Thomas Aquinas on God and Evil

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Brian Davies offers the first in-depth study of Saint Thomas Aquinas's thoughts on God and evil, revealing that Aquinas's thinking about God and evil can be traced through his metaphysical philosophy, his thoughts on God and creation, and his writings about Christian revelation and the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation.

Davies first gives an introduction to Aquinas's philosophical theology, as well as a nuanced analysis of the ways in which Aquinas's writings have been considered over time. For hundreds of years scholars have argued that Aquinas's views on God and evil were original and different from those of his contemporaries. Davies shows that Aquinas's views were by modern standards very original, but that in their historical context they were more traditional than many scholars since have realized.

Davies also provides insight into what we can learn from Aquinas's philosophy. Thomas Aquinas on God and Evil is a clear and engaging guide for anyone who struggles with the relation of God and theology to the problem of evil.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Regardless of what one thinks of Aquinas' approach to philosophy and theology, Davies provides an important and approachable (non-technical) synthesis of Aquinas' view on God and evil that should not be ignored by the contemporary student of apologetics."
—Christian Apologetics Journal

"Davies's book shows that philosophers cannot uncritically enlist Thomas Aquinas as a foot soldier in this argument about God and evil, on one side or the other." —The Thomist

"Brian Davies offers a vigorous, even brilliant, accessible overview of Thomas Aquinas on God, good, and evil. A leading expert on Aquinas, Davies has produced a book that will engage scholars as well as students and educated readers. This is a bold contribution to the literature on the problem of evil, the philosophy of religion, and the history of ideas."
— Charles Taliaferro, Professor of Philosophy, St. Olaf College

"this is an excellent book by an undisputed mater of the material...highly recommended."—CHOICE

"This is a tremendous little text. It is eminently readable and substantive, clear and efficient but not superficial....this friendly volume would be an excellent read for anyone - philosopher, theologian, the fabled interested lay reader - looking for a inviting primer on the towering doctor of the Roman church."—Philosophy and Theism

"This is a game-changing book."—American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199790890
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 8/24/2011
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian Davies is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Fordham University in New York. He is the author of The Thought of Thomas Aquinas, An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion, and many other books.

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Table of Contents

1. The Problem of Evil
2. Aquinas, Philosophy, and Theology
3. What There Is
4. Goodness and Badness
5. God the Creator
6. God's Perfection and Goodness
7. The Creator and Evil
8. Providence and Grace
9. The Trinity and Christ
10. Aquinas on God and Evil

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