Thomas Aquinas not only shaped the Church, but influenced much of Western civilization. Who was this great saint? What are some of his important writings? And how should we begin to read his masterful Summa theologiae? Bishop Barron offers some answers in this week’s episode. A bright 14-year-old listener asks about Bertrand Russell’s famous criticism of Aquinas, and how to respond.

Topics Discussed

  • 0:27 – Updates from Bishop Barron’s life
  • 1:53 – How did Bishop Barron discover Thomas Aquinas?
  • 3:23 –  Who was Thomas Aquinas?
  • 4:45 – Surveying Aquinas’ major works
  • 7:42 – Best entry-level books on Thomas Aquinas
  • 10:03 – Aquinas’ unique disputatio style
  • 13:07 – How Thomas Aquinas would engage the New Atheists
  • 15:36 – Why is it worth reading Thomas Aquinas?
  • 17:16 – How should we begin reading the Summa theologiae?
  • 19:40 – The landscape and structure of the Summa
  • 21:44 – Why Aquinas is a spiritual master
  • 24:40 – Question from listener: how to respond to Bertrand Russell’s crtiqiue of Aquinas?

Bonus Resources

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14 comments on “WOF 021: How and Why to Read Thomas Aquinas

  1. Jenny May 3, 2016

    Thank you so much to Bishop Barron and Mr. Vogt for taking my question! This really cleared up my concern. I appreciate all the work you do for both the faithful and others interested in Catholicism. God Bless you both!

  2. Benito C Cenabre May 4, 2016

    Very informative,thanks

  3. Sharon Inkrott May 4, 2016

    Love this!!
    Thank you Bishop Barron!!!

  4. Thank you for these shows. I am always enlightened by them. Bravo!

  5. Another great resource as an introduction to the thought of Aquinas are books by Edward Feser. He takes on the new atheist with the thought of Aquinas in “The Last Superstition”. I have read several of the books Bishop Baron recommends but personally found Feser’s the most helpful.

  6. James Morgan May 4, 2016

    Thank you very much for this podcast on St. Thomas. Excellently done! Great questions and insightful answers. Thanks for pointing out additional resources. I now must get Bishop Barron’s book!

  7. Terrific show great questions and very insightful answers.Thank you!

  8. Mimi Owens May 4, 2016

    Terrific introduction to Thomas Aquinas! I wish I had started this way in my Theology studies at Georgetown many, many moons ago. I have never read the G. K. Chesterton book. Will put it on my list now. Many thanks.

  9. Thalia Eden May 5, 2016

    Well, I must say that I never had much of a desire to peruse Thomas Aquinas as I just had it in my mind that he would be far to esoteric for me. But having listened to Bishop Barron’s remarks, I now think I can at least approach the study of him thanks to the down to earth, very understandable conversation. Thanks so much Bishop Robert and Brandon.

  10. Kevin May 5, 2016

    Love the information. I wish everyone were open to it.
    Thanks.

  11. a scholar student May 9, 2016

    y’all should give out a transcript of the podcast.

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