Scholars have often been quick to acknowledge Thomas Aquinas’s distinctive retrieval of Aristotle’s Greek philosophical heritage. Often lagging, however, has been a proper appreciation of both his originality and indebtedness in appropriating the great theological insights of the Greek Fathers of the Church. In a similar way to his integration of the Aristotelian philosophical corpus, Aquinas successfully interwove the often newly received and translated Greek patristic sources into a thirteenth-century theological framework, one dominated by the Latin Fathers. His use of the Greek Fathers definitively shaped his exposition of sacra doctrina in the fundamental areas of God and creation, Trinitarian theology, the moral life, and Christ and the Sacraments.
For the sake of filling this lacuna and of piquing scholarly interest in Aquinas’s relation to the Fathers of the Christian East, the Aquinas Center for Theological Renewal at Ave Maria University and the Thomistic Institute of the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies co-sponsored an international gathering of scholars that took place at Ave Maria University under the title Thomas Aquinas and the Greek Fathers. Sensitive to the commonalities and the differences between Aquinas and the Greek Fathers, the essays in this volume have sprung from the theme of this conference and offer a harvest of some of the conference’s fruits. At long last, scholars have a rich volume of diverse, penetrating essays that both underscore Aquinas’s unique standing among the Latin scholastics in relationship to the Greek Fathers and point the way toward avenues of further study.
Contributors: Khaled Anatolios, Bernhard Blankenhorn, OP, Gerald P. Boersma, Brian Dunkle, SJ, Stephen M. Fields, SJ, Andrew Hofer, OP, John Baptist Ku, OP, Dominic Legge, OP, Matthew Levering, Roger W. Nutt, Jane Sloan Peters, Marcus Plested, John Sehorn, Jörgen Vijgen, Joseph Wawrykow
"For generations, Christian theologians of all kinds have usually seen Aquinas and the Greek Fathers as opposites - to embrace the one is to reject the other. The learned and perceptive essays in this volume show clearly what, until now, only a few specialists have known: St. Thomas's long engagment with the Greek Fathers deeply formed both his own theology and the entry of Chrysostom, Cyril, John of Damasucs, and many others into the Western tradition. From these pages, Thomas and the great figures of the Greek patristic tradition emerge not as competitors, but as contributors to a common project of theological inquiry, in which each enriches our understanding of the other."~Bruce D. Marshall, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University
"A milestone in the contemporary theological renewal."~Martin Morard, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
"In the mid-twentieth century, a tragic dialectic arose that pitted scholasticsm against patristic theology, creating the illusion of an opposition. This seminal volume displays both the profound thematic continuity between Aquinas and the Greek Fathers as well as ways that St. Thomas developed patristic ideas in creative and important ways. In doing so, it underscores the dynamism and unity of classical Catholic theology and the intellectual patrimony of the Church."~Thomas Joseph White, OP, Thomistic Institute, Angelicum
"The 13 essays in this volume treat various Greek Fathers and the early ecumenical councils as to their influence upon Aquinas’s thought, as well as the manner in which he came to know the Eastern theological tradition. All of the essays are academically outstanding."~Journal of Theological Studies
"This volume has a vast wealth of insight to recommend it to anyone wishing to come to grips with the harmony as well as ongoing notes of tension between the theology of the Greek Fathers and that of Thomas Aquinas."~Thomist