Since the first followers of Saint Thomas Aquinas took up the task of explaining and defending his writings, Thomists have influenced deeply the Western intellectual tradition. Together they form a school called Thomism that can claim an uninterrupted history since the end of the thirteenth century. Using carefully selected resources, Romanus Cessario has composed a short account of the history of the Thomist tradition as it manifests itself through the more than seven hundred years that have elapsed since the death of Saint Thomas. A Short History of Thomism, originally published in French as Le Thomisme et les Thomistes, supplies a need that has not been met in over a century, and is the first such comprehensive account written in English.
The author, who has worked in the field for more than thirty-five years, brings to his study an appreciation for the place that Saint Thomas Aquinas holds as a perennial teacher of Christian theology, and for the influence that the Common Doctor has exercised on all stripes of theology and philosophy. The book suggests suitable criteria for including and excluding authors from the catalogue of Thomists, and proceeds to identify the principal periods during which Thomism fared both well and less well. Appeal to broader historical contexts helps the reader locate Thomism within the flow of intellectual history as it unfolds in the West.
Representative figures in the history of Thomism are named and their literary compositions described in order to show the variety of ways that these authors have carried on the tradition. To enable the reader to learn the positions that are commonly identified with the Thomist school, the book includes an exposition of its major theological and philosophical themes. [via]