The Essential Aquinas: Writings on Philosophy, Religion, and Society

A. S. Thomas and J. Y. B. Hood. The Essential Aquinas: Writings on Philosophy, Religion, and Society. Westport: Praeger, 2002.

Widely recognized as one of the dominant figures in Western intellectual tradition, Thomas Aquinas has influenced a variety of fields of thought for centuries. This new anthology of his writings, translated from the original Latin by Hood, contains selections from a broad range of his topics and ideas. It includes works of systemic theology, commentaries on the Bible, Aristotle, and other texts of the classical tradition. Divided into eight chapters, the book offers substantial selections from each of Aquinas’ areas of interest: Metaphysics, Natural Science, Human Nature, Law and Ethics, Catholic Theology, the Study of the Bible, Art and Beauty, and the Social World. In vivid translations and enlightening introductions to the selections, Hood provides readers with a rich overview of the important work of this unique thinker.


Without violating the integrity of the original texts, Hood provides his own translations of Aquinas’s work and introduces readers to his work in all its diversity. Selections present Aquinas’ views on a variety of topics of profound contemporary as well as medieval significance, including politics, economic exchange, war theory, sexual morality, and the role and status of women and religious minorities. Thus, without neglecting subjects such as metaphysics, epistemology, and natural law, which are the focus of other anthologies, Hood offers a broader portrait of Aquinas, his thoughts, and the diversity and richness of the culture that gave rise to both.