1. Reading the Sermons of Thomas Aquinas: A Beginner’s Guide (Emmaus Press, 2016), 376 pp., including analytical outlines of each of Thomas’s extant sermons.

Endorsements for Reading the Sermons of Thomas Aquinas

“Aquinas was both preacher and enquirer. Randall Smith’s splendid book takes us closer to understanding the relationship between these two vocations than anyone else has done so far. Aquinas’s sermons exemplify a rhetoric structured by arts of memory, so that his listeners’ minds were informed by Scripture and their desires focused on Him of whom Scripture speaks.”

Alasdair MacIntyre
University of Notre Dame

“Randall Smith has written a book that for a very long time has been an urgent desideratum. The sermons of Thomas Aquinas arguably are the most underappreciated and least read part of his theological oeuvre. They are a veritable treasure, but like every true treasure, in need of unlocking. With this excellent book, Randall Smith has finally provided an interpretive key that allows us to receive the treasure of Thomas’s sermons. This well-written book is a piece of rigorous scholarship, a must-read for all students of Aquinas’s theology, also for all who love Christ-centered, biblical preaching, and last but not least for those who want to understand how preaching worked in the world of medieval universities and among the Dominican preachers.”

Reinhard Hutter
Duke University Divinity School

“St. Thomas is universally known as a theologian, but few people know that he was also a skilled preacher. His sermons represent an integral part of his work, particularly illuminating for a better understanding of his person and his spirituality. In reading them, one discovers the constant concern of a master theologian to extend his theology through a pastoral practice adapted to the most humble settings. Professor Randall Smith has perfectly grasped this intention. His book, aware of and well informed by the most up-to-date scholarship, will help today’s reader to penetrate more deeply into this neglected part of the Thomistic corpus.”

Jean-Pierre Torrell, O.P.
University of Fribourg, Switzerland

Reviews for Reading the Sermons of Thomas Aquinas

Kevin M. Clarke,

Anton ten Kloster, Biblica et Patristica Thoruniensa, 10 (2017) 3: 425–433.

Piotr Roszak, Speculum, vol. 94, no. 2 (April 2019): 594-595.

2. Why Believe? Answers to Life’s Questions, vol. 2 (Denver, CO: Augustine Institute): Dr. Smith is the author of 8 of the 15 chapters in this book on moral theology.  See chapters 2 through 9, pp. 18 through 134.

3. Aquinas, Bonaventure, and the Scholastic Culture at Paris: Preaching, Prologues, and Biblical Commentary (due out December 31, 2020).

4. From Here to Eternity: Reflections on Death, Immortality, and Eternal Life: accepted for publication; in process with Emmaus Press; due out Summer 2021.

Articles in Print

Natural Right, Natural Justice, and Natural Law in Aquinas,” in Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly, vol. 44, no. 1 (Spring 2021): 63-104.

Dividing in Order to Unite: Thomas’s Resumptio Address at Paris, Hic est Liber, and the Thirteenth Century Divisiones Textus of the Books of the Bible,” in Thomas Aquinas, Biblical Theologian (Steubenville, OH: Emmaus Press, 2021).

Augustine and the Trials of Fallen Friendship,” Church Life Journal, September 4, 2020.

What Augustine Did Not Find in the Books of the Platonists,” Logos 23:4 (Fall 2020): 70-102. 

Thomas Aquinas and Irenaeus on the Divine and Natural Law,” in Biblica et Patristrica Thoruniensia 13 (2020): 175-187.

Initiating Young Friars into a Culture of Preaching: Thomas Aquinas and the Connections between Thirteenth Century Preaching and Biblical Commentary,” in Initiation and Mystagogy in Thomas Aquinas, ed. H. Schoot et al. (Leuven: Peeters, 2019), 323-349.

Finding the Roots of Bonaventure’s Literary Style in Medieval Preaching,” Nova et Vetera, Fall 2019 (Vol. 17, No. 4). 

Clarifying the Virtues and Limits of Nationalism,” Church Life Journal, September 27, 2019.

Thomas Aquinas’s Principium at Paris,” in Towards a Biblical Thomism: Thomas Aquinas and the Renewal of Biblical Theology, ed. P. Roszak and J. Vijgen (Navarre, Spain: Eunsa, 2018), 39-60.

How Faith Perfects Prudence: Thomas Aquinas on the Wisdom of the Old Law and the Gift of Counsel,” in The Virtuous Life: Thomas Aquinas on the Theological Nature of Moral Virtues (Leuven: Peeters, 2017), 143-162.

What Lessons Do Thomas Aquinas’s Sermons Hold for Modern Preachers?” Homiletic and Pastoral Review (June, 2017).

The Structure and Protreptic Function of Thomas’s Prologue to the Gospel of John,” Nova et Vetera, vol. 15, no. 4 (Fall 2017): 1101-1149.

“Giving Thanks for a Bountiful Harvest: Two New Books on the Natural Law,” The Chesterton Review, vol. 41, nos. 3 & 4 (Fall/Winter 2015), 541-548. 

Natural Law and Grace: How Charity Perfects the Natural Law,” in Faith, Hope, and Love: Thomas Aquinas on Living by the Theological Virtues, ed. H. Goris, et al. (Leuven: Peeters, 2015), 233-257.

Hope and History,” in Redeeming Philosophy: From Metaphysics to Aesthetics, ed. John Conley, S.J. (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University Press, 2014), 173-199.

If Philosophy Begins in Wonder: Aquinas, Creation, and Wonder,” Communio 41 (Spring 2014): 92-111.

Thomas Aquinas on the Ten Commandments and the Natural Law,” in The Decalogue and its Cultural Influence, ed. Dominik Markl, S.J. (Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2013).

Thirteenth, Greatest of Centuries?” Sacred Architecture 22 (2012): 21-24.

How to Read a Sermon by Thomas Aquinas,” Nova et Vetera, vol. 10, no. 3 (Summer 2012): 775-804.

What the Old Law reveals about the Natural Law According to Thomas Aquinas,” The Thomist, vol. 75, no. 1 (January 2011): 95-139.

On Penance, Absolution, and the Forgiveness of Sins,” Homiletic and Pastoral Review (November, 2011).

The Hebrew Bible and Creation,” in Green Discipleship: Catholic Theological Ethics & the Environmentedited by Tobias Winright (Anselm Academic Press, 2011).

Thomas Aquinas,” encyclopedia article in Encyclopedia of Christian Literature, ed. G. T. Kurian (The Scarecrow Press, 2010).

“Don’t Blame Vatican II: Modernism and Modern Church Architecture,” in Sacred Architecture (Fall 2007).

Book review of: Russell Hittinger, The First Grace: Rediscovering the Natural Law in a Post-Christian World, in Crisis (October 2003).

“Thomas Aquinas’s Semiosis of the Old Law in Terms of the Natural Law,” in Semiotics 2002, ed. Scott Simpkins and John Deely (Ottawa, Canada: Legas, 2003), pp 185-201.

“The Semiotic Function of the Epigraph in Aquinas’ Biblical Prologues and Sermons: A Mixing of Memory and Desire,” in Semiotics 2001, ed. Scott Simpkins and John Deely (Ottawa, Canada: Legas, 2002), pp.420-438.

Scholarly Publications Translated into Other Languages

“Întruchipări ale înţelepciunii creştine”, Colectia Quaestio, Vol. 18 (four articles translated into Romanian, 2021).

Articles Forthcoming

“Christian Temperance and Mimetic Desire,” forthcoming in Temperance, ed. R. E. Houser (Catholic University of America Press). 

Current Book Projects in Process

Christ and the Moral Life: an introductory textbook on Christian moral theology

Divine Order and Human Justice in Homer: A Study of Themis and Dikē in the Homeric Epics: A book-length study of the meanings of two key concepts that together reveal the complex conception of justice expressed in the two great Homeric epics, the Iliad and Odyssey

The Clockmaker God and the Myth of the God of the Gaps: An intellectual history of the use of the term “machina mundi” (the “world machine”) from its late Roman origins up to the time of Isaac Newton, when the notion of the  “mechanization of nature” is often assumed to have arisen.  This is a study of the use of a term, but also of how the changes in the use of that term led to different conceptions of the relationship between God and nature.