Tommaso d’Aquino Newsletter (March, 2005)

Welcome to the first edition of the “Tommaso d’Aquino Newsletter,” from Thomistica.NET. The Newsletter has been a dream of mine for a number of years, and now, finally, I’m able to bring it to light.

In this issue: 

  • Update on the Leonine Commission
  • Index Thomisticus on-line
  • Thomas’s letter to Margaret of Flanders
  • Reginald of Piperno’s nota
  • How good is your Summa’s text?
  • Thomas P. Bukowski (RIP)
  • The collected works of the Italian Thomist Cornelio Fabro
  • Guerric of St Quentin’s Quodlibets
  • Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum Medii Aevi (SOPMA)
  • Dominican History Newsletter
  • Peter of Bergamo, OP (1430?-1482)
  • The End of Commentator Thomism…really!
  • CUA Press discount offer
  • Tidbits
  • About the Newsletter

Update on the Leonine Commission

It was my honor in the year 2000 to be able to visit the members of the Leonine Commission at the monastery in Grottaferrata, just south of Rome. Fr. Walter Senner, OP, drove me out and back, and I had the privilege of meeting Adriano Oliva, Louis-Jacques Bataillon, Pawel Krupa, and Athanasius Sulavik (who is no longer with the Commission). The Commission had been at Grottaferrata (which is actually a Franciscan monastery) for almost thirty years.

But in June of 2003 the whole lot of them packed up and moved to Paris (actually, moved back to Paris, for there had been a Leonine section there in the early 1950’s). So the Commission is now based in Paris, above the Bibliothèque du Saulchoir, at the Dominican convent of Saint-Jacques. This move was no mean task, for the Commission has its own library of microfilms (more than 500,000 images) and books (18,000). Fr Adriano Oliva kindly shared with me an update on the progress of various volumes, which he composed a year ago. Here is where things stood at that time:

  • Volume 44, containing 21 sermons of Thomas, is well underway, the work of L.-J. Bataillon (with Pawel Krupa leading a team of scholars working on the apparatus).
  • The disputed questions De potentia, left unfinished by R.-A. Gauthier at his death in 1999 are being worked on by Walter Senner, who is working on the preface, the source apparatus, and a global revision of the text.
  • Volume 24/3, containing De uirtutibus in communi, De spe, De caritate, De unione Verbi incarnati, De duobus preceptis , is under revision by É. Deronne.
  • Thomas’s commentary on St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans is well-advanced, thanks to the work of Fr. G. de Grandpré.
  • Martin Morard is working on Thomas’s commentary on the Psalms.
  • Thomas’s commentary on the Metaphysics of Aristotle (vol. 46), which James Reilly has worked on, is in the process of getting its source apparatus. A revision of the whole edition will follow next.
  • Work on Thomas’s Scriptum on the Sentences continues. Book 3, edited under the direction of F. Hinnebusch, is now being revised by R. Wielockx, along with its source apparatus; Fr. P. M. Gils ( † 2001) established the text of Book 2, which Adriano Oliva is revising, and, along with Z. Pajda, establishing the source apparatus; Book 4 is being worked on by W. Fauser, S.J, and Book 1 is in the process of the collation of manuscripts.
  • Fr Bataillon and Fr Senner have each done “soundings” in the manuscript copies of Thomas’s Summa theologiae, showing just how difficult a complete revision of that earlier edition would be. Fr Bataillon worked on the Prima pars (see: L. J. Bataillon, “Recherches sur le texte de la Prima pars de la Summa theologie de Thomas d’Aquin” dans Roma Magistra Mundi. Itineraria culturae medievalis Mélanges L. E. Boyle, OP, [Louvain-la-Neuve: FIDEM, 1998] 1: 11-24), while Fr Senner worked on the Secunda pars (his findings are in the Introduction to band 12 of the Deutsche Thomas Ausgabe).

The future of the Commission looks bright, for there are newer and younger socii able and willing to learn the techniques of the critical edition of Thomas’s texts. The problem that remains—isn’t it always?—is that of funding.

Index Thomisticus on-line

This is a fabulous announcement. Enrique Alarcon, working together with Eduardo Bernot, have brought the Index Thomisticus to the world-wide web. You can now perform all sorts of sophisticated searched on the Latin texts of Thomas’s works at the following web site:

Note: make sure to include that trailing slash, or you won’t get to the site. You can also just go to the main site ( and follow links from there. It will take a while to learn how to run useful searches, to be sure, but this is a wonderful tool.

The official presentation and demonstration of the site will take place at the conference in Pamplona in late April. Thanks to both of them for their very hard work.

Thomas’s letter to Margaret of Flanders

A couple years back I finally finished up a translation into English of a letter of Thomas’s, found in volume 42 of the Leonine Opera Omnia. Although this letter often is described as “Thomas Aquinas’s letter on the treatment of the Jews,” it has been entitled in his literary corpus as his “Letter to the Duchess of Brabant.” Leonard Boyle wrote an article in 1983 in which he argued quite persuasively—Fr Torrell now accepts Boyle’s argument—that the letter was not addressed to the Duchess of Brabant, but was rather addressed to Margaret of Flanders, a woman who ruled a domain in her own right, and who proved to be a tad meddlesome in Dominican politics. See Boyle’s article in the collection of his articles on Thomas: L.E. Boyle, “Thomas Aquinas and the Duchess of Brabant,” in Facing History: A Different Thomas Aquinas (Louvain-la-Neuve: FIDEM, 2000), pp. 107-121—in conversations with Boyle I remember that he liked to point out that this issue is yet another place where Tolomeo of Lucca was right! “Ha!,” he used to say.

You’ll find more information about this Letter on the web site, where there are downloadable copies of my translation. Please use it as you see fit. You can also read the thing on-line.

Reginald of Piperno’s nota

Because of the research of Mauro Turrini, we now know who the author is of a short nota that is found three certain manuscript copies of the Tertia pars of Thomas’s Summa theologiae: Reginald of Piperno, Thomas’s socius continuus for a number of years, likely from the time of his return to Italy in the 1260-1262 range.

What is the nota about? Evidently, Reginald of Piperno had before him the original copy of Thomas’s Tertia pars, and was asked to look over another copy of the Tertia pars, to make a comparison and verification of its contents. It turned out that in eight cases his own copy had either gaps or texts that were at significant variance from those in the manuscript copy. In most cases, those “gaps” in the original were plugged by others with texts that are not written by Thomas: “non est fratris Thome.” It also seems to be the case that these ‘additions’ or ‘improvements’ have been propagated throughout the manuscript tradition, and made their way into the editions of the Tertia pars we use today. The nota itself was copied into three manuscripts of the Tertia pars, after question 90, a. 4.

I said “throughout the tradition.” Except, however, for two manuscripts that we know of: Naples, Biblioteca Nazionale VII B 15, and Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional 515. These two manuscripts correspond to the description of the manuscript original that Reginald provides, leading Turrini to think that they could well have been copied from the manuscript Reginald had, or from a good, immediate copy therefrom. Alas, neither of these two manuscripts had a prominent place in the Leonine Edition of 1906, which was at the cutting edge of editorial technique at the time. Using those two manuscripts as principal witnesses, Turrini established a much better text for the treatment of the sacraments in the Tertia pars, qq. 60-65 (see: Mauro Turrini, “Etablissement critique du texte du «De sacramentis in communi» de Thomas d’Aquin: «Tertia Pars», qq. 60-65,” Studi medievali [1998]: 911-952).

Here is an English translation of Reginald’s nota, made from the edition Turrini provides (Mauro Turrini, “Réginald de Piperno et let text original de la Tertia pars de la Somme de théologie de S. Thomas d’Aquin,” Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques 73 [1989]: 233-247, at 236-237):

The Text of the Nota

(Summa theologiae, III, q. 90, a. 4, ad 3)…and so before baptism no distinction is made between penance for mortal sins or for venial sins. Next consideration is to be given to the parts of penance. And first to contrition, second to confession, third to satisfaction.

Here ends all that was had from the third part of the Summa of venerable brother Thomas de Aquino of the order of the Brothers preacher who, prevented by death, was not able to bring it to completion.

1. Note that in question 22, article 2, the solution to the third argument was missing in the original of this third part of Brother Thomas, and in all the others that took their original from it.

2. Likewise, question 57, article 4, the second argument placed here with its answer was deleted from the original, and in its place was added an argument and its answer that here has the third place, but that is not by brother Thomas.

3. Likewise, question 62, article 6, in the answer to the third argument, the second last response given here, which begins “and so it better should be said” is by Brother Thomas but was deleted from the original, and in its place was a final response, which is not by Brother Thomas, and which begins “or it should be said.”

4. Likewise, questions 68, article 3, Brother Thomas, having made his arguments, said “On the contrary is what Augustine says,” and he didn’t follow through on the authority, but left space in the original where the authority could be put. But what has been placed here is either that authority or another by the same Augustine which is sufficient making the proposed argument, as is clear in that place.

5. Likewise, in the same question, article 12, Brother Thomas, having made the arguments, says “On the contrary is what Augustine says,” but he didn’t follow through on the authority, but left space in the original where it could be placed. But here the authority itself has been put or a similar one taken from book 4 of his Scriptum, distinction 4, question 8, article 3.

6. Likewise, question 70, article 4, in the body, where Brother Thomas is saying “insofar as it is an instrument of the passion of Christ already completed” what follows here, namely, “now in circumcision grace was conferred not from the power of circumcision but in virtue of faith in the passion of Christ of which circumcision was a sign” was deleted from the original, and what is added there all the way up to where it says “and so namely,” this is not by Brother Thomas.

7. Likewise, question 73, article 5, in the body, Brother Thomas in the original, for confirmation of the second reason, says, “hence Pope Leo says” but didn’t follow through on the authority, left space where the authority was to be written. But what has been placed here is either that authority or something similar from the same Pope Leo.

8. Likewise, question 82, article 8, in the first argument, Brother Thomas adduces an authority from canon law in the place of the minor proposition, and didn’t assign in which causa, question or chapter it was, but left space where it could be written. Here however the authority has been assigned.

Here begin the rubrics of the Third part…

So what would the practical import of all this be? If you’re working at a close analysis of texts in the Tertia pars of the Summa theologiae, get a hold of the two manuscripts (Naples, Biblioteca Nazionale VII B 15, and Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional 515), learn paleography, and collate!

How good is your Summa’s text?

The preceding story about Mauro Turrini and Reginald’s nota raises the larger question of how reliable the Latin editions are of the Summa theologiae. I’ll try to research this further, but for now check out the article by Louis-Jacques Bataillon, in the volume of studies given to Leonard Boyle in 1998, where he reveals the results of his “soundings” done on the first part of the Summa theologiae, with results that sometimes are as intriguing as those in the Tertia pars. See: Louis-Jacques Bataillon, “Recherches sur le texte de la Prima pars del la Summa theologie de Thomas d’Aquin,” in Roma, Magistra Mundi. Itineraria Culturae Medievalis. Mélanges offerts au Père L.E. Boyle à l’occasion de son 75e anniversarie (Louvain-la-neuve: FIDEM, 1998) vol. 1, pp. 11-24. Similar work has been done by Fr. Walter Senner of the Leonine Commission on either the Prima secundae or the Secunda secundae (maybe both?), which I’ll try to track down and report as soon as possible.

Thomas P. Bukowski (RIP)

You may not have heard the name, Thomas P. Bukowski, who died in Falls Church, VA, January 26, 2002. He was a close friend and colleague of one of my teachers in Toronto, Lawrence Dewan, OP, and deserves to have his memory honored. And for good reason. For although almost all contemporary scholarship on Thomas continues to date the De eternitate mundi as a late work (usually second Parisian sojourn [Torrell, Weisheipl]), Bukowski maintained for years that an early dating made more sense (depending upon the tenor of the work, and also the fact that, in the Summa theologiae, Thomas seems to deny the possibility of an actual infinity, which he asserts to be possible in the De eternitate mundi).

Thomas Bukowski was born in Buffalo, N.Y., September 30, 1928, and attended Canisius College (1950). Thereafter he went to Toronto, and studied at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. He wrote his dissertation (May 1972) in Strasbourg, France: “Le problème de l’éternité du monde au XIIIième siècle parisien.” He taught at Daemon College in Buffalo, Rosemont College in Philadelphia and at the University of Scranton. All his teaching activity was prior to his Strasbourg dissertation. Subsequent to that he was employed outside of academia—which is perhaps why he remains relatively unknown. Here is what Fr Dewan said of him: “Tom Bukowski (1928-2002) was my close friend, going back to student days ca 1954-57 at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies and University of Toronto Graduate Philosophy program. It was there that he started his studies of Thomas on the eternity of the world, when Ignatius Eschmann, O.P., held a seminar on Thomas’s opuscula, and Tom drew the De aeternitate mundi as his assignment. Already at that time, his study of vocabulary and such led him to judge that that work of Thomas’s was not, as had been said, a late work, but rather seemed to have much in common with the Commentary on the Sentences treatment of the topic. He went off to teach before finishing his doctorate, but eventually completed his studies in Strasbourg, France, where in 1972 he presented a dissertation entitled: “Le problème de l’éternité du monde au XIIIième siècle parisien.” Subsequently he worked outside of academia, but he kept up his interest in mediaeval studies and published a series of articles close to his original interest, all of which I would recommend to readers.”

The main articles by Bukowski are:

1. “The Eternity of the World according to Siger of Brabant: Probable or Demonstrative?,” Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale 36 (1969): 225-29.

2. “An Early Dating for St. Thomas’s De aeternitate mundi,” in Gregorianum 51 (1970): 271-303.

3. “L’influence de Thomas d’Aquin sur Boèce de Dacie,” in Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques 57 (1973): 627-31 (with B. Dumoulin).

4. “J. Pecham, T. Aquinas, et al., on the Eternity of the World,” Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale 46 (1979): 216 -21.

5. “Siger of Brabant vs. Thomas Aquinas on Theology,” The New Scholasticism 61 (1987): 25-32.

6. “Note on Thomas’s In Physic. libr. 8um,Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale 56 (1989): 224-27.

7. “Rejecting Mandonnet’s Dating of St. Thomas’s De Aeternitate Mundi,Gregorianum 71 (1990): 763-75.

8. “Siger of Brabant, Anti-theologian,” Franciscan Studies 50 (1990): 57-82.

9. “Understanding St. Thomas on the Eternity of the World: Help from Giles of Rome?,” Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale 58 (1991): 113-25.

10. “Beyond Aristotle … And Beyond Newton: Thomas Aquinas On An Infinite Creation,” The Thomist 68 (2004): 287-314.

Perhaps the most important article in this list is “An Early Dating for St. Thomas’s De aeternitate mundi,” in Gregorianum 51 (1970): 271-303, in which Bukowski argues at length for this view. It is interesting that Thomas uses the term “enim” 11 times in the De aeternitate mundi, and does not use the word “nam” once (Note: Antoine Dondaine, OP, in his Secrétaries de saint Thomas [Roma: Editori di S. Tommaso, 1956, appendix III, “De la conjunction «nam» dans les écrits de saint Thomas,” pp. 218-220] noticed that Thomas almost never used the word nam in his works before the Summa contra gentiles, but afterwards used it quite frequently, and often instead of the Latin post-positive enim).

So Bukowski’s legacy might not be well-known, but if over time the dating of the De eternitate mundi would be returned to the period of the first Parisian sojourn, that might clean up some other puzzles regarding creation, and Thomas’s assessment of the metaphysics of Aristotle (no meager topic). Requiescat in pace.

The collected works of the Italian Thomist Cornelio Fabro

O n May 4, 2005, ten years after Fabro’s death at the age of 84, the first volume of his Opera Omnia (La nozione metafisica di partecipazione secondo san Tommaso d’Aquino) will be presented at the Urbaniana University in Rome (Italy). Under the instigation of the “Religious Family of the Institute of the Incarnated Word” the “Cultural Project Cornelio Fabro”, established in 2004, aims at providing the necessary resources for the study of Fabro’s thought. The principal element of the project is the edition of his complete works together with a set of electronic instruments (index, database, etc.) which will also be made available online. The work is being carried out at their Centro Alti Studi “San Bruno Vescovo di Segni” in Segni (Italy) under the direction of Fr. Elvio Fontana and Fr. Christian Ferraro. The enormity of the task ahead is shown by some figures: The books published during his lifetime count 10657 pages; the unpublished works 2346 pages; the collection of articles count 9400 pages; course-material 3278 pages. Finally, the Institute possesses 1150 hours of courses, lectures, sermons, etc. on tape. It is approximated that the entire collected works will consist of more than 100 volumes. These have been divided into four principal parts. 1/Published works of which the first two volumes will include his early works; volumes 3 to 37 his books published between 1939 and 1995; volumes 38 to 42 his major essays and volumes 43 to 63 will collect his smaller articles and reviews; 2/Translations; 3/ Courses, lectures and sermons; 5/Posthumous works, personal notes and letters. By adding electronic versions, which will be made available online as well, the contemporary scholar of St. Thomas’s and Fabro’s thought will gain an important new access to his work. A collection of his articles in English and translations are planned also. Already a number of books and articles by Fabro are available on the website of the Fabro-project: (from Jörgen Vijgen).

Guerric of St Quentin’s Quodlibets

This story is because of the filial piety that exists between a student and his teacher. Walter Principe, CSB, was one of my teachers in Toronto, and I remember that, in almost every class I had with him on some aspect of 13th century Christology, he would regularly bring in copies of some unedited text that he was working on. One of his long-term projects was a complete edition of the Quodlibetal questions of the Dominican writer, Guerric of Quentin (who held one of the Dominican chairs at the University of Paris before St Albert did, until 1242), so often Fr Principe would bring in texts from Guerric to class. He would share with us how difficult a full edition would be, because Guerric’s works came down to us at times in two different redactions; Principe worked on the edition of all nine of Guerric’s quodlibets for almost 40 years.

Alas, Principe died in 1996, leaving the critical edition behind, incomplete. Fortunately, Jonathan Black of the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies in Toronto, together with Jean-Pierre Torrell, forged ahead (Black revising the edition—an understatement, perhaps—and Torrell providing the Introduction and general overview of the contents). The edition of the quodlibets came out in 2002 as: Guerric of Saint-Quentin: Quaestiones de quolibet. A Critical Edition by Walter H. Principe, CSB. With Editorial Revision and Preface by Jonathan Black. Introduction by Jean-Pierre Torrell, OP. Studies and Texts 143. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2002.

Quodlibetal disputations are endlessly fascinating, both because they allow the reader into the world of doctrines and doctrinal dispute, but also because—especially because—they help us to understand what the participants in a theological or philosophical conversation thought was important—they were the ones, after all, who got to ask the questions of the Master. Quodlibetal questions are a way for us to put our fingers on the pulse of early- and mid-13th century theology in Paris.

Guerric’s quodlibets hold true to this rule. “Do the damned rather wish not to be, than to be?” “Was the formation of Christ’s body instantaneous or slow?” “Can angels feel pain?”

More than that, especially for the student of Thomas’s writings, it may just be possible to find in Guerric some doctrinal precedent for things Thomas himself will later come to hold. For instance, Guerric seems to be at least among the first, if not the first, to answer the question “Would the Son of God have become incarnate if man had not sinned?” in the negative, resulting in a teacher where the young Thomas will separate himself from his own teacher, Albert. In this regard see Fr. Torrell’s article: “Christology in the Quodlibets of Guerric of Saint-Quentin: A Precursor of Thomas Aquinas?,” in Essays in Medieval Philosophy and Theology in Memory of Walter H. Principe, CSB: Fortresses and Launching Pads, eds. James R. Ginther and Carl N. Still (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 2005), pp. 53-65.

Certainly good theological libraries will want to have the edition that Fr Principe put together with such care. I’ve read through the quodlibets a couple of times now, and I must admit that it really does help make the University of Paris come alive for me. Thanks, Fr. Principe, for everything.

Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum Medii Aevi (SOPMA)

This item will be of interest primarily to specialists in studying Thomas from a historical perspective. The Dominicans Jacques Quétif (†1698) and Jacques Échard (†1724), produced the monumental Scriptores Ordinis prœdicatorum recensiti , 2 vols. (Paris: apud J-B-C. Ballard, et N. Simart, 1719-1721), the first prolonged, scholarly effort at much scholarship about Dominican authors and their works. Beginning in 1970 under the leadership of Thomas Kaeppeli, OP, the Order’s Dominican History Institute (Istituto storico domenicano) produced an updated, more narrowly-defined Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum Medii Aevi (abbreviated in the literature as SOPMA), covering Dominican authors from the year of Dominic’s death in 1221 to 1500. The resulting work consists of four volumes, with vol. 1 covering authors whose first names begin with A through F, vol. 2 (G-I), vol. 3 (I-S), and vol. 4 (T-Z, corrigenda & addenda, and indices). Unfortunately Kaeppeli was not there to see it through, for he died in 1984, so Emilio Panella finished up the fourth volume—you won’t find listings for St. Albert and St. Thomas here, however, since the critical edition projects for each (Albert in Cologne, and Thomas in Paris) already have lists of the manuscripts necessary for their task.

An individual listing for an author begins with a short bibliographical synopsis of books and articles about that person, followed by Kaeppeli’s list of the works attributed to that person, a list that is numbered consecutively throughout all the volumes. I.e., the early Dominican Paul of Hungary (SOPMA III, pp. 205-207) is thought to have authored only two works that have down to us, the most important of which is a Summa de penitentia. This is numbered 3184 in the SOPMA; Paulus Meysner’s sermon to the clerics is the next work to appear, and is numbered 3185. This numbering scheme is employed by the Dominican History Newsletter, which now simply refers works by Dominican authors in the middle ages by the number found in the SOPMA.

Thereafter Kaeppeli/Panella provide a list of all the manuscripts—and the occasional rare edition—of the author’s work in question. If you’re interested in medieval philosophy and theology, and are looking for text to edit, there is no better place to start the SOPMA.

Dominican History Newsletter

(Shameless plug for pet project): If you are interested in the larger historical context of Thomas’s life and work, then the Dominican History Newsletter (DHN) could prove to be a favorite resource. Fr. Simon Tugwell, former head of the Dominican Historical Institute in Rome, began publishing a simple newsletter on the whole range of Dominican history in 1992, and the letter has grown to be an annual publication, somewhat akin to the defunct Rassegna di letteratura tomistica, save that it now customarily contains a necrology, sections devoted to the Order’s general history, its intellectual history, canon law, liturgy, on and on. Perhaps most interesting is a list of those engaged in historical study of the Order, and updates provided by the same. The 2004 volume is about to appear, and orders and other information are available at the Dominican Historical Institute’s website. Portions of the DHN are modeled on Thomas Kaeppelli’s Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum Medii Aevi (see previous article). For the student of Thomas, however, the DHN has been doing the service of listing bibliography about both Thomas and Albert, though not as thoroughly as the Rassegna once sought to do—I know this because I am responsible for providing English-language bibliography on Thomas for each issue. In the 2003 issue we were able to provide 16 pages of bibliography, with more than 170 separate bibliographical items—something for everybody. It is a good place to start for the professional Thomist, but an absolute god-send for the medieval historian.

Peter of Bergamo, OP (1430?-1482)

The Dominican Peter of Bergamo produced two useful tools for Thomistic scholarship. His large index of the works of St. Thomas, dubbed the “Tabula aurea,” was the single most important index of Thomas’s works before the appearance of Fr. Busa’s Index Thomisticus. However, while the Index Thomsticus is primarily lexical, the “Tabula aurea,” provides thematic links across the works of St. Thomas. And Peter’s other work, the Concordantiae dictorum sancti Thomae, is the source of the dubia that one sometimes sees references to in the Editio Paulina of the Summa theologiae and in the Leonine text of the Summa. What are these dubia? There are moments in the Thomas’s texts where he seems to contradict what he said elsewhere, and Peter notes these moments, arranges the topic alphabetically, lists the many texts where Thomas speaks of the issue at hand, and tries himself to provide a resolution to the dubium. So, for instance, in the Pauline edition of the Summa theologiae, I, q. 1, a. 3, on whether God is the subject of sacred doctrine, there is a reference in Thomas’s text to a note at the bottom of the page, which in turn refers to “D 1154,” meaning “Peter of Bergamo’s dubium no. 1154.” When one goes to the Concordantiae one sees a lengthy discussion of “God as subject,” and the texts of Thomas’s where he talks about the question, along with Peter’s response (cf. SOPMA, vol. 3, pp. 219; nos. 3210-3211).

Your library may have these works, but if it does not, here are the references:

1. Petri de Bergamo, In Opera Sancti Thomae Aquinatis Index, seu Tabula Aurea Eximii Doctoris F. Petri de Bergomo, editio fototypica (Roma: Editiones Paulinae, 1960)—a photograpic reprint of the Vives edition (Paris, 1880).

2. Petrus a Bergomo, OP (†1482), Concordantiae Textuum discortantium Divi Thomae Aquinatis, editio fototypica (Florence: Libreria Editrice Fiorentina, 1982)—a photographic reproduction of the Concordantiae placed at the end of volume 10 of the Roman edition (1773) of St. Thomas’s Summa theologiae.

The End of Commentator Thomism…really!

So when did “commentator Thomism” (i.e., the period of great commentators on the Summa theologiae) come to an end? Gilson would have responded: not soon enough! (See Etienne Gilson, letter of July 8, 1956 to Henri de Lubac, in Lettres de monsieur Etienne Gilson au pére de Lubac, [Paris: Les Editions du Cerf, 1986], p. 19: “Le seul salut est dans le retour à saint Thomas lui-même, au-delà de Jean de Saint-Thomas, au-delà de Cajetan lul-memé dont le célèbre commentaire est un corruptorium Thomae parfaitement réussi”). Of course there is a general sense in which he is right. Still, the great commentators (Cajetan, John of St. Thomas, Bañez, others) had the great merit of reading and commenting upon the whole Summa theologiae as their charge, or at least protracted portions of it, which is no mean accomplishment. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange (†1964) is a name that comes to mind.

I have a suggestion (non asserendo sed proponendo). Commentator Thomism officially ended in 1999, with the cessation of the publication of the works of Santiago Ramírez, OP (1989-1967). Ramírez’s student and successor, Victorino Rodríguez, OP, had been laboring since the early 1970’s to publish the Opera omnia of Ramírez, who for years taught moral theology at Fribourg, and then later back in Spain, at Salamanca. The most famous book (since it had been published in the 1940’s, and then again in the early 1970’s) was his detailed commentary on the first five questions of the Prima secundae, entitled De hominis beatitudine—this all coming out at the precise time of the “end of man” controversy, with De Lubac, et al. But while Ramírez’s fame was based primarily on the De hominis beatitudine, it turns out that he had actually authored over the year a running commentary on the whole of the Secunda pars of the Summa theologiae. Victorino Rodríguez’s goal was to get that whole commentary published. After fits and starts (many related to money, and getting consistent commitments from publishers), Rodríguez published throughout the years, in essence, the totality of Ramírez’s commentaries on the Prima secundae, and then into the Secunda secundae’s discussion of faith, hope, and charity. Alas, Victorino Rodríguez died in 1997, being able to prepare the volumes De caritate. The introduction to the volume, sadly, leaves us with the following: “Por desgracia, con este recuerdo y la presentación del tomo XII, De Caritate, nos vemos en la necesidad de anunciar la suspensión indefinida del proyecto. Opera Omnia de Santiago RamIrez quedará inconclusa. Las dificuitades financieras de una empresa de estas características, que se hacían presentes en la publicación de cada nuevo tomo, han acabadodo imponiendo su ley inexorable. La limitada difusión de una obra en latín, por otra parte, no permite recuperar los fondos cada vez más cuantiosos que exige la financiación de nuevos titulos.” Oh, well.

Still, the volumes that have been published are quite valuable. Not only does Ramírez generally go through each and every article in treating any given section of the Secunda pars, but he also often does historical excursions inquiring about how Thomas uses the doctrines of his contemporaries, or disagrees with them, on and on. One doesn’t think of a classical-commentator type author like Ramírez as being interested in historical studies on Thomas, but Ramírez evidently was (in point of fact, Ramírez, in his volumes on grace, anticipated by about ten years the discovery that has often been associated with Henri Bouillard’s Conversion et grâce chez s. Thomas d’Aquin, namely that the younger Thomas was very close to a semi-Pelagian on preparation for grace). Fr. Fred Hinnebusch told me a number of years ago that he saw Ramírez, when M.-D. Chenu was pointed out to him, race over a give the father of historical Thomism studies ¡un gran abrazo!

Ramírez was also famous for his extensive work on analogy (R.M. McInerny discusses Ramírez at length), and in 1948-49 he came to the United States on a speaking tour. Benedict M. Ashley was in attendance in River Forest, IL, when Ramírez spoke about analogy there. Famous for his thoroughness, Ramírez took two full days to get through the nominal definition of analogy! Ashley also told me that Ramírez’s Latin was the most elegant he had ever heard spoken, although his strong Spanish accent was too much for some of the brethren gathered in River Forest. At some point on the second day, Ashley reported, a Dominican turned to him and said, “This is all well and good, Fr. Ashley. But what is this ‘analoCHHHHEEEEia’ Ramírez keeps talking about???”

Ramírez’s volumes are available from the Spanish province’s book editor, the Editorial San Esteban, in Salamanca. I own them all, and consult them regularly.

CUA Press discount offer

Early last month, at a conference at Ave Maria University in Naples, Florida, I spoke with the representative at Catholic University of America Press regarding their fine line-up of books that would surely be of interest to students of Thomas Aquinas. “Why not,” I asked, “generously extend the conference-discount of 25% to people in the Thomistica.NET community, that they might benefit from these prices?” The people at CUA Press agreed, and have provided us with an Adobe Acrobat PDF form that you can download, which contains a custom-list of Aquinas-centric books from CUA Press at 25% off. That would include Gregory Rocca’s Speaking the Incomprehensible God: Thomas Aquinas on the Interplay of Positive and Negative Theology, or Michael Sherwin’s new By Knowledge and By Love: Charity and Knowledge in the Moral Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas, as well as Jean-Pierre Torrell’s Saint Thomas Aquinas (2 vols.). For more information about the books, see the CUA Press web site.

Click here to download the PDF form onto your computer. All you need do then is to print the form up, and mail it to CUA Press. It’s that easy. The discount is in effect until April 15, 2005.


· All the articles in the neat little collection of Leonard Boyle’s articles on Aquinas (Facing History: A Different Thomas Aquinas [Louvain-la-Neuve: FIDEM, 2000]) are in English…save one. The last article is in French, “Saint Thomas d’Aquin et le troisième millenaire,” (pp. 141-159). This is all a tad odd, since the original talk upon which this text was based was given in English in Chicago in 1999. You can, however, see a transcription of the talk in English, and indeed listen to the talk (in RealAudio or QuickTime format) by clicking here.

· Gyula Klima’s web page at Fordham University has all sorts of interesting things, with lots of downloadable papers.

· Joseph Wawrykow, of the Department of Theology at Notre Dame, and Rik Van Nieuwenhove, from Mary Immaculate College at Limerick, have edited a fine volume of studies on Aquinas, just recently appeared: The Theology of Thomas Aquinas (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2005). The volume covers, in essence, the terrain of the Summa theologiae, with articles (all in English) by scholars ranging from Bruce Marshall to David Burrell to Jean Porter to Harm Goris to Wawrykow and Van Nieuwenhove themselves. The articles in this volume will surely be useful for teaching purposes.

· The text for Bernard Montagnes’s important 1962 study on analogy (Doctrine de l’analogie de l’être chez saint Thomas d’Aquin) is now on-line. An English translation, done by E.M. Macierowski, Pol Vandevelde, and Andrew Tallon, has recently appeared from Marquette University Press.

· is a neat site in its own right. However, in particular, it has a number of the collected papers given at the International Thomistic Congress “Christian Humanism in the Third Millennium: The Perspective of Thomas Aquinas” (Rome, 21-25 September 2003), available for download in PDF format. See the site here, and an alphabetized list of presenters here.

· The well-known philosopher, John Haldane, of St. Andrews, has an interesting interview on-line (in RealPlayer format) entitled “Why I am a Theist.”

· If this newsletter should make its way to Australia, I’d be very interested in speaking with someone who could help me track down medieval manuscripts in that nation. There are some interesting discoveries to be made… Please contact me at:

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