Thomas Aquinas, the great Medieval thinker, did not complete the Commentary on Aristotle's Politics as he had planned.

His famous "Treatise on Law," from his Summa Theologiae, is something that often appears in political philosophy courses.

However, St. Thomas had an exact sense of the place of political things in the over-all nature of other things.


1) "The Uniqueness of the Political Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas"
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From Perspectives in Political Science, 26 (Spring, 1997), 85-91.

2) "Political Philosophy: Remarks on its Relation to Metaphysics and Theology"
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From Angelicum, (Rome), LXX (1993), 487-503.

3) "The Right Order of Polity and Economy: Reflections on St. Thomas and the 'Old Law'"
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From Cultural Dynamics, V. 7 (November, 1995), 427-40.

4) "On Post-Modernism and the 'Silence of St. Thomas'"

5) "The Student Before St. Thomas"
From The Maritain Notebook: The American Maritain Association Newsletter, Fall, 1998, pp. 1-2

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Books on St. Thomas

1) G. K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas;
2) Brian Davies, The Thought of Thomas Aquinas;
3) Peter Kreeft, The Summa of the Summa;
4) Ralph McInerny, St. Thomas Aquinas;
5) Josef Pieper, Guide to St. Thomas Aquinas; The Silence of St. Thomas; Josef Pieper -- an Anthology;
6) James Weisheipl, Thomas d'Aquino: His Life, Thought, and Works;
7) Thomas Gilby, The Political Thought of St. Thomas Aquinas;
8) Charles N. R. McCoy, "St. Thomas and Political Science," in On the Intelligibility of Political Philosophy;
9) McCoy, The Structure of Political Thought, Chapters 4 and 5, "Christianity and Political Philosophy";
10) Jean-Pierre Torrell, St Thomas Aquinas: His Person and His Work;
11) Paul Sigmund, ed., St. Thomas Aquinas on Politics and Ethics.


1) Reason, Revelation, and the Foundations of Political Philosophy, Chapter 4, "Thomas Aquinas and the Proper Life of Man;
2) The Politics of Heaven and Hell, Chapter V, "The Limits of Law," Chapter XI, "The Reality of Society According to St. Thomas";
3) What Is God Like?, Chapter 7, "The Inexpressible Value of Existence," on Chesterton's St. Thomas Aquinas;
4) "Immortality and the Political Life of Man in Albertus Magnus," The Thomist, 48 (October, 1984), 535-65;
5) "What Is Medieval Political Philosophy?" Faith & Reason, XVI (Spring, 1990), 53-62;
6) "A Latitude for Statesmanshim: Strauss on St. Thomas," The Review of Politics, 53 (Winter, 1991), 126-43;
7) "Human Destiny and World Population," The Thomist, 41 (January, 1977); 92-104;
8) "The Totality of Society: From Justice to Friendship," The Thomist, XX (January, 1957), 1-26 (in Redeeming the Time).


Aveling, F., "St. Thomas and the Papal Monarchy," Social and Political Ideas of Some Great Medieval Thinkers, Edited by F. J. C. Hearnshaw, New York: Barnes and Noble, 1967), pp. 85-106.

Aquinas, Thomas, Introduction to St. Thomas Aquinas, Edited by Anton C. Pegis, New York: Modern Library, 1948.

________, On the Governance of Rulers, Edited by Gerald B. Phelan, London: Sheed and Ward, 1938.

________, On Laws, Morals, and Politics, Edited by William P. Baumgarth and Richard J. Regan, Indianapolis: Hackett, 1988.

________, Philosophical Texts, Edited by Thomas Gilby, Durham, N. C.: Labyrinth Press, 1982 (Originally Oxford, 1955), Vol. I.; Theological Texts, Vol. II.

________, The Political Writings of St. Thomas Aquinas, Edited by Dino Bigionari, New York: Dover.

________, On Politics and Ethics, Edited by Paul Sigmund, New York: W. W. Norton, 1988, "Introduction."

________, On the Truth of the Catholic Faith (Summa Contra Gentiles), Garden City, N. Y.: Doubleday Image, 1957, 4 vols.

________, Selected Political Writings, Edited by A. P. D'Entreves, Totowa, N. J.: Barnes and Noble, 1981, "Introduction."

________, Selected Writings of St. Thomas Aquinas, Indianapolis: Library of the Liberal Arts, 1965. ("On the Principles of Nature," "On Being and Essence," "On the Virtues in General," "On Free Will".

Cassirer, Ernest, The Myth of the State, New Haven: Yale, 1946, Chapters 7-9.

Chenu, M. Dominique, The Scope of the Summa, Washington: The Thomist Press, 1958. (also in The Thomist Reader, Washington, 1958).

Fortin, Ernest L., "St. Thomas Aquinas," History of Political Philosophy, Edited by Leo Strauss and Joseph Cropsey, Chicago: Rand-McNally, 2d and 3d Editions.

Gilby, Thomas, Principality and Polity: Aquinas and the Rise of State Theory in the West, London: Longmans, 1958.

Gilson, Etienne, A Gilson Reader, Garden City, N. Y.: Doubleday Image, 1957.

________, Medieval Universalism and Its Present Value, New York: Sheed & Ward, 1937.

________, The Spirit of Thomism, New York: P. J. Kennedy, 1964).

________, Thomist Realism and the Critique of Knowledge, San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1983.

Klocker, Harry B., Thomism and Modern Thought, New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1962.

Kossel, Clifford, "Some Limits of Politics," Essays on Christianity and Political Philosophy, Lanham, MD.: University Press of America, 1984, pp. 31-40.

Kreis, Douglas, "Thomas Aquinas and the Politics of Moses," The Review of Politics, 52 (Winter, 1990), 84-104.

Maritain, Jacques, Man and the State (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1953); Scholasticism and Politics (Garden City: Doubleday Image, 1960); The Social and Political Philosophy of Jacques Maritain (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1976); The Rights of Man and Natural Law (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1986).

McCoy, Charles N. R., "St. Thomas Aquinas," History of Political Philosophy, Edited by Leo Strauss and Joseph Cropsey, Chicago: Rand McNally., 1st Edition.

McInerny, Ralph, St. Thomas Aquinas, Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1982.

________, Thomism in an Age of Renewal, Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1968.

Pegis, Anton, The Middle Ages and Philosophy, Chicago: Regnery, 1963.

Midgley, E. B. F., The Natural Law Tradition and the Theory of International Relations, London, Elek, 1975.

Pieper, Josef, A Guide to Thomas Aquinas, San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1991.

________, Living the Truth ("The Truth of All Things" and "Reality and the Good," San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1989.

________, Scholasticism: Personalities and Problems of Medieval Philosophy, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964, Chapters 9 and 10.

________, The Silence of St. Thomas, Chicago: Gateway, 1966.

Sabine, George H., A History of Political Theory, New York: Holt, 1961. Chapter 13.

Schall, James V., "The Intellectual Context of Natural Law," The American Journal of Jurisprudence, 38 (1993), 85-107.

________"The Law of Superabundance," Gregorianum, 72 (#3, 1991), 515-42.

________, Redeeming the Time, New York: Sheed & Ward, 1968, pp. 213-27. (See, "Truth, Liberty, and Law," Annual, Catholic Commission on Intellectual and Cultural Affairs, 1989, pp. 59-74. (St. Thomas on Promulgation).

Sibley, Mulford Q., "Scholasticism and the Political Mind of Thomas Aquinas," Political Ideas and Ideologies, New York: Harper, 1970.

Smith, Thomas, "Presentation and Understanding in Aquinas' Account of Law," The Review of Politics, 57 (Fall, 1995), 607-40.

Thompson, J. Walter, "Perspective: Aquinas and Nietzsche on Intellect and Will," American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, LXVIII (#4, 1995), 451-73.

Whippel, John F., Metaphysical Themes in Thomas Aquinas Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 1984.

Wilhelmsen, Frederick D., Christianity and Political Philosophy, Athens, GA.: University of Georgia Press, 1978), Chapter 4.


NB also -- there are a number of Journals that will contain many articles on Thomist political philosophy -- The Thomist, The Aquinas Review, Revue Thomiste, Divus Thomas, Thought, Political Theory, Review of Politics, American Journal of Jurisprudence, Interpretation. It is always worth checking under Aquinas or Thomas Aquinas in the Humanities Index of Periodicals or in the Catholic Periodical Index.