A Companion to the Summa, Volume I


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By Walter Farrell, O.P.

The Summa Theologiae is a work of astounding breadth and scope: five folio vol­umes of closely packed print, and more closely packed thought; incredibly, it was a work intended, not for the learned and wise, but for beginners. Walter Farrell, O.P., fully honors that intention with his four Companion volumes to the Summa, which together offer an easy guidebook to St. Thomas’s greatest work. These are not simply more books about St. Thomas or about the Summa; rather, they are a distillation of the Summa into popular and accessible form, a unique introduction to the thought of the Angelic Doctor and a defense of the truths, natural and divine, by which human life is lived.

Volume I: The Architect of the Universe presents St. Thomas’s rich and masterly study of God, man, and the world, as found in the first part of the Summa. In neat and orderly fashion, Farrell follows the Angelic Doctor’s lead, considering the universal harmony of creation and its Creator, providing the arguments of God’s existence, studying the divine nature and attributes, and examining the procession of creatures from their divine Creator, the manner of their production and their distinction into angelic, corporal, and human natures. A bold rebuke of the confusions and deceptions peculiar to the modern age, A Companion to the Summa, Volume I: The Architect of the Universe powerfully illuminates the fundamental truths about the nature of the human person and the orderly planning of the divine architect.

Forgetting God, our times have not recognized men and have yet to see the world. We are learned but far from wise. This is Thomas’s book of wisdom, his searching examination of the profound reasons, his handbook of the important answers. (Walter Farrell, O.P.)


Walter Farrell, O.P., (1902–1951) was a Dominican priest and scholar. He was the founder of the speculative quarterly The Thomist and was a frequent contributor to numerous scholarly and spiritual periodicals. His masterpiece is certainly the bestselling, four-volume Companion to the Summa, which was instrumental in the popularization of the Summa Theologiae.

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Paperback: 378pp.

ISBN: 978-1685953065