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Summa Contra Gentiles, First Book (On God)

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By: (1225-1274)

In Summa Contra Gentiles, Saint Thomas Aquinas presents a thoughtful and thorough exploration of the existence and nature of God. Through his use of philosophical arguments and reasoning, Aquinas lays out a compelling case for the existence of a higher being who is the ultimate source of all creation.

The first book of Summa Contra Gentiles focuses specifically on the nature of God, examining His attributes such as omnipotence, omniscience, and goodness. Aquinas carefully constructs his arguments, drawing on both reason and scripture to support his claims.

One of the most striking aspects of Aquinas's writing is his clarity and precision in his arguments. He presents complex theological concepts in a way that is accessible to readers, making his work a valuable resource for those seeking to deepen their understanding of God and faith.

Overall, Summa Contra Gentiles is a profound and thought-provoking work that offers valuable insights into the nature of God. Aquinas's careful reasoning and deep faith shine through in this important theological text, making it a must-read for anyone interested in exploring the mysteries of existence and spirituality.

Book Description:
The Summa Contra Gentiles was composed by Thomas Aquinas between 1259 and 1265, in four books broadly covering teachings on God, on Creation, on Providence, and on tenets specific to Christianity. This Summa is not to be confused with his final Summa, the Summa Theologiae. The latter is specifically "theological" and directed to a Christian audience , whereas the former, as the "Contra Gentiles" indicates, is directed toward "non-Christian" thinkers. Implicitly a defence of the Catholic Christian faith, the first three books constitute a sort of rational apology of Christian thought, where philosophical arguments are deployed to defend Christian beliefs and usually only evoke Scripture in a latter instance to show its concordance with these largely-rational conclusions; the fourth book, however, is theological in character given that its content deals primarily with topics derived from Christian revelation. Although Thomas Aquinas certainly aims to discredit pagan, Jewish, Muslim or Christian-"heretical" positions incompatible with the Catholic Christian religion in this work, at the same time he incorporates whatever is salvageable from their thought, thus often quoting in his favor the very authors he discredits on other positions: therefore the "Contra Gentiles" of this Summa is not to be understood as an outright rejection of non-Christian thought, but rather as a sort of "rational purification" unto its Catholic assimilation, in disposing open minds to revealed Christian truths.

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