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214BOOK REVIEWS and the way for preaching the Gospel to the Chinese. Juan Gonzalez de Mendoza was appointed ambassador. With two confreres he sailed to Mexico, but there he was retained and met with such serious obstacles that he returned to Spain personally to inform the king. But even there he no longer found sufficient assistance so that the idea of an embassy was soon abandoned. Nevertheless, he kept interested in China, and, encouraged by friends, notably Don Antonio de Padilla y Meneses, President of the Indies, and Pope Gregory XIII, he published in 1585 the results of his studies. The success of the book was phenomenal. Within 16 years it went through no less than 38 editions , and appeared in Spanish, Italian, French, English, Latin, Dutch, and German. Gonzalez's book is considered the first book of importance in the field of Sinology. Though its author was never in China and held opinions which have since proved false, he gives an honest and scientific account of that empire, treats its geography, its climate, its natural wealth, its religions and customs, its political institutions, as well as some new missionary journeys to China and other oriental countries. As sources he used besides older books like Marco Polo, written reports of travelers to China and their oral information. Though the book has its importance in the field of Sinology, it is primarily a mission book. Juan Gonzalez's principal aim was to tell the Christian world of a large, unknown country which was still faraway from Christ and untouched by the work of the missionary. Today the book is not only a classic of the Spanish language, but an important historic document. We must be very grateful to Father Garcia for this new edition. He has not only annotated the text, but also given us a careful and exhaustive introduction to the author and his work, and has illustrated his edition with numerous old and interesting maps. The book is a worthwhile addition to our mission literature, and takes an honored place in the collection España Misionera. Bernward H. Willeke, O.F.M. Franciscan Institute, St. Bonaventure, N. Y. The Thomistic Philosophy of the Angels. By James Collins. (Catholic University of America Philosophical Series, LXXXIX) Washington, D. C: The Catholic University of America Press, 1947. Pp. xv, 383. In this dissertation, written several years earlier, but only recently appearing in print, Dr. Collins, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at BOOK REVIEWS215 St. Louis University, has given us a valuable and interesting study on Thomistic angelology. Though modestly assuring us he attempts no exhaustive treatise, but presents only the principal problems and these in broad outline, Dr. Collins does much more than merely sketch St. Thomas' philosophy of the angels. He has made a wise choice of topics, dealing as he does with the angelic principles of being, essence and existence, potency and act, as well as with angelic cognition, volition, power, influence upon other angels, the celestial spheres, and the sublunary world. But more than this, Dr. Collins has recognized the importance of the historical background, and studies the conceptions of Aquinas as high-lighted against the teachings of predecessors and contemporaries. Aristotle, Proclus, Avicebron , Avicenna, Averroes, the Summa* of Alexander, St. Bonaventure , St. Albert, and Siger of Brabant are dealt with in a way that brines to the fore the author's wide knowledge of recent literature in this field. Some might think the title, Thomistic Theology of the Angels, more appropriate for this study in view of the fact, that with the decline of Aristotelian astrophysical theories, the discussion of the angels was pushed back into purely theological circles. For this reason, Dr. Collins wisely devotes a lengthy introductory chapter on the science and existence of the angels, indicating how St. Thomas could incorporate oneumatology into a realistic metaphysics on the basis of the causality, substantiality, and immateriality of the añoréis. Though rejecting; the Avicennian interpretation that God must necessarilv create through the mediation of angels, St. Thomas claimed that reason could establish their existence as the most probable cause of the physical effects observed by the naturalist, even though their existence could not be rigidly demonstrated...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-9718
Print ISSN
0080-5459
Pages
pp. 214-216
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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