G.K. Chesterton's brilliant sketch of the life and thought of Thomas Aquinas is as relevant today as when it was published in 1933. Then it earned the praise of such distinguished writers as Etienne Gilson, Jacques Martain, and Anton Pegis as the best book ever written on the great thirteenth-century Dominican. Today Chesterton's classic stands poised to reveal Thomas to a new generation.
Chesterton's Aquinas is a man of mystery. Born into a noble Neapolitan family, Thomas chose the life of a mendicant friar. Lumbering and shy his classmates dubbed him "the Dumb Ox" he led a revolution in Christian thought. Possessed of the rarest brilliance, he found the highest truth in the humblest object. Having spent his life amid the vast intricacies of reason, he asked on his deathbed to have read aloud the Song of Songs, the most passionate book in the Bible.
As Albert the Great, Thomas's teacher, predicted, the Dumb Ox has bellowed down the ages to our own day. Chesterton's book will enlighten those who would consign Thomas to the obscurity of medieval times. It will confound those who would use Thomas to bolster arid schemes of Christian rationalism. Rather, it will introduce the wondrous mystery of the man who, after a life of unparalleled genius, was seized by a vision of the Unknown and said, "I can write no more. I have seen things which make all my writings like straw."
|Publisher:||The Crown Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.19(h) x 0.55(d)|
About the Author
G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936) was an English journalist, theologian, philosopher, playwright, mystery writer, and more. Among his many great works are Saint Francis of Assisi, The Everlasting Man, and Orthodoxy.
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Excerpted from "Saint Thomas Aquinas"
Copyright © 1974 G. K. Chesterton.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
G. K. Chesterson is a man blessed with great linguistic ability. So dazzling is his terminology and turn-of-phrase, he obfuscates understanding. Aquinas is not immediately reachable. Chesterton I am afraid makes him even less so.
Chesterton was a terrible biographer. He would get bogged down in esoteric verbiage and ignore any details concerning the life of the subject. G. K. tells you as much if not more about Frederick the Great and St. Francis as he does about St. Thomas.
This is not Chesterton at his best. I understand that any history of Aquinas he writes must needs be a polemical history, but here the polemi seizes control and pages fly by while the Author defends the Church against Albigensians, Henry II, modern prejudices, and Siger of Brabant. And all this is done at a level of abstraction which renders the debate unilluminating, at least to me. Eighty pages in, I quit. That said, even bad Chesterton is pretty good. "They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. But that is precisely the one thing it cannot be paved with." (2.18.07)