One of the great philosophers of the 20th Century, Josef Pieper, gives a penetrating introduction and guide to the life and works of perhaps the greatest philosopher ever, St. Thomas Aquinas. Pieper provides a biography of Aquinas, an overview of the 13th century he lived in, and a wonderful synthesis of his vast writings.
Pieper shows how Aquinas reconciled the pragmatic thought of Aristotle with the Church, proving that realistic knowledge need not preclude belief in the spiritual realities of religion. According to Pieper, the marriage of faith and reason proposed by Aquinas in his great synthesis of a "theologically founded worldliness" was not merely one solution among many, but the great principle expressing the essence of the Christian West. Pieper reveals his extraordinary command of original sources and excellent secondary materials as he illuminates the thought of the great intellectual Doctor of the Church.
"The purpose of these lectures is to sketch, against the background of his times and his life, a portrait of Thomas Aquinas as he truly concerns philosophical-minded persons today, not merely as a historical personage but as a thinker who has something to say to our own era. I earnestly hope that the speculative attitude which was Thomas' most salient trait as Christianity's "universal teacher" will emerge clearly and sharply from my exposition."
— Josef Pieper
"One of the best introductions to the thought of Saint Thomas by one of the leading figures in the Thomistic revival."
— Ralph McInerny, University of Notre Dame