The Treatise on God – Some Reflections

Having now finished Thomas treatment of God, including the trinity, here are some things that have struck me.

I do not know if I expected it to be different, but it is certainly fascinating the way he intertwines the philosophical stuff with ”revelation”. There is certainly not a clear distinction between ”natural theology” and ”revealed theology” here, they are blended together at all levels.

The fact that Thomas apparently felt that the Summa was for beginners are often made fun of. But I think that the only thing that actually speaks against the use of the Summa as a beginners textbook (at the time) is its size. Taken article by article it is actually a very useful introduction to the key issues in theology and Christian philosophy. In fact, I intend to use some of them as points of reference the nest time I teach the introductory course in Philosophy of religion – I hope it will become clear the way Thomas sets the stage for the modern philosophy.

Finally, I have found the way Thomas uses the Bible very interesting. Compared to most of the early Fathers of the Church, Thomas is much more inclined to take into account the context of a particular verse. Only in the objections there are often passages from Scripture taken out of context. I am sure someone has studied this, but it certainly seems that Thomas here takes a big step towards a more ”modern” way to read the bible.

I wish he would vary his examples a bit thought. He always uses the same examples to illustrate his philosophical points and it gets a bit repetative.

So, 220 pages in little over a month. At that speed this will take about 15 months! (I am certain it will be more…)

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