Theology

Augustine: On the Trinity

Dogmatic_sarcophagusOn the Trinity (Latin: De Trinitate) is a theological work by St Augustine, written in the early 5th century CE. In offering a philosophical defence of the Christian doctrine of the trinity, Augustine makes a number of arguments whose significance goes beyond their apologetic purpose. His arguments against skepticism in this and other works have often been seen as a precursor to those of Descartes.

The most common public domain translation is that of Arthur West Haddan for the Select Library of the Nice and Post-Nicene Fathers.

On the Trinity at Amazon

Free online texts

English transations

Christian Classics Ethereal Library: On the Holy Trinity; Doctrinal Treatises; Moral Treatises. On the Trinity translated by Arthur West Haddan. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: On The Trinity, translated by Arthur West Haddan. EPUB, MOBI, PDF, TXT formats.

Internet Archive: On the Holy Trinity; Doctrinal Treatises; Moral Treatises. Select Library of the Nice and Post-Nicene Fathers, translated by Arthur West Haddan. EPUB, MOBI, PDF, TXT formats.

Logos Virtual Library: On The Trinity, translated by Arthur West Haddan. HTML and other formats.

New Advent: On the Trinity, translated by Arthur West Haddan, revised by Kevin Knight. HTML format.

Sacred Texts: On the Holy Trinity; Doctrinal Treatises; Moral Treatises, translated by Arthur West Haddan. HTML format.

Tertullian.org: On the Holy Trinity; Doctrinal Treatises; Moral Treatises, translated by Arthur West Haddan. HTML format.

Wikisource: On the Holy Trinity, English translation by Arthur West Haddan. HTML and other formats.

Latin texts

Latin Library: Augustine of Hippo, De Trinitate and other Latin texts. HTML format.

Wikisource: De Trinitate (Aurelius Augustinus), Latin text. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Augustine: On the Trinity" »


Hume: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

DavidHumeDialogues Concerning Natural Religion, by David Hume (1711-1776), was first published  in 1779. The choice of the dialogue form, modelled on Cicero, as well as its posthumous appearance, reflected the work's far reaching implications for contemporary religious authority.

The three central characters are Cleanthes, an 'experimental theist', typical of eighteenth century progressive theologians, Demea, a traditionalist mystic, and Philo, a radical sceptic, whose views are often taken to be closest to Hume's own. While there is some debate over whether Hume's position entailed strict athiesm, or allowed for some philsopophical conceptions of God such as deism, he is generally seen as hostile to organised religion.

Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Early Modern Texts: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, adapted and translated into modern English, by Jonathan Bennett. PDF format.

Gutenberg: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, edited by Henry D. Aitken (Hafner Library of Classics, 1948). Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Hume: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion" »


Leibniz: The Theodicy

Leibniz_HannoverThe Theodicy (French: Essais de Théodicée) is a 1710 work by Leibniz on the nature of God and the problem of evil. The title taken from the Greek theos (God) and dike (justice), coined what became a general term for attempts to reconcile the existence of evil with a benevolent God. Leibniz's conclusion, that the actual world is the best of all possible worlds, was famously satirised by Voltaire.

The Theodicy at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Gutenberg: Theodicy, translated by E.M. Huggard. Multiple formats. 

Internet Archive: Theodicy - Essays on the Goodness of God, the Freedom of Man and the Origin of Evil, translated by E.M. Huggard and Austin Farrer. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: French text (currently incomplete). HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Leibniz: The Theodicy" »


Spinoza: The Ethics

SpinozaEthics, Demonstrated in Geometrical Order (Latin: Ethica, ordine geometrico demonstrata), is a Latin philosophical treatise by Baruch Spinoza, written in around 1664-5 and published shortly after Spinoza's death in 1677.

Spinoza presents his argument as a series of propositions, derived logically from a small number of axioms after the manner of Euclidean geometry. His system is monistic, in that posits reality as consisting of a single substance, and pantheistic in that identifies this substance with God.

Spinoza's conception of God is, however, sufficiently abstract that his thought has often been equated with atheism. This was for a long time a source of huge opprobrium, which meant that his influence on the radical enlightment of the seventeenth and eightenth centuries was largely subterranean. Since then, influence in his work has consistently grown. Among his twentieth century admirers was Albert Einstein who once said that he believed in Spinoza's God 'who reveals himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.'

The Ethics at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Bibliotheca Augustana: Ethica Ordine Geometrica Demonstrata. Latin text, HTML format.

Early Modern Texts: Ethics Demonstrated in Geometrical Order, adapted and translated into modern English, by Jonathan Bennett. PDF format.

EthicaDB: The Ethics. Translations in multiple European languages. HTML format.

Gutenberg: Ethics, translated by R.H.M. Elwes. Multiple formats. 

Internet Archive: Improvement of the Understanding, Ethics and Correspondence, translated by R.H.M. Elwes. Multiple formats.

Middle Tennessee State University: Ethics, translated by RH.M. Elwes. HTML format.

SpinozaBase: Ethica. Latin text. HTML format.

Wikisource: Latin text and English translation by R.H.M. Elwes. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Spinoza: The Ethics" »


Spinoza: The Theologico-Political Treatise

Saul_and_David_rembrandtThe Theologico-Political Treatise (Latin: Tractatus Theologico-Politicus) by Baruch Spinoza is an analysis of the Hebrew Bible published anonymously in Latin in 1670. Intended to vindicate political freedom against encroachments based on religious authority, its interpretation owed much to contemporary Hobbesian political theory. While extremely controversial in its own day, it was an important influence on later biblical criticism.

The Theologico-Political Treatise at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Early Modern Texts: Treatise on Theology and Politics, adapted and translated into modern English, by Jonathan Bennett. PDF format.

Constitutional Society: Selected Political Works of Baruch de Spinoza. HTML and text formats.

Gutenberg: Theologico-Political Treatise - Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 - translated by R.H.M. Elwes. Multiple formats for parts 1 & 2, RDF for parts 3 & 4.

Internet Archive: The Chief Works of Benedict de Spinoza, Vol I, translated by R.H.M Elwes. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Theologico-Political Treatise. Latin text. Multiple formats.

Spinoza et Nouse: Tractatus Theologico-Politicus. Latin text. HTML format.

Wikisource: Theologico-Political Treatise, translated by Robert Willis. HTML and other formats.

Wikisource: Theologico-Political Treatise, translated by R.H. Elwes. (Currently incomplete, with only first part transcribed). HTML and other formats.

Yesselman.com: Theologico-Political Treatise, translated by RH. Elwes. HTML format.

Continue reading "Spinoza: The Theologico-Political Treatise" »


Pascal: The Pensées

800px-Blaise_Pascal_2The Pensées (literally thoughts) is a fragmentary collection of writings prepared by the French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal for a projected defence of Christianity, left unfinished at his death in 1662. The proper order of the work has been the subject of much controversy, and older public domain works may not reflect recent scholarship.

Pascal was closely associated with the Jansenist movement in French Catholicism, and the Pensées reflect the Augustinian belief that man can be saved only by a divine grace he can do nothing to earn. This spirit is reflected in the most famous argument of the Pensées, 'Pascal's wager', which suggests that it is better to live as if God exists because one avoids infinite loss is one is right and suffers only finite loss if one is wrong.

The Pensées at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Bartleby: Thoughts. Harvard Classics Volume 48, Part 1. English translation. HTML format.

Christian Classics Ethereal Library: Pensées. Translated by William Finlayson Trotter. Multiple formats.

Classical Library: Pensées. English translation. HTML format.

Gallica: Pensées, Tome 1. French text edited by Léon Bruschvicg (1904). Image file format.

Gutenberg: Pascale's Pensées. English translation. Introduction by T.S. Eliot. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Pensées, translated by W.F. Trotter. 1941 Modern Library edition. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Pascal's Pensées, translated by Gertrude Burford Rawlings. Multiple formats.

Intratext: Pensées, translated by W.F. Trotter. HTML format.

Samizdat.qc.ca: Pensées. French text. PDF based on 1671 edition.

University of Adelaide: Pensées, translated by W.F. Trotter. Multiple formats.

University of Freiburg: Pensées. French text. PDF format.

University of Dusseldorf: Pensées. French text, 1812 Renouard edition. Image file format.

Wikisource: French texts and English translation by William Finlayson Trotter. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Pascal: The Pensées" »


Aquinas: Summa Theologica

St Thomas Aquinas by Carlo Crivelli (1476). Wikimedia CommonsThe Summa Theologica or Summa Theologiae by Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) is one of the best known philosophical works of the Middle Ages. Intended as a comprehensive guide to theology for beginning students, the first part of the work deals with God, nature and man, the second part with law and morality, while the third, unfinished part deals with Christ and the sacraments, seen as the route of humanity's return to God, thus giving the whole a cyclical structure.

Summa Theologica at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Christian Classics Ethereal Library: Summa Theologica, translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province (1947). Multiple formats.

Corpus Thomisticum: Summa Theologiae - Latin text. HTML format.

Google Play: STh lt - App containing the text of the Summa from the Corpus Thomisticum Project.

Gutenberg: Summa Theologica - Part I-I | Part I-II | Part II-II | Part III. English translation, multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Summa Theologica, Latin text (1894). Multiple formats.

Intratext: Summa Theologica, English translation. HTML format.

New Advent: The Summa Theologiæ of St. Thomas Aquinas, translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province (1920). HTML format.

Sacred Texts: Summa Theologica, translated by the Fathers of the English Dominican Province (1947). HTML format.

SummaTheologica.info: Summa Theologica, English translation with onsite Google search. HTML and PDF formats.

University of Notre Dame: Summa Theologica, ongoing translation by Alfred J. Freddoso. PDF format.

Wikisource: Latin text and English translation, by the Fathers of the English Dominican Province. HTML and other formats.

Other Resources

BBC Radio 4 In Our Time: St Thomas Aquinas. Melvyn Bragg with Martin Palmer, John Haldane and Annabel Brett.

History Of Philosophy Without Any Gaps: 243 The Ox Heard Round the World - Thomas Aquinas | 244 Everybody Needs Some Body: Aquinas on Soul and Knowledge | 248 - Scott MacDonald on Aquinas, podcast by Peter Adamson.

Internet Encyclopedia  of Philosophy: Thomas Aquinas.

Librivox: Summa Theologica, public domain audiobook.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Saint Thomas Aquinas.

Wikipedia: Summa Theologica.

Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Plato

Aristotle, referred to by Aquinas as 'The Philosopher': Metaphysics, Ethics.

Cicero

St Paul 'the Apostle'

Dionysius the Areopagite

Augustine 'the Theologian'

Boethius

Ulpian 'the Jurist'

Eriugena

Avicenna

Averroes 'the Commentator'

Al-Ghazali

Anselm 

Abelard

Hugo of St Victor

Peter the Lombard: The Sentences.

Dante: The Divine Comedy - has been described as 'the Summa in verse'.

Latin Resources: Online materials for learning Latin.


Dante: The Divine Comedy

Domenico di Michelino, La Divina Commedia di Dante (Dante and the Divine Comedy). 1465 fresco, in the dome of the church of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence. Wikipedia.The Divine Comedy (Italian: Divina Commedia) is a poem by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321). In three canticles; Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso, it describes Dante's progress on a mystic journey, through hell and purgatory, escorted by the poet Virgil, and through Heaven guided by Beatrice, an idealised portrait of the historical Florentine woman who was the object of Dante's unrequited love.

The poem is generally considered one of the central works of western literature. It gave profound expression of the medieval worldview, in an educated vernacular which would pave the way for renaissance humanism. Itself densely allusive, the work has inspired poets, painters and artists of all kinds ever since.

The Divine Comedy at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Danteonline.it: Commedia. Italian text. HTML format.

Dartmouth College: DanteLab - a customisable digital reader.

Gutenberg: The Divine Comedy, translated by H.F. Cary. Multiple formats.

Gutenberg: The Divine Comedy, translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  Multiple formats.

Gutenberg: The Divine Comedy, translated by Charles Eliot Norton. Vol I. Hell | Vol. II Purgatory | Vol III Paradise. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, translated by Henry F. Cary. Harvard Classics Edition. Multiple formats.

ItalianStudies.org: The Divine Comedy, translated by James Finn Cotter. HTML format.

Online Library of Liberty: The Divine Comedy, Italian text and English translation by Courtney Langdon. Multiple formats.

Poetry in Translation: The Divine Comedy, prose translation by A.S. Kline. Multiple formats.

Sacred Texts: The Divine Comedy -  Italian textEnglish translation by H.F. Cary (1888). TXT format.

University of Adelaide: The Divine Comedy - The Vision of Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, translated by Henry Francis Cary; illustrated by Gustave Doré. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Divina Commedia - Italian text, multiple formats. Divine Comedy, translated by Longfellow. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Dante: The Divine Comedy" »


Hesiod: The Theogony

The Theogony (Greek: Θεογονία, Theogonía), a poem by Hesiod, is the earliest and most important systematic account of Greek mythology. Little is known of Hesiod other than that he was a farmer in Boeotia, probably in the 7th century BCE. This background is reflected in the opening of the Theogony, in which Hesiod is inspired by the muses while pasturing sheep on Mount Helicon. The poem goes on to describe the creation of the world out of primeval chaos, the genealogy of the Gods, the struggle of the Titans and Olympians, and the divine parentage of human heroes.

Hesiod wrote in a similar epic dialect to Homer, though he is often seen as reflecting a later development. The relatively systematic worldview presented in the Theogony has made it a key point of comparison with the earliest Greek philosophers, a number of whom continued to use poetic forms and indeed myth.

The Theogony at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Gutenberg: Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns, and Homerica.

Loebulus. L496 - Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns, and Homerica. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: Greek text - English text, translated by Hugh Evelyn-White (1914). HTML and XML formats.

Sacred-Texts: Theogony, translated by H.G. Evelyn-White. HTML format.

Theoi: Theogony ,translated by H.G. Evelyn-White. HTML format.

Wikisource: The Theogony, translated by H.G. Evelyn-White (1920).  Multiple formats.

Wikisource: ΘΕΟΓΟΝΙΑ. Greek text. Multiple formats.

Other Resources

History of Ancient Greece: The Greek Genesis, podcast by Ryan Stitt.

History of Ancient Greece: Oligarchs and Hesiod, podcast by Ryan Stitt.

Librivox: Works and Days, The Theogony, and The Shield of Heracles - Public domain audiobook.

Literature and History: Before Orthodoxy - Hesiod's Theogony - Ancient Greece's Creation Story. Podcast and transcript.

Wikipedia: Theogony.

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Homer: The Iliad and The Odyssey.

Hesiod: Works and Days.

 Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.

Bloom's Western Canon: The Theogony is listed.


Cicero: On Divination

On Divination (Latin: De Divinatione) is a dialogue by Cicero published in 44 BC, shortly after the death of Caesar. Following on from the theological issues considered in On the Nature of the Gods, it examines whether it is possible to predict the future. Cicero's brother Quintus deploys stoic arguments to defend belief in some kinds of divination. Cicero ridicules the practice but recommends the maintenance of traditional forms for political reasons.

On Divination at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Internet Archive: The treatises of M.T. Cicero: On the nature of the gods; On divination; On fate; On the republic; On the laws; and On standing for the consulship. Literally translated chiefly by the editor, C.D. Yonge (1878). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: De natura deorum, De divinatione, De fato, edited by Reinholdus Klotz (1879). Latin text, multiple formats.

LacusCurtius: De Divinatione, translated by W.A. Falconer (1923). HTML format.

Latin Library: De Divinatione. Latin text, HTML format.

Perseus: De Divinatione. Latin text, edited by C.F.W. Muller (Teubner, 1915). HTML and XML formats.

Perseus: De Divinatione. Latin text, edited by W.A. Falconer (1923). HTML and XML formats. 

Perseus: De Divinatione, translated by W.A. Falconer (1923). HTML and XML formats. 

Wikisource: De Divinatione. Latin text, multiple formats.

Other Resources

Continue reading "Cicero: On Divination" »