This intensive seminar will discuss St. Thomas Aquinas’s Five Ways of proving the existence of a God and the conception that he thinks they yield: that of a God who is at once utterly simple and utterly perfect, and therefore utterly beyond our comprehension. The sessions will center on Summa Theologiae, I, qq. 2-4—especially, of course, q. 2, a. 3, which contains the Five Ways themselves—and on selected texts from qq. 12 & 13. Participants will also discuss relevant passages from other works of St. Thomas, as well as his historical influences and some related contemporary issues.
Stephen L. Brock is a priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei. He is Ordinary Professor of Medieval Philosophy at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. During 2017 he is a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago, collaborating in the Templeton Foundation project “Virtue, Happiness, and Meaning in Life,” directed by Candace Vogler and Jennifer Frey. He is the author of Action & Conduct: Thomas Aquinas and the Theory of Action (T&T Clark, 1998), articles on various aspects of Aquinas’s thought, and most recently, The Philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas: A Sketch (Wipf & Stock, 2015).