One and Triune God, Class 5

Compendium Chapters 12-17

Our assignment for today covers many chapters, but they are short and many of them similar in structure. The high point of the reading is when we conclude that God is one, which is also the central teaching of the Old Testament. But like the Old Testament, our Compendium reading takes on a journey from […]

The One and Triune God, Class 2

Compendium Chapters 4-6

Our class session will start with more time on chapter 3.  However, chapters 4-6 begin the exciting work of saying what this “first mover” is really like.  We’ll start with one of the strangest and yet most important claims, namely that God is immobile, and move on to a new way of thinking about being […]

Class 1: Follow-up

Nailing down the argument

What a great start to the semester!  We made great progress toward spelling out the syllogisms in Compendium chapter 3.  Each section found a slightly different way to present the arguments, but to help everyone consolidate their notes, I want type out one version of what was said. Syllogisms in Chapter 3 The argument will unfold in two […]

The One and Triune God, Class 1

Compendium Chapters 1-3

Welcome back, Wyoming Catholic College sophomores!  This year, I’m going to do something a little different with our “Mystery of the Trinity” course:  each chapter from Aquinas’s Compendium of Theology will have an audio companion on this website, to help you dig deeper and prepare better for our seminar sessions.  And since all of the Compendium readings […]

ST 1.1.3

Whether Sacred Doctrine is one science

Article 3 asks whether theology is one.  This is closely related to asking whether theology exists at all, because to the degree that a thing is, it is one.  In St. Thomas’s view, the key is to say that theology has just one formal object, namely “the divinely revealable.” If you put that into everyday […]

ST 1.1.2

Whether Sacred Doctrine is a science

In Article 2, When St. Thomas asks whether theology is a science, he does not mean to ask whether theology is an empirical discipline that proceeds by forming hypotheses.  Rather, he means to ask whether theology is a “science” in the Aristotelian sense of a way of knowing things through their root causes. The objections […]

ST 1.1.1

Is theology necessary?

The first Article of the first Question of the first Part of the Summa opens with a doubt.  Maybe the whole project of theology is arrogant; perhaps piety should keep our eyes cast down on earthly things.  We should not presume to scale the heights of heaven with our minds. The objection reminds one of […]

ST 1.1, Prologue

Is the Summa Theologiae necessary?

St. Thomas begins his prologue with what feels like a truism:  someone who teaches the Catholic faith should teach not just the advanced but also beginners.  Why would anyone think otherwise?  How do people become “advanced” after all except by being taught? But the medieval university system did in fact have St. Thomas in class […]