[Summa contra gentiles]. De veritate catholicae fidei contra errores infidelium seu Summa catholicae fidei.
Royal folio (273 x 398 mm). Gothic type. 248 ff. (incl. final blank). 49 lines. 2 columns. Contemporary south German decoration: each of 4 books opening with an illuminated initial with extensions; rubricated throughout in red and blue. Modern calf, early index tabs.
Editio princeps. Magnificent copy of the rare first edition of one of St. Thomas Aquinas's two masterpieces which systematized Latin theology. The printer is commonly referred to as "the printer of Henricus Ariminensis"; the ISTC suggests the Eichstädt printer Georg Reyser (active until 1503; cf. ADB 28, 368f.) known for his characteristic type, or, following Pellechet, Heinrich Eggestein.
"The combination of theology and philosophy which was the basis of scholasticism found its finest expression in [St. Thomas's] writings. Aquinas held that knowledge came from two sources: the truths of Christian faith and the truths of human reason. Each is a distinct source, but the revelation which comes from faith is the greater of the two, and its chief characteristic is that it consists of mysteries to be believed rather than understood" (PMM 30 for the editio princeps of the 'Summa Theologiae' published in 1485). The 'Summa de veritate catholicae fidei contra gentiles' (Treatise on the Truth of the Catholic Faith, against Unbelievers), written in Rome, 1261-64, was composed at the request of St. Raymond of Pennafort, who desired to have a philosophical exposition and defence of the Christian Faith, to be used against the Jews and Moors in Spain. It is a perfect model of patient and sound apologetics, showing that no demonstrated truth (science) is opposed to revealed truth (faith). It is worthy of remark that the Fathers of the Vatican Council, treating the necessity of revelation (Coast. "Dei Filius", c. 2), employed almost the very words used by St. Thomas in treating that subject in this work (I, cc. iv, V).
First leaf a little defective and repaired, minor marginal repairs in first 4 leaves, small stain at a few extreme upper margins, decoration just shaved. A stamp erased from fol. 4/10r.
Hain 1385*. Goff T-190. GW M46563. BMC I 77. ISTC it00190000. CIBN T-162. Collijn, Uppsala 1420. IBP 5291. IDL 4382. IGI 9568. Madsen 3951. Aquilon 644. Michelitsch, Thomasschriften 60. Ohly (Gutenberg-Jahrbuch 1956) 6. Ohly-Sack 2729. Pellechet 986. Polain, Belgique 4761. Proctor 322. Rhodes, Oxford Colleges 1697. Sack, Freiburg 3437. Sajó-Soltész 3256. Schüling 816. Sheppard 233. Voulliéme, Berlin 2179. Walsh S-110B.