Summa Theologiae Pars Secunda


Category: Philosophy, Politics, and Religion

By Thomas Aquinas

Published in 1472-75

Reference #0023

Incunable of Thomas Aquinas’ “Summa Theologiae Pars Secunda Secunda Pars,” printed between 1472 and 1475. It is one of only three known copies in the world; one resides in the British Museum in London and the other in the Newbury Library in Chicago. Of the three, this is the most perfect. “Summa Theologiae” is Thomas Aquinas’ best-known work. Written between 1265 and 1274, it remains unfinished due to Aquinas’ death in 1274.

It consists of three major parts: Theology, Ethics, and Christ. The second part of “Summa Theologiae” is known in short as “Pars Secunda.” It includes discussions of 303 questions concerning the purpose of man, habits, types of law, vices and virtues, prudence and justice, fortitude and temperance, graces, and the religious versus the secular life.

The first part of “Pars Secunda” consists of 114 questions and offers an extensive discussion of man. The first five questions deal with man’s end, man’s happiness, what happiness is, the things that are required for happiness, and the attainment of happiness. The remaining questions deal with a wide variety of issues related to the will, emotions and passions, virtues, sins, law, and grace.

The second part of “Pars Secunda” (as seen here) consists of 189 questions and reflects upon the theological virtues. “Summa Theologiae” is considered one of the most influential classical works of philosophy even influencing one of the greatest literary poems in the world, Dante Alighieri’s “Divine Comedy.”