Summa Theologica consists of three main Parts. The second Part is divided two and this recording presents Prima Secundae – the Part I of Part II. Taken in its entirety Summa Theologica forms an essential contribution to the canon of Catholic doctrine and was written in the last decade of his life by Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) an Italian-born Dominican Friar. Although he died before completing it the body of thought it contains is a continuing influence to the education and guidance of students of theology in the main Christian traditions. Prima Secundae comprises seven essential treatises on the subjects of: The Last End Human Acts Passions Habits Vice & Sin Law and finally Grace. Within these treatises the writer considers a vast range of topics. In the Treatise on the Last End he explores and illuminates the Catholic understanding of human actions and related questions on reason and appetite design and causality. In the Treatise on Human Acts his subject is The Will and the nature of Good and Evil. In the Treatise on the Passions he undertakes a detailed consideration of the nature and importance of the major feelings and emotions: love and hatred concupiscence and delight pain and sorrow fear and daring and anger. In the treatise on Habits he examines the relationships existing between habits and their causes and effects as well as the nature and essence of the intellectual moral cardinal and theological virtues. The treatise ends with a consideration of the beatitudes and blessings of the Holy Ghost. The Treatise on Vice and Sin deals with understanding the essential nature of vice and sin the internal and external causes of sin the role of human free will the role of the devil the corruption of nature and the differences between venial and mortal sins and their corresponding punishments. The Treatise on Law compares and contrasts the various types of law: eternal natural human and law as revealed in the Old and New Testaments with detailed consideration of ceremonial and judicial precepts. The Treatise on Grace considers its necessity essence cause and effects. As in the rest of Summa Theologica the Prima Secundae is logically structured. Each main heading or question is subdivided into points of inquiry or numbered articles. Each article is then formulated as a series of numbered objections to the idea to be postulated followed by their counter statements. Aquinas’s summation is preceded by the phrase ‘I answer that…’ which then clarifies the issue under discussion. There are also individual replies for further clarification where necessary. Long considered a classic text in philosophy and theology Summa Theologica now offers the listener detailed expositions and considerations of the thinking of figures such as St. Paul (referred to as the Apostle) as well as non-Christian figures such as Aristotle (referred to as the Philosopher) Boethius Muslim writers including Averroes (Ibn Rushd) (referred to as the Commentator) and Avicenna (Ibn Sina) and the Sephardic Jewish scholar Moses Maimonides (referred to as Rabbi Moses) among others. The translation used has been formally attributed to Fathers of the English Dominican Province though it is generally accepted it was the work of one man Father Laurence Shapcote. It is read with clarity and fluency by Martyn Swain.
Available on audible: audible.co.uk, audible.com, audible.de, audible.fr, audible.com.au: : £35.25 or on subscription.