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G.K. Chesterton’s St. Thomas Aquinas

Students of this course will study G.K. Chesterton’s biography of St. Thomas Aquinas. Through this compelling and thought-provoking work, you will gain a unique perspective on one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy and theology

Total classes: 6

Prerequisite: An interest in the writings and thoughts of G.K. Chesterton.

Suggested grade level: 9th to 12th grade

Suggested credit: 1/2 semester Literature or History.


A close reading of Chesterton’s masterpiece on “The Dumb Ox,” (who is also known as “The Angelic Doctor”) offering a concise summation of the Summa and a compact tome on Thomism, taught by one of the world’s leading experts on Chesterton.


Class 1 – An introduction to the book and its author and a discussion of the surprising themes of the book (i.e., that the Protestant Reformation was a reaction against Thomism.)
Class 2 – Ch. 1-2 (Contrast between St. Thomas and St. Francis)
Class 3 – Ch 3-4 (Aristotle)
Class 4 – Ch 4-5 (The Manichees and the Puritans)
Class 5 – Ch 6 (Thomism)
Class 6 – Ch 7-8 (More on Thomism, Conclusion)

Materials and Homework

Course Materials: St. Thomas Aquinas by G.K. Chesterton (Dover) 978-0-486-47145-7 (available at www.chesterton.org)

Homework: The student will have to read one or two chapters each week and review the study questions (posted below) prior to the class in which those chapters are discussed. There will be five reading assignments and a final exam. The grade will be based entirely on the final exam. It should take between 2 and 3 hours of reading and studying to prepare for each class. There will be two optional writing assignments of 500-600 words each for those who would like to go the extra mile.

Important Dates

Class dates: Thursdays, March 7 to April 18, 2024. (No class March 28)

Starting time: 4:00 PM Eastern (3:00 Central; 2:00 Mountain; 1:00 Pacific)

Duration per class: 55 minutes

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