Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Book Review (#54 of 2014) Thomas Aquinas for Armchair Theologians by Timothy M. Renick

Aquinas for Armchair Theologians
Unlike the previous Armchair Theologians book I read (on Calvin), this book discussed very little of Aquinas' life and instead focused on his philosophical works and their impact on the Western world. Renick is a professor of religion at Georgia State and does a good enough job making the complex somewhat humorous, and using some simple analogies to explain difficult concepts. Renick looks mostly at the Summa Theologica, but also explores some of Aquinas' other works. This is not a comprehensive treatment of Aquinas' thoughts, but it does show major ways he differed from Augustine and Calvin, as well as how his teachings on the moral law probably influenced Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and other Founding Fathers. His thoughts on war and morality still influence thinking today as well. His views on sex and reproduction are still the foundation for the Roman Catholic's doctrine today. 

Some topics covered: 
Nature and Essence of God

Will of God
Reason's role in faith
Theology of Sex
Just War Theory
Types and the Role of Government

Critics take issue with Renick's opinions of how Aquinas would view the American revolution, invitro fertilization, and homosexuality today. 

This series is what it is-- an introduction to the character, his major ideas, and his contribution to modern society in a humorous manner.
I give this book 4 stars out of 5. It inspired me to look further into the subject. 

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