Dr. Randy Smith Pens Book on Two 13th Century Scholastic Thinkers: Aquinas and Bonaventure
In his new book, Theology Professor Randy Smith chronicles two of the most prominent ‘scholastic’ thinkers of the 13th Century – Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventure.
The book titled, Aquinas, Bonaventure and the Scholastic Culture of Medieval Paris published this fall by Cambridge University Press is Smith’s fourth book.
He has also written Reading the Sermons of Thomas Aquinas: A Beginners Guide (Emmaus Press 2016) and author of eight out of 15 chapters in Why Believe? Answers to Life’s Questions, vol. 2 (Denver, CO: Augustine Institute). In spring 2021, Smith will have another book published, From Here to Eternity: Reflections on Death, Immortality, and the Resurrection of the Body (Emmaus Press).
Aquinas and Bonaventure Book’s Focus
“In this [current] book, I show, by a close examination of some of the works of Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventure, how preaching and biblical commentary were central to the educational mission at the University of Paris,” Smith said.
Smith’s “hope is the connotations traditionally associated with the word ‘scholastic’ --- dry, overly logical, lacking in creative imagination and literary finesse --- will at long last be cast off as readers begin to appreciate the intricate beauty of the prologues and sermons of the two most prominent ‘scholastic’ thinkers of the thirteenth century.”
In addition, Smith “shows how understanding the characteristic preaching style of the thirteenth century can help us appreciate the other works of both men. It is also a study of how a unified educational program directed at producing good preachers could produce two great theologians with very different, very distinctive styles of their own.”
Meet Randy Smith
Smith earned his B.A. in Chemistry at Cornell College where he studied the history and philosophy of science, earned an M.A. in Theology at the University of Dallas, and an M.M.S. and a Ph.D. at the University of Notre Dame. His interests include Moral Theology, Patristic and Medieval Theology, Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, Faith and Culture, Theology and Science. He also teaches regularly in the University's interdisciplinary Honors Program.