centuries, there have always been those who have sought to acquire authority for themselves by invoking the patronage of the officially recognized Thomas. And there have also been the less ambitious, the mentally lazy and the mediocre, who have been content to read their own limited thoughts into the mind of the Angelic Doctor. Against such abuses it need perhaps be insisted that the emphatic recommendation of St. Thomas by ecclesiastical authority is neither a form of political conservatism nor a disciplinary means of assuring uniform mediocrity. Thomism is not, and never was, a canonically prescribed doctrine in the sense of being a system of propositions that can be well circumscribed, polemically established, and faithfully transmitted from generation to generation. Were it so, it would be difficult to see how scotism and suarezianism could ever have survived in the Church or how a Catholic thinker could learn anything from other philosophies and theologies.
The official adoption of Aquinas's teaching by the Church can be understood only in terms of the inner harmony, the essential compatibility, that exists between his thought and her doctrine. And the Church approves him before all others because in his writings, as in no others, the totality of truth has found a unique expression, an expression of exemplary value. Thomas himself professed no doctrinal particularity; he belonged to no school; he was content with no existing synthesis. He undertook, rather, the grandiose project of choosing everything, of seeking the deeper intentions of an Aristotle and of an Augustine, of probing the ultimate meaning of both human reason and divine faith. He knew the limitations of human minds, his own included. And yet he searched for a wisdom that would incorporate and transcend all earthly knowledge, confident that such wisdom was to be found in the bosom of his Church. With reason, perhaps, that same Church finds in him the outstanding exemplar of the Catholic saint and scholar, and has never hesitated to recommend his study to her children.
Works And English Translations
The following catalogue of the writings of Aquinas classifies his works within the categories of theological syntheses, academic disputations, expositions of Sacred Scripture, expositions of Aristotle, other expositions, polemical writings, treatises on special subjects, expert opinions, letters, liturgical pieces and sermons, and works of uncertain authenticity. In each case a generic characterization of the writing is given, then its place in the various editions, and finally, if available, its English translation. The standard editions of the works of Aquinas are referenced as follows: Leonine, i.e., S. Thomae Aquinatis opera omnia, iussu Leonis XIII edita (Rome 1882–); Parma, i.e., S. Thomae opera omnia, 25 v. (Parma 1852–73; photographic reproduction, New York 1948–49); Vivès, i.e., D. Thomae Aquinatis opera omnia, ed. S. E. Fretté and P. Maré, 32 v. (Paris 1871–80); Turin, i.e., Editio Taurinensis, the various editions published by Marietti in Turin and Rome; Turin phil, i.e., D. Thomae Aquinatis opuscula philosophica, ed. R. M. Spiazzi (Turin and Rome 1954); Turin theol., i.e., D. Thomae Aquinatis opuscula theologica, ed. R. A. Verardo, R. M. Spiazzi, et al., 2 v. (Turin and Rome 1954); Mandonnet, i.e., S. Thomae Aquinatis opuscula omnia, ed. P. Mandonnet, 5 v. (Paris 1927); and Perrier, i.e., S. Thomae Aquinatis opuscula omnia necnon opera minora, v.1, ed. J. Perrier (Paris 1949); Busa, S. Thomae Aquinatis opera omnia: ut sunt in Indice Thomistico, additis 61 scriptis ex aliis medii aevi auctoribus, 7 v., ed. Roberto Busa, SJ (Stuttgart 1980).
Theological Syntheses. These writings include Aquinas's systematic exposition of the Sentences of Peter Lombard and the two summae for which he is most known, the Summa contra gentiles and the Summa theologiae.
Scripta super libros Sententiarum. A theological synthesis elaborated while Aquinas was lecturing at Paris on the Sentences, c. 1256. Editions: Parma, v.6–8; Vivès, v.7–11; Mandonnet (bks. 1–2), 2 v. (Paris 1929); M. F. Moos (bks. 3–4 to dist. 22), 2 v. (Paris 1933–47); Busa, v. 1.
Summa contra gentiles. A synthesis covering the entire range of Catholic truth specifically for defending the faith, apparently intended for the use of Dominican missionaries in Spain; begun possibly in 1258, completed certainly by 1264 (Grabmann, 270–272). Edition: Leonine, v.13–15 (Turin manual, Rome 1934); Busa, v. 2. English: On the Truth of the Catholic Faith, tr. A. C. Pegis et al., 5 v. (New York 1955–56).
Summa theologiae. Aquinas's main work, written for students of theology to replace conventional theological syntheses of the time; unique in its plan, whereby theology first attained the status of a science; begun in 1265 or 1266 and left incomplete in 1273; the supplement that purposes to bring the work to its completion is extracted mainly from bk. 4 of Aquinas's writings on the Sentences. Editions: Leonine, v.4–12 (Turin manual, 4 v. Rome 1948); Vivès, v.1–6; Ottawa Institute of Medieval Studies, 5 v. (Ottawa 1941–45); Busa, v. 2. English: English Dominicans, 22 v. (2d ed. New York 1912–36); Blackfriars edition, with facing page translation, ed. T. Gilby et al., 60 vols., (New York 1964–).
Academic Disputations. These are divided into two classes, the regular disputations, or Quaestiones disputatae, which were held in the school of the master, and the solemn disputations, or Quaestiones de quolibet, which were open to the public and were held twice a year, viz, during Advent (the Christmas quodlibet) and during Lent (the Easter quodlibet). The writings are not recordings of the actual disputations but rather stylized compositions written by the master, in this case Aquinas, on the basis of the scholastic performance.
Quaestiones disputatae. These include the regular disputations De potentia Dei, De malo, De spiritualibus creaturis, De anima, De unione Verbi incarnati, De virtutibus, and De veritate; their chronology is difficult to determine; with the exception of De veritate (Paris 1256–59), De potentia (Italy 1259–68), and De virtutibus (Paris 1269–72), there is no substantial agreement on the dates of their composition. Editions: Parma, v.8–9; Vivès, v.13–14; Mandonnet, 3 v. (Paris 1925); Turin, 2v. 1953; Busa, v. 3. De veritate, Leonine, v. 22. De malo, Leonine, v. 23. De anima, Leonine, v. 24/1. De spiritualibus creaturis, Leonine, v. 24/2. English: On the Power of God, tr. English Dominicans (London 1932–34; Westminster, Md. 1952); On Evil, tr. Jean T. Oesterle (Notre Dame 1995); The De malo of Thomas Aquinas, tr. Richard Regan (Oxford, 2001); On Spiritual Creatures, tr. M.C. Fitzpatrick and J. J. Wellmuth (Milwaukee 1949); The Soul, tr. J. P. Rowan (St Louis 1949); On the Virtues in General, tr. J. P. Reid (Providence 1951); On Charity, tr.L. H. Kendzierski (Milwaukee 1960); Truth, tr. R. W. Mulligan et al., 3 v. (Chicago 1952–54); Disputed Questions on Virtue, tr. Ralph M. McInerny, (South Bend 1999).
Quaestiones de quolibet. Twelve such questions are traditionally ascribed to Aquinas; all seem to have been disputed at Paris, Quodl. 1–6, and possibly 12, from 1269 to 1272, and Quodl. 7–11 from 1256 to 1259. Editions: Quaestiones de quolibet, Leonine, v. 25; Parma, v.9; Vivès, v.15; Mandonnet (Paris 1926); Turin 1949; Busa, v. 3.
Expositions of Sacred Scripture. These are here listed according to the canonical order of the books commented on and not according to their chronology, which has been worked out in some detail by Mandonnet (Revue thomiste 1928–29). Busa, v. 5, contains texts of all the scripture commentaries, but the editions reprinted are of doubtful use.
Expositio in Job ad litteram. A typically Thomistic exposition, making a use of all the philosophical and scientific resources available at the time; its central theme is God's providence; completed probably during the pontificate of Urban IV (1261–64). Editions: Leonine, v.16; Parma, 14:1–147; Vivès, 18:1–227.
In psalmos Davidis expositio. The literary style of this commentary indicates that it is a lecture transcript; it exposes 54 Psalms of the first four nocturns (i.e., the nocturns of Sunday to Wednesday) of the Office then in use, and is incomplete; the lectures were probably given in Naples, 1272–73. Editions: common text with 51 Psalms in Parma 14:148–353 and Vivès 18:228–556; three more Psalms (52–54), ed. A. Uccelli (Rome 1880).
Expositio in canticum canticorum. If Aquinas wrote an exposition of Solomon's Song of Songs, the text has been lost. The two works printed in Parma 14:354, 387, and in Vivès 18:557, 608, are not authentic; the first was composed by haimo of auxerre and the second by giles of rome.
Expositio in Isaiam prophetam. A commentary with some theological developments (ch. 1–11), but whose latter parts are little more than a literal gloss of the text (ch. 12 to end); an autograph fragment (ch. 34–50) exists; composed probably 1245–52, although some assign 1269–72. Editions: Expositio super Isaiam ad litteram, Leonine, v. 28; Parma, 14:427–576; Vivès, 18:688–821, 19:1–65; A. Uccelli (Rome 1880).
Expositio in Jeremiam prophetam. A "literal exposition" of Jeremias that is finished only to ch. 42; Mandonnet gives its date as 1267–68. Editions: Parma, 14:577–667; Vivès, 19:66–198.
Expositio in threnos Jeremiae prophetae. A literal explanation of the lamentations of Jeremias, with no doctrinal investigations; one MS ascribes the work to augustine (triumphus) of Ancona; Mandonnet dates it in 1267. Editions: Parma, 14:668–685; Vivès, 19: 199–225.
Catena aurea. A stringing together of selected passages from the Fathers and ecclesiastical writers; from Mark on, it shows a remarkably good knowledge of Greek authors; composed between 1262 and 1268. Editions: Parma, v.11–12; Vivès, v.16–17; 2 v. Turin 1953. English: Catena Aurea (Oxford 1841–45).
Expositio in evangelium s. Matthaei. A lecture transcript regarded by most authors as originating at Paris, 1256–59; it may, however, date from 1269–72. Editions: Parma, 10:1–278; Vivès, 19:226–668; Turin 1951.
Expositio in evangelium Joannis. One of Thomas's best scriptural expositions, originating at Paris 1269–72. Editions: Parma, 10:279–645; Vivès, 19:669–842, 20:1–376; Turin 1952.
Expositio in s. Pauli epistolas. The common text is composed of several heterogeneous pieces that reveal the editorial policies of Thomas's early disciples; it is based on lectures in Italy but some parts were written by Aquinas himself; variously dated 1259–65 and 1272–73. Editions: Parma, v.13; Vivès, v.20–21; 2 v. Turin 1953.
Expositions of Aristotle. These comprise a series of commentaries on the more important works of Aristotle composed toward the end of Thomas's life. Busa, v. 4 contains all the commentaries on Aristotle (an others) from older editions.
In libros peri hermeneias expositio. An unfinished exposition that makes use of the commentary of Ammonius, whose Greek-Latin version was completed by William of Moerbeke on Sept. 12, 1268; dates probably from Paris, 1269–72. Edition: Leonine, v.1 (2nd edition, 1989) (Turin manual, 1955). English: Aristotle on Interpretation. Commentary by St. Thomas and Cajetan, tr, J.T. Oesterle (Milwaukee 1962).
In libros posteriorum analyticorum expositio. A commentary based on the translation of James of Venice but made probably with the help of a corrected version by William of Moerbeke; date unknown. Edition: Leonine, v.1 (2nd edition, 1989) (Turin manual, 1955). English: Exposition of the Posterior Analytics of Aristotle, tr. P. Conway (Quebec 1956).
In octo libros physicorum expositio. A commentary based on the older Latin versions in its earlier portions and later on the text of William of Moerbeke; written probably between 1268 and 1271. Edition: Leonine, v.2 (Turin manual, 1954). English: Commentary on Aristotle's Physics, tr. R. J. Blackwell et al. (New Haven 1963 [reprint: South Bend 1999]).
In libros de caelo et mundo expositio. One of Aquinas's best works as a commentator, composed probably in Naples, 1272–73. Edition: Leonine, v.3 (Turin manual, 1952).
In libros de generatione et corruptione expositio. An unfinished commentary, believed to be Thomas's last work in philosophy; dates from Naples, 1272–73. Edition: Leonine, v.3 (Turin manual, 1952).
In libros meteorologicorum expositio. Another unfinished commentary, composed sometime between 1269 and 1272. Edition: Leonine, v.3 (Turin manual, 1952). English: Excerpt (1.8–10) in L. Thorndike, Latin Treatises on Comets (Chicago 1950) 77–86.
In libros de anima expositio. A commentary based on the text of William of Moerbeke; the first book seems to be a reportatio of 1268, the last two a direct composition by Aquinas (1270–71). Editions: Edition: Leonine, v.45/1; Parma, 20:1–144; Vivès, 24:1–195; Turin 1949. English: Aristotle's De Anima with the Commentary of St. Thomas Aquinas, tr. K. Foster and S. Humphries (New Haven 1951).
In librum de sensu et sensato expositio. In librum de memoria et reminiscentia expositio. Two commentaries based on the text of Moerbeke and composed probably at the same period as the foregoing commentary. Editions: Leonine, v.45/2; Parma, 20:145–214; Vivès, 24:197–292; Turin 1949.
In duodecim libros metaphysicorum expositio. A commentary composed of various parts (lectures given at different times?), completed probably at Naples in 1272. Editions: Leonine, v.46 (in press as of 2001); Parma, 20:245–654; Vivès, 24:333–649, 25:1–229; Turin 1950. English: Commentary on the Metaphysics of Aristotle, tr.J. P. Rowan, 2 v. (Chicago 1961).
In decem libros ethicorum expositio. A commentary based on the version of Robert Grosseteste as revised by Moerbeke, seemingly done at the same time as Summa theologiae 2a2ae (1271–72). Editions: Leonine, v.47; Parma, 21:1–363; Vivès, 25:231–614, 26:1–88; Turin 1949. English: Commentary on the Nicomachean Ethics, tr. C. I. Litzinger, 2 v. (Chicago 1964).
In libros politicorum expositio. The authentic composition of Aquinas terminates at 3.6; composed probably during the same period as the foregoing. Editions: Leonine, v.48; Parma, 21:364–716; Vivès, 26:89–513; Turin 1949. English: selections tr. E. L. Fortin and P. D. O'Neill, Medieval Political Philosophy: A Sourcebook, ed. R. Lerner and M. Mahdi (New York 1963) 297–334.
Other Expositions. St. Thomas's other expositions deal with two theological tractates of boethius, a Neoplatonic work on the divine names, and the Liber de causis. Expositio super librum Boethii de Trinitate. Not a commentary in the usual sense but a scholastic discussion of questions arising out of the text; important for its discussion of the nature and division of the sciences and their methodology; composed before 1260–61. Edition: Leonine, v.50; B. Decker (Leiden 1955). English: q. 1, On Searching into God, tr. V. White (Oxford 1947); qq. 5–6, Division and Method of the Sciences, tr. A. Maurer (Toronto 1953).
Expositio in librum Boethii de hebdomadibus. An exposition important for understanding Aquinas's notion of participation; composed about the same time as the previous work. Editions: Leonine, v.50; Parma, 17:359; Vivès, 28:468; Mandonnet, 1:165; Turin theol., 2:391.
Expositio in Dionysium de divinis nominibus. Aquinas's first attempt at a direct exposition of a Platonic work with a critical assessment of its value; composed after 1268. Editions: Parma, 15:258; Vivès, 29:373; Mandonnet, 2: 320; Turin 1950.
Super librum de causis expositio. Another of Thomas's encounters with Platonism, possibly his last; written after 1270. Edition: H. D. Saffrey (Fribourg 1954).
Polemical Writings. These comprise the works written specifically against the secular masters, the Latin Averroists, and the traditionalist theologians at Paris.
Contra impugnantes Dei cultum et retigionem. A refutation of the attack of William of Saint-Amour on the mendicants; written in 1256. Editions: Leonine, v.41; Parma, 15:1–75; Vivès, 29:1–116; Mandonnet, v.4; Turin theol., v.2. English: An Apology for the Religious Orders, tr. J. Procter (London 1902; Westminster, Md.1950).
De perfectione vitae spiritualis. A response to the attack of Gerard of Abbeville on the mendicants; written in 1269–70. Editions: Leonine, v.41; Parma, 15:76–102; Vivès, 29: 117–156; Mandonnet, v.4; Turin theol., v.2. English: tr. in three unpublished M.A. dissertations, by G. J. Guenther, C. G. Kloster, and J. X. Schmitt (St. Louis University 1942–44).
Contra pestiferam doctrinam retrahentium pueros a religionis ingressu. A work directed against Gerard of Abbeville and his followers; written in 1270. Editions: Leonine, v.41; Parma, 15:103–125; Vivès 29:157–190; Mandonnet, v.4; Turin theol., 2:159. English: tr. J. Procter, op. cit.
De unitate intellectus contra Averroistas. A treatise directed against the Parisian Averroists and particularly against Siger of Brabant; written in 1270. Edition: Leonine, v.43; L. W. Keeler (Rome 1936), in Turin phil., 63. English: The Trinity and the Unicity of the Intellect, tr.R. E. Brennan (St. Louis 1946).
De aeternitate mundi contra murmurantes. Thomas's treatment of the possibility of an eternally created world; written between 1270 and 1272. Editions: Leonine, v.43; Parma, 16:318; Vivès, 27:450; Mandonnet, 1:22; Perrier, 53; Turin phil., 105.
Treatises on Special Subjects. These comprise a variety of writings on particular problems in philosophy and theology.
De fallaciis ad quosdam nobiles artistas. If authentic, it would be one of Thomas's earliest compositions, written c. 1245. Editions: Leonine, v.43; Parma, 16:377; Vivès, 27:533; Mandonnet, 4:508; Perrier, 428; Turin phil., 225.
De propositionibus modalibus. If authentic, an early work of Thomas, composed before 1252. Edition: Leonine, v.43; I. M. Bocheński (Rome 1940).
De ente et essentia. A significant work on an important theme; composed before 1256. Editions: Leonine, v.43; M. D. Roland-Gosselin (Le Saulchoir 1926, Paris 1948); L. Baur (Münster 1926, 1933), in Turin phil.; Perrier. English: On Being and Essence, tr. A. Maurer (Toronto 1949).
De principiis naturae ad fratrem Sylvestrum. A treatise on matter and form and the four causes; same chronology as the preceding. Edition: Leonine, v.43; J. J. Pauson (Fribourg 1950). English: The Pocket Aquinas, tr.V. J. Bourke (New York 1960) 61–77; R. Kocourek (St. Paul 1948).
Compendium theologiae ad fratrem Reginaldum socium suum carissimum. A brief compilation of the whole of theology; incomplete; date of composition disputed. Editions: Leonine, v.42; Parma, v.16; Vivès, v.27; Mandonnet, v.2; Turin theol., v.1. English: Compendium of Theology, tr. C. Vollert (St. Louis 1947).
De substantiis separatis, seu de angelorum natura. One of the most important of Aquinas's metaphysical writings; date uncertain. Edition: Leonine, v.40; F. J. Lescoe (West Hartford, Conn. 1962). English: Treatise on Separate Substances, tr. F. J. Lescoe (West Hartford, Conn. 1960).
De regno (De regimine principum) ad regem Cypri. A political work addressed to the King of Cyprus; composed c. 1267. Editions: Leonine, v.42; Perrier; Parma, 16:225; Vivès, 27:336; Mandonnet, 1:312; Turin phil.,257. English: On Kingship, tr. G. B. Phelan, ed. I. T. Eschmann (Toronto 1949).
Expert Opinions. These are a series of replies of Thomas to queries from the pope, the master general, and the general chapter held at Paris in 1269. They include: Contra errores Graecorum, addressed to Urban IV (Leonine, v.40; Parma, 15:239; Vivès, 29:344; Mandonnet, 3:279; Turin theol., 1:315); the Responsio … de articulis CVIII ex opere Petri de Tarentasia, addressed to the Master General, John of Vercelli (Leonine, v.42; Parma, 16:152; Vivès, 27:213; Mandonnet, 3:211; Turin theol., 1:223); the Responsio … de articulis XLII, addressed to the same, which is of particular importance for the difference of opinion it reveals between Aquinas, Albert the Great, and Robert Kilwardby, all of whom were sent the same questions (Leonine, v.42; Parma, 16:163; Vivès 27:248; Mandonnet, 2:196; Turin theol., 1:211); De forma absolutionis, likewise addressed to the master general (Leonine, v.40; Turin theol., 1:173); and De secreto, a reply to a question that arose in the general chapter (Leonine, v.42; Mandonnet, 4:497, repr. in Turin theol., 1:447).
Letters. These include the texts of 15 letters written by Thomas on various occasions; for a complete listing, see I. T. Eschmann, "Catalogue …," 417–423. De articulis fidei et ecclesiae sacramentis was written to the archbishop of Palermo, c. 1262 [Editions: Leonine, v.42; Parma, 16:115; Vivès, 27:171; Mandonnet, 3:1; Turin theol., 1:141; tr., in part, J. B. Collins, The Catechetical Instructions of St. Thomas Aquinas (New York 1953)]. Of interest for its scientific content is De motu cordis, written to a Master Philippus, who was a physician and professor at Bologna and Naples, c. 1270 (Leonine, v.43; Perrier, 63; Parma, 16:358; Vivès, 27:507; Mandonnet, 1:28; Turin phil., 165). Similarly important for its views on usury and credit is De emptione et venditione ad tempus, written to the Dominican John of Viterbo, probably in 1262 [Edition: Leonine, v.42; Turin theol., 1:185; English: A. O'Rahilly, "Notes on St. Thomas on Credit," Irish Theological Quarterly 31 (1928) 164–165]. Also of significance for its views on financial policy is a letter to the Duchess of Brabant (actually, Margaret of Flanders), De regimine Judaeorum [Editions: Leonine, v.42; Perrier, 213; Parma, 16:292; Vivès, 27:414; Mandonnet, 1:488; Turin phil., 249; English: tr. J. Dawson, Aquinas' Selected Political Writings, ed. A. P. d'Entrèves (Oxford 1954) 85–95]. Finally, for its discussion of magnetism and similar "occult" phenomena, one should read De occultis operationibus naturae [Editions: Leonine, v.43; Perrier, 204; Parma, 16:355; Vivès, 27:504; Turin phil., 159; English: J. B. McAllister, The Letter of St. Thomas Aquinas De Occultis Operibus Naturae (Washington 1939)].
Liturgical Pieces and Sermons. Apart from the Office for the feast of Corpus Christi, the Adoro te, etc., the most significant is the Lenten cycle of sermons given at Naples in 1273, De duobus praeceptis caritatis et decem legis praeceptis (Edition: J.-P. Torrell, "Les Collationes in decem preceptis de saint Thomas d'Aquin. Édition critique avec introduction et notes," Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques 69 (1985): 5–40; 227–263; Turin theol., v.2; English: J. B. Collins, op. cit. ). Eschmann lists some 20 more sermons delivered on various occasions ("Catalogue …," 424–428).
Works of Uncertain Authenticity. These are philosophical treatises, De instantibus, De natura verbi intellectus, De principio individuationis, De natura generis, De natura accidentium, De natura materiae, and De quatuor oppositis (Edition: Turin phil.). For a critical discussion, see Eschmann, "Catalogue …," 428–430. Two other philosophical works, De fallacies and De propositionibus modalibus, long thought to be early products of Thomas's, are almost certainly not his. (See Torrell, 11.)
The original authors (W.A. Wallace and J.A. Weisheipl) acknowledged their special debt to I.T. Eschmann, OP, of the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto, whose unpublished lecture notes on Aquinas were used in preparing the original article. Since the publication of the original article, Weisheipl published his own biography on St. Thomas (listed below), which was the definitive account of St. Thomas's life and works until the appearance in 1993 of J.-P. Torrell's biography (also below).
Bibliography: Life and Doctrine. j.-p. torrell, op, Saint Thomas Aquinas: The Person and His Work, trans. r. royal (Washington, DC 1996), being an English translation of Torrell's Initiation à saint Thomas d'Aquin, vol. 1: Sa personne et son oeuvre, (Fribourg 1993), which Torrell followed with his Initiation à saint Thomas d'Aquin, vol. 2 Maître Spirituel, (Fribourg 1996); s. tugwell, op, "Thomas Aquinas: Introduction," in Albert and Thomas: Selected Writings, (New York 1988) 201–267; j. a. weisheipl, op, Friar Thomas d'Aquino: His Life, Thought, and Work, (Garden City 1974), second edition with corrigenda et addenda, (Washington, DC 1983); v. j. bourke, Aquinas's Search for Wisdom (Milwaukee 1965). k. foster, ed. and tr., The Life of Saint Thomas Aquinas: Biographical Documents (Baltimore 1959), includes tr. of selections from Codificazione orientale, Fontii 1–6, William of Tocco's Vita, etc. f. stegmÜller, Repertorium biblicum medii aevi, 7 v. (Madrid 1959–61) 5:322–353. f. stegmÜller, Repertorium commentariorum in Sententias Petri Lombardi, 2 v. (Würzburg 1949) 1:393–410. j. quÉtif and Échard, Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum, 5 v. (Paris 1719–23); continued by r. coulon (Paris 1909–); repr. 2 v. in 4 (New York 1959) 1.2:271–347. y. m. j. congar, "Aspects ecclésiologiques de la querelle entre mendiants et séculiers dans la seconde moitié du XIIIe siècle et le début du XIVe," Archives d'histoire doctrinale et littéraire du moyen-âge 36 (1961) 35–151. a. walz et al., Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., 15 v. (Paris 1903–50; Tables générales 1951–) 15.1:618–761. g. k. chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas (New York 1933). r. m. coffey, The Man from Rocca Sicca (Milwaukee 1944). f. c. copleston, Aquinas (Pelican Bks. Baltimore 1955). g. m. manser, Das Wesen des Thomismus (Thomistische Studien 5; 3d ed. Fribourg 1949). j. maritain, St. Thomas Aquinas, tr. and rev. j. w. evans and p. o'kelly (New York 1958). h. meyer, Thomas von Aquin (2d enl. ed. Paderborn 1961). j. pieper, Guide to Thomas Aquinas, tr. r. and c. winston (New York 1962). a. g. sertillanges, St. Thomas Aquinas and His Work, tr. g. anstruther (London 1933; repr. 1957). g. vann, Saint Thomas Aquinas (New York 1947). a. m. walz, Saint Thomas Aquinas: A Biographical Study, tr. s. bullough (Westminster, Md. 1951). Ecclesiastical Approval. j. j. berthier, Sanctus Thomas Aquinas "Doctor Communis" Ecclesiae (Rome 1914). s. ramÍrez, "The Authority of St. Thomas Aquinas," Thomist 15 (1952) 1–109. k. rahner, introd. to j. b. metz, Christliche Anthropozentrik (Munich 1962). Works. g. emery, op, "Brief Catalogue of the Word of Saint Thoams Aquinas," in J.-P. Torrell's Saint Thomas Aquinas (English trans., cited above) 330–361, whose content and format mirrors that of Weisheipl, and is ultimately dependent upon i. t. eschmann, "A Catalogue of St. Thomas's Works: Biographical Notes," in É. h. gilson, The Christian Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas (New York 1956) 381–439. v. j. bourke, Introduction to the Works of St. Thomas Aquinas (New York 1948), repr. from Parma ed. of Opera omnia, v.1. m.d. chenu, Toward Understanding St. Thomas, tr. a. m. landry and d. hughes (Chicago 1964). m. grabmann, Die Werke des heiligen Thomas von Aquin (3d ed. Beiträge zur Geschichte der Philosophie und Theologie des Mittelalters 22.1–2; 1949). Selected Writings. thomas aquinas, Basic Writings, ed. a. c. pegis, 2 v. (New York 1945); Introduction to Saint Thomas Aquinas, ed. a. c. pegis (New York 1948); The Pocket Aquinas: Selections from the Writings of St. Thomas, tr. and ed. v. j. bourke (New York 1960); Philosophical Texts, tr. and ed. t. gilby (New York 1951; pa. 1960); Theological Texts, tr. and ed. t. gilby (New York 1955); Selected Writings, ed. m. d'arcy (New York 1940).
[w. a. wallace/
j. a. weisheipl/
m. f. johnson]