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, Rome. He earned a B.A. in Philosophy at the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. Brock writes widely on Thomas Aquinas and action theory, ethics, and metaphysics. He is the author of The Philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas. A Sketch (Wipf & Stock, 2015) and Action & Conduct: Thomas Aquinas and the Theory of Action (T&T Clark, 1998). During 2017 he was a visiting scholar in the Philosophy Department at the University of Chicago, collaborating in the Templeton Foundation project “Virtue, Happiness, and Meaning in Life,” directed by Candace Vogler and Jennifer Frey.