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BOOK REVIEWS 475 understanding the teachings of faith, he came to be thought of as the proponent of an eminently reasonable theism that somehow also integrated a few syllogistically illustrated mysteries. But the era of Aeterni Patris has passed and with it, except for pro forma nods, the official sanctioning of St. Thomas. In that fact, the textual studies, as also the Henle challenge, provide hope. The text is still there, the unexplored wealth of St. Thomas's genuine thought lies waiting in the text. The hope is that the text approached not out of dutifulness or with alien and contorted epistemological presuppositions but for its intrinsic meaning and worth alone will lead to the possession of the genuine mind of St. 'l'homas. Cela vaut la peine. THOMAS c. O'BRIEN Washington, D.O. St. Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologiae: General Index. Edited by T. C. O'BRIEN. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1981. (Blackfriars Edition, vol. 61.) Pp. 383. £9.95. Most indexers, if confronted with the task of indexing the text of the Summw Theologiae of St. Thomas, would back away from the project. And it is understandable. For although indexing the average book is not all that difficult, indexing a series of volumes by many different authors made up almost entirely of theological and philosophical concepts is admittedly overwhelming. Good indexers have some things in common : a love of books, words, and ideas; logic and intuition; retentive minds; ability to deal with the responsibility they feel toward another person's work and toward all future scholars. They are articulate, verbal, and have an uncanny sense of coming up with just the right term for the idea expressed. They realize the need to distinguish between actual information about a topic and the incidental mention of it; the necessity of concentrating on the author's meaning, being aware of the terms that have been emphasized, and always staying within the scope and framework of the material being indexed. These requirements· give some credence to the seventeenth-century bibliographer who stated that "the index of a book should be made by the author, even if the book itself be written by someone else." They also indicate that the publisher was fortunate indeed to obtain the services of T. C. O'Brien as the indexer for the magnificent 60-volume Blackfriars edition of the Summa Theologiae published under the able direction of Father Thomas Gilby, 0.P. Thomas O'Brien, for many years an associate and close friend of Father Gilby, edited six volumes in this edition of the Summa, and was the gen- 476 BOOK REVIEWS eral editor of the Encyclopedic Dictionary of Religion and of the Supplement (vol. 17) to the New Catholic Encyclopedia. He is currently an editor of documents for the International Committee on English in the Liturgy (Washington, D.C.). All of the publications with which he has worked required some indexing. This experience and his own expertise have provided an ideal background for the compilation of the Summa Index, a task that required courage, patience, and persistence. It is now more than 70 years since the Dominicans of the English Province issued the first of the 22 volumes of the translation of the Summa and approximately 35 years since the compact 3-volume edition appeared in the United States. This older version did not include the Latin text nor did it offer the student any assistance in the form of notes or references. The new edition is more perceptive of the needs of the non-specialist, and the addition of the Index is a fitting climax to the set. Although each volume carries its own limited index, the General Index is a professional approach to the major themes of Aquinas's immense summary of theology. It brings together more than 5,000 entries in one alphabetical sequence with well over 25,000 subheadings. The depth of indexing is indicated by the proportion of its 364 pages for approximately 5,500 pages of English translation, thus far surpassing the norm of 5 pages of index for every 100 pages of text. Moreover the Index not only works, it also reads well and should give any reader a sense...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2473-3725
Print ISSN
0040-6325
Pages
pp. 475-477
Launched on MUSE
2017-05-15
Open Access
No
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