I was not happy with having read two books on Saint Thomas and not being able to fully recommend one. So I kept searching… and luckily found one I consider to be a true jewel: Guide to Thomas Aquinas by Josef Pieper.
It has everything it can be asked for:
- Explains the thought of Saint Thomas in its historical context way much better, and in a more profound way, than the one of Chesterton.
- Emphasizes the role of Scripture in his works, something that if you read the Summa is apparent, but that somehow Chesterton manages to overlook.
- Talks about the cultural atmosphere Saint Thomas lived in: the birth of universities, the diputatio as a common form of exposition, the birth of the Mendicant Orders, etc.
- Gives a very clear exposition of the philosophical merits of Aquinas and explains his realism as a revolt against the excessive symbolism that reigned in his time.