St. Thomas Aquinas is best known for his Summa Theologiae and is regarded as the great exemplar of systematic theology. Yet St. Thomas himself might be surprised at this legacy. He may well have saw himself principally as a commentator and teacher of Sacred Scripture.
When it comes to engaging St. Thomas’ scriptural work, readers are at a significant disadvantage. They are arguably more foreign and more dense than his Summa yet have been scarcely studied. This book by one of the foremost experts on St. Thomas’ use of Scripture is a significant and much needed contribution.
In The Order and Division of Divine Truth: St. Thomas Aquinas as Scholastic Master of the Sacred Page, John Boyle opens up the riches of St. Thomas as a master of the Sacred page. Readers will find explorations not just of the style of Aquinas’ commentaries, which differs from that of the modern biblical commentary, but also the overarching theological and methodological perspective that shapes his approach to Scripture. Boyle gives insight into how Aquinas would have understood the task of biblical commentary as a university lecturer, how Scripture is ordered to divine revelation, how medieval masters divided up the text, and how Aquinas’ biblical commentaries relate to his theological summaries. This book will be important for anyone seeking to better understand St. Thomas’ theology and the often-overlooked role that Scripture plays in his work.
John F. Boyle is Professor of Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. A graduate of the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies and the University of Toronto, he has received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, the Aquinas Medal from the University of Dallas, and delivered the Aquinas Lecture at the National University of Ireland.
“This precious collection of articles lies at the crossroads of three of the most promising orientations in current studies on Aquinas: attention to the medieval context in which his work was elaborated, interest in his biblical commentaries and in his exegetical technique, and above all the conviction that the fruitful interaction between biblical exegesis and systematic reflection is essential to theology. A Thomism thus designed could become again a resource for contemporary theology.”
Serge-Thomas Bonino, O.P.
President of The Pontifical Academy of Saint Thomas
“For the past twenty-five years, John Boyle has established himself as one of the closest readers and clearest expositors of Thomas Aquinas in the English-speaking world. This collection of some of his most important essays bears witness to Boyle’s special genius for illuminating the often foreign dynamics of Aquinas’s distinctly scholastic engagement with Scripture, in his biblical commentaries and systematic works alike. The present volume is a gift to Aquinas scholars and is essential reading for anyone seeking a better grasp of Aquinas as reader and teacher of the sacred page.”
Mount St. Mary’s Seminary (Emmitsburg, MD)
“Boyle’s grasp of Aquinas’s thought, especially as it concerns the privileged role of ‘the sacred page’ (sacra pagina), and his level of scholarship are of the highest order. A most welcome scholarly contribution.”