Translatio: The “Defensiones Theologiae” of Capreolus, Prologue I.1

The following is the first in a translatio series which I hope to be an ongoing project translating ancient and medieval texts, especially lesser known texts or those which have not been translated. The translations will come in short bits. My emphasis in translations is on literality rather than style. I am also not a classicist; so these translations should be taken as tentative. Corrections or suggestions are welcome.

The Defensiones Theologiae [1] of Capreolus is one of the great commentary works in the Thomistic tradition. Capreolus himself has been called the “prince of Thomists.” See here for a summary article on him.

Defensiones Theologiae Divi Thomae Aquinatis: In Primo Sententiarum


Quaestio I

Whether Theology is a Science

About the prologue of the first [book] of the Sentences it is asked: whether theology is a science? And it is argued first that it is not: since every science is a demonstrative habitus [“habit”] from first and true [principles]; but theology does not demonstrate nor proceed from first and true [principles]; therefore it is not a science.

In opposition it is argued thus. For Augustine says (14. de Trinitate): “To this science only is assigned that, by which faith beneficially is begotten, nourished, defended, and reinforced.” This however does not pertain to any science except to theology; therefore theology is a science.

In this question there will be two articles. In the first of which will be placed the conclusions. In the second the objections will be removed [movebuntur].

But before I will come to the conclusions, I set forth [praemitto] one thing, which I wish to be held on supposition through the whole lecture, and it is that I intend to influence [influere] nothing of my own [de proprio], but only to recite opinions which seem to me to have been of the mind of S. Thomas, nor to adduce any proofs for conclusions beyond his own words, except rarely. Indeed the objections of Aureolus, Scotus, Durandus, Joannis de Ripa, Henricus, Guido de Carmelo, Garro, Adam, and others attacking S. Thomas I propose to adduce in their own places and to solve through the words of S. Thomas.

[1]. This translation is of the following Latin edition: Capreolus, J., Pègues, T., Paban, C. (190008). Defensiones theologiae divi Thomae Aquinatis. Turonibus: A. Cattier. <>.

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