Ralph McInerny's new book

Ralph McInerny has a new book coming out from CUA Press: Praeambula fidei: Thomism and the God of the Philosophers. The folks at CUA Press were kind enough to provide me with a PDF file press release of the thing. Here is some material from the release:

The praeambula fidei (“preambles of faith”) are regarded by Thomas Aquinas as the culmination of philosophy: natural theology, the highest knowledge of God that is possible on philosophical grounds alone. The natural home for such considerations is the Metaphysics of Aristotle and Thomas’s commentary on that work. Yet Thomas’s view has been cast into doubt, with philosophers and theologians alike attempting to drive a wedge between Aquinas and Aristotle. In this book, renowned philosopher Ralph McInerny sets out to review what Thomas meant by the phrase and to defend a robust understanding of Thomas’s teaching on the subject.

After setting forth different attitudes toward proofs of God’s existence and outlining the difference between belief and knowledge, McInerny examines the texts in which Thomas uses and explains the phrase “preambles of faith.” He then turns his attention to the work of eminent twentieth-century Thomists and chronicles their abandonment of the preambles. He draws a contrast between this form of Thomism and that of the classical Dominican commentators, notably Cajetan, arguing that part of the abandonment of the notion of the preambles as philosophical involves a misreading and misrepresentation of Cajetan.

McInerny concludes with a positive rereading of Aristotle’s Metaphysics and Aquinas’s use thereof. In the end, the book argues for a return to the notion of Aristotelico-Thomism—Thomistic philosophy as the organic development of the thought of Aristotle.

Table of Contents:


PART I: The Preambles of Faith

1. Introduction

PART II: The Erosion of the Doctrine

2. Gilson’s Attack on Cajetan
3. De Lubac and Cajetan
4. Christian Philosophy
5. The Chenu Case
6. The Alleged Forgetfulness of Esse

PART III: Thomism and Philosophical Theology

7. The Presuppostions of Metaphysics
8. The Science We Are Seeking
9. The Metaphysics as a Literary Whole
10. Methodological Interlude
11. The Book of Wisdom
12. Sed Contra
13. Aristotelian Existentialism and Thomistic Essentialism

Selected Bibliography


For more information, contact Beth Benevides, Marketing Manager, (202) 319-5052 or e-mail benevides@cua.edu.

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Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson is an associate professor of Theology at Marquette University, and founded thomistica.net on Squarespace in November of 2004. He studied with James Weisheipl, Leonard Boyle, Walter Principe, and Lawrence Dewan, at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (Toronto, Canada).