9780268020033 / 0268020035

Thomas Aquinas as Reader of Psalms (Studies in Spirituality and Theology)


Publisher:University of Notre Dame Press, 2000



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About the book:

Often overlooked but rich in inspiration, Aquinas' Commentary on the Psalms is part of his lectures on the Bible delivered to students. Composed near the end of his life, this work reflects his mature thought on such central issues as Christ, prayer, preaching, grace, and good works.In his study of this important text, Thomas Ryan shows how the Postilla super Psalmos offers new insight into Aquinas' spirituality. Combining literary, thematic, and comparative questions, Ryan reveals how this work differs from those more familiar to modern students of Aquinas, and he articulates its significance for the study of spirituality.Aquinas believed the Psalms to be a book that contained all of theology, revealing so much about Christ that it resembles New Testament gospels more than Old Testament prophetic books. Ryan identifies patterns in Aquinas' confirmatory use of scripture and his use of christological quotations. He shows how Super Psalmos reflects the evocative way in which Aquinas draws out meaning for his students' lives and pastoral practices, and reveals how as a teacher and theologian Aquinas was intent on moving his students -- often through dramatic language -- both to imitation of Christ and to action inspired by prayer.The first treatment of Super Psalmos in English, Ryan's work recovers Aquinas as an accomplished biblical and pastoral theologian and not simply a dispassionate expositor of theology, reestablishing him as an important resource for spirituality. It offers a better understanding of Aquinas' life and work as it suggests new potential for assessing other Thomistic writings -- and also invites us to reconsider the deeper meaning of the Psalms.

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