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BAGLOW Christopher T.

«Modus et Forma». A New Approach to the Exegesis of Saint Thomas Aquinas with an Application to the Lectura super Epistolam ad Ephesios.

2001, pp. VI+290

Inquiry into the biblical dimensions of the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas is an area of theological scholarship that has seen tremendous development in the past century. The argument of this study is that this development has been limited by an approach that has often isolated Thomas’ exegetical principles and even techniques from the in-depth exploration of Thomas’ actual exegetical practice. Consequently, much of the unique value of Thomas' biblical commentaries has yet to be appreciated. The relegation of Thomas’ biblical commentaries to the status of secondary works useful only as «doctrinal mines», and without appreciation for their organic unity and depth of theological development, is especially noticeable in regard to Aquinas' commentary on Ephesians.

Part I focuses on Thomas as an exegete and interpreter of Sacred Scripture. Chapter I is a consideration of Thomas’ understanding of both the Bible and the art of interpretation in an attempt to discover how Thomas' presuppositions affect his exegesis. In the second chapter cristicisms of Thomas as exegete are examined. The arguments developed in these two chapters establish that a consideration of the literary genre that Thomas is commenting on in any given case is crucial to understanding his exegesis. This point forms the cornerstone for the systematic and comprehensive approach to Thomas’ exegetical works formulated in the third chapter.

Part Il consists of an application of this approach to Thomas’ Ephesians Lectura. Chapter IV-VI are an analysis of this commentary from the standpoint of the theme Thomas detects in the Epistle - «the origination of ecclesial unity». This analysis offers evidence that an approach to Thomas’ biblical commentaries which respects their status as such has much to demonstrate regarding contemporary access to Thomas’ thought and the unity of exegesis and theology. The final chapter contains a summary and an exploration of the implications of the Lectura for contemporary scholarship.

Christopher Trevor Baglow was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1968. After receiving a B.A. in Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville in 1990, he earned an M.A. in Theology from the University of Dallas in 1996 and a Ph. D. in Systematic Theology from Duquesne University in 2000. He has taught courses in biblical studies and theology at various institutions, and currently teaches philosophy and religion at Saint Joseph Seminary College in Covington, LA, where he also serves as an Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Apostolic Formation. He currently resides in Mandeville, Louisiana, with his wife Christine and his daughter Margaret.