A Companion to the Summa, Volume III


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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 III: The Fullness of Life presents St. Thomas’s superb study of human living in all its exuberant totality, encompassing a brilliant and expansive examination of the habits of happiness (virtue) and habits of unhappiness (vice). In neat and orderly fashion, Farrell follows the Angelic Doctor’s lead in considering freedom as the key to the fullness of life and the divine gifts which secure that freedom: faith for man’s mind, hope and charity for his will, and the myriad attendant virtues of those gifts—justice, temperance, prudence, courage, humility, and more. An invigorating rebuttal to modernity’s unholy confusion over human nature and destiny, A Companion to the Summa, Volume III: The Fullness of Life reveals the wide, inspiring world in which the Creator has set men and women to live and to play, to work and to worship—in truth. 

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: 418pp.

ISBN: 978-1685953232