Brian Davies, O. P.: Thomas aquinas’s summa contra gentiles: a guide and commentary

Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2016, 485 pp
  • Daniel W. Houck
Book Review

Davies is a leading interpreter of Aquinas, especially on the philosophy of religion. This book—a sequel to his Thomas Aquinas’s “Summa Theologiae”: A Guide and Commentary (Oxford: OUP, 2014)—is an accessible, thorough commentary on the Summa Contra Gentiles (SCG). Each chapter of the commentary begins with an explanation of the text and ends with critical analysis. Davies is an even-handed commentator, acutely aware of modern objections to Thomas’s thought. He doesn’t hesitate to criticize Thomas, but he consistently gives him a fair hearing. The first thing prospective readers are likely to ask is why they should bother to read the SCG. Why not simply read Thomas’s better-known Summa Theologiae (ST)?

According to Davies, the answer is that the SCG contains Thomas’s most detailed account of natural theology, understood as “any attempt to reason about the existence and nature of God without dependence on purportedly divine revelation” (7). The ST, by contrast, is a work of sacred...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Carl F. H. Henry CenterTrinity Evangelical Divinity SchoolDeerfieldUSA

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