Fr. Walter Farrell, O. P.
This magnificent set of four books is an exposition and guide to the entire Summa of Saint Thomas Aquinas. It was written by one of the premier Dominican Thomistic scholars who were active in the scholastic revival of the 1930s and 40s. These books contain the entire Summa transposed into modern English prose, thereby making accessible, for those who are not trained philosophers, the complete theology of Saint Thomas’s Summa.
The composition of these four books matches up perfectly with each of the 614 questions of the Summa. This book is meant to be read alongside the actual Summa in order to make it more easily understood by the average reader.
This volume attempts to put in popular form St. Thomas’ masterly study of God, man, and the world in the Prima Pars of his Summa Theologica. His study is of extreme pertinence to our times precisely because we are the victims of a constantly increasing intellectual confusion. We have become more and more timid about digging beneath the surface of life, more and more emphatic about a knowledge of facts, less and less concerned with the wisdom of beginnings and ends. To put it baldly, we have concentrated more and more on the physical world and less and less on man and on God. The fact is, however, that exclusive concentration on a study of the world does not unearth the important truths about the world; an exclusive consideration of man and the world results in a blurred, distorted vision of both. We have tried to know only the world and remained most ignorant of it; to know only man and the world and have become entangled in a mass of meaningless detail. For the world is intelligible only in terms of man and God; man is intelligible only in terms of God; God is intelligible only in terms of Himself.
Father Farrell’s four-part Companion to the Summa has been responsible for much of the renewed interest in Thomism in the United States. It is required reading for many Catholic college students and “unrequired reading” for thousands of other lovers of St. Thomas.
Its author was born in Chicago in 1902. He attended Dominican schools and was ordained in the Dominican order in 1927, then going to the University of Fribourg for his S.T.D. degree. In 1940 he was awarded the seldom given Dominican honor of the Master of Sacred Theology degree. He served as a Navy chaplain during World War II and was then stationed at the Dominican Houses of Studies in Washington, D. C. and River Forest, Illinois until his death in 1951.
A Word About Loreto Publications
All publishing houses have some overarching principles that guide the choice of which books they publish and promote (unless they be primarily interested in monetary gain, in which case they are of no account) and according to which they base their operations and choices.
Loreto’s foundation is based upon a specific set of Catholic principles and a school of thought that developed around a religious order founded in 1949 in Cambridge Massachusetts, the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. At the heart of their spirituality lies two essential pursuits, the pursuit of wisdom as described by their philosopher Br. Francis Maluf, M.I.C.M. —“Wisdom is the most perfect knowledge of the most important truths in the right order of emphasis, accompanied by a total, permanent disposition to live accordingly.”—and a fervent desire to train up an army of apostles to convert our beloved nation to the Catholic religion.
The spiritual and intellectual life of these ardent Slaves developed by being steeped in the works of people such as Cornelius aLapidé, Dom Gueranger, St. John Eudes, St. Louis Marie deMontfort, Bl. Dom Marmion, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Alphonsus Maria deLiguori, and the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, especially St. John Chrysostom, St. Augustine, and St. Thomas Aquinas. Of course, their attachment and devotion to Our Lady of Fatima and the ancient and immemorial Roman liturgy is legendary.
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Hardcover, 408 pages