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Thomas Aquinas’s Summa theologiae in Hebrew: A New Finding

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Chapter Summary

The theological works of the Dominican friar and regent master at the University of Paris, Thomas Aquinas, were widely read in the Middle Ages by university students and masters as well as by friars and monks, but they enjoyed much less popularity among other segments of society. Ḥokmat ha-ʾelohut is actually a collection of seventy-eight shorter or longer excerpts from Aquinas's Summa theologiae and a passage from his Summa contra gentiles in a hitherto unknown Hebrew translation. A typical quaestio of Aquinas's Summa theologiae is divided into a number of "articles", each of them being devoted to answering a particular yes/no question. In the section about God's unity, a long passage from Aquinas's Summa contra gentiles has been added to the material culled from the Summa theologiae. It is possible that the Hebrew translator did not access the Summa theologiae directly but worked from a Latin abridgement of Aquinas's text.

Keywords: Ḥokmat ha-ʾelohut; Hebrew translation; Latin; Summa contra gentiles; Summa theologiae; Thomas Aquinas



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