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Home > Summa Theologiae > First Part

First Part (Prima Pars)

Sacred Doctrine

GENERAL: The nature and extent (1) of sacred doctrine.

The One God

EXISTENCE: The existence (2) of God.
ESSENCE: We cannot know what God is, but only what He is not. So to study Him, we study what He has not—such as composition and motion. His simplicity (3) or lack of composition. His perfection: and because everything in so far as it is perfect is called good, we shall speak of His goodness (6)—and goodness in general (5)—as well as His perfection (4). His infinity (7) and omnipresence (8). His immutability (9), and His eternity (10) following on His immutability. His unity (11). How God is known by us (12). The names of God (13).
OPERATIONS (INTELLECT): God's knowledge (14). The ideas (15), which exist in His knowledge. Truth (16) in God, for knowledge is of things that are true. Falsity (17) in God. The life of God (18), since to understand belongs to living beings.
OPERATIONS (WILL): God's will (19). In our own wills we find both the passions (such as joy and love), and the habits of the moral virtues (such as justice and fortitude). Hence we shall first consider the love (20) of God, and secondly His justice and mercy (21).
OPERATIONS (INTELLECT AND WILL): Providence (22), in respect to all created things; for in the science of morals, after the moral virtues themselves, comes the consideration of prudence, to which providence belongs. Predestination (23) and the book of life (24).
POWER: The power of God (25), the principle of the divine operation as proceeding to the exterior effect. The divine beatitude (26)

The Blessed Trinity

ORIGIN: The question of origin or procession (27). The relations of origin relations of origin (28).
THE PERSONS IN GENERAL: The signification (29) of the word "person". The number (30) of the persons, and what is involved in the number of persons, or is opposed thereto; as diversity, and similitude, and the like (31). Our knowledge (32) of the persons.
FATHER: The person of the Father (33).
SON: The person of the Son, to whom three names are attributed: Son (see 33), the idea of which is gathered from the idea of Father; Word (34) and Image (35).
HOLY GHOST: The person of the Holy Ghost, Who is called three things: Holy Ghost (36), Love (37) and Gift (38).
THE THREE COMPARED: The person in reference to the essence (39), with the relations or properties (40), or to the notional acts (41). The equality and likeness (42) of the persons. Their mission (43).


PRODUCTION: The first cause (44) of beings. Creation (45), which is the mode of emanation of creatures from the first cause. The beginning of the duration (46) of creatures.
DISTINCTION: The distinction of things in general(47). The distinction of good and evil: evil (48) and its cause (49). The distinction of creatures—spiritual (or angels), corporeal, and man (which is both)—is outlined below.

The Angels (Spirit)

SUBSTANCE: Their substance considered absolutely (50), and in relation to corporeal things, such as bodies (51) and locations (52). Their local movement (53).
INTELLECT: His power (54) and medium (55) of knowledge. The immaterial (56) and material (57) objects known. The manner (58) whereby he knows them.
WILL: The will itself (59) and its movement, which is love (60).
ORIGIN: How they were brought into natural existence (61) and perfected in grace (62). How some of them became wicked: Their sins (63) and punishment (64).

The Six Days (Matter)

CREATION: The work of creation (65).
DISTINCTION: The ordering (66) of creation towards distinction. The work of distinction in itself: The first (67), second (68) and third (69) days.
ADORNMENT: The fourth (70), fifth (71), sixth (72) and seventh (73) days.
GENERAL: All seven days (74) in common.

Man (Spirit and Matter)

ESSENCE: The nature of the soul in itself (75), and its union with the body (76).
POWER: The powers of the soul in general (77) Those powers which are a preamble to the intellect (78). The intellectual (79) powers. The appetitive powers in general (80), and specifically: sensuality (81), the will (82) and free-will (83).
OPERATIONS: We consider the will in the second part of this work, which deals with morals. Here we treat of the acts of the intellect. How the soul, when united to the body, understands corporeal things beneath it: Specifically, through what (84) does it know them? How (85) does it know them? What (86) does it know in them? When united to the body, how does the soul know itself (87)? When united to the body, how does it know immaterial substances (88) which are above it? And how does the soul understand when separated from the body (89)?
ORIGIN (PRODUCTION): The production of man's soul (90) and body (91), and the production of the woman (92).
ORIGIN (END): The end (93) of man's production, inasmuch as he is "the image and likeness of God".
ORIGIN (FIRST MAN): The state of Adam's soul: His intellect (94); the righteousness (95) of his will and the use of righteousness as regards his dominion over things (96). The state of Adam's body: Preservation of the individual (97) and of the species (98) through generation. The state of the offspring's body (99), virtue (100) and knowledge (101).
ORIGIN (HOME): His home, which is paradise (102).

The Government of Creatures

GENERAL: The government of things in general (103) and the specific effects (104) of this government.
GOD: How God (105) changes creatures.
SPIRITS: How an angel acts on another angel, through enlightenment (106) and speech (107); the hierarchies of good (108) and evil (109) spirits. How an angel acts on a bodily creature (110). How an angel acts on man by his natural power (111) and as a minister of God (112). The guardianship (113) of the good angels and the assaults (114) of the demons.
BODIES: How bodies change: the action (115) of the bodily creature, and fate (116), which is ascribed to certain bodies.
MAN: How man—who is both body and spirit—changes in general (117). The production of man from man as to the soul (118) and to the body (119).

The Summa Theologiæ of St. Thomas Aquinas
Second and Revised Edition, 1920
Literally translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province
Online Edition Copyright © 2017 by Kevin Knight
Nihil Obstat. F. Innocentius Apap, O.P., S.T.M., Censor. Theol.
Imprimatur. Edus. Canonicus Surmont, Vicarius Generalis. Westmonasterii.
Nihil Obstat. F. Raphael Moss, O.P., S.T.L. and F. Leo Moore, O.P., S.T.L.
Imprimatur. F. Beda Jarrett, O.P., S.T.L., A.M., Prior Provincialis Angliæ


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