Thursday, January 10, 2013

Summa Theologica in Japanese


Ryosuke Inagaki (84), professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Kyushu, after 52 years of works, has finally complete his translation of Thomas Aquinas' "Summa Theologica" into Japanese.  "Thomas' writings are like a piece of music by Bach, with a rhythm that facilitates its access.  Once I got the rhythm of the translation, it went very fast," stated the professor to Ucanews Inagaki press service.  He did not find his work a burden.

The scholar translated himself 20 of the 45 volumes  of the complete project in Japanese that is due to come out to the public in September. The "Summa" of the Dominican friar and Doctor of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-1274) is one of the most important theological and philosophical works of the Middle Ages.  According to the report, Inagaki who had only been baptized as a student, encountered the great theological work of Thomas Aquinas, among others things, through a U.S. military officer stationed in Japan after World War II. Later he worked on the concept of natural law in Thomas.  He came upon  the translation project at the eleventh volume. His favorite edition of the "Summa Theologica" was release in 1952 as a paper back  for the broad U.S. market titled "My Way of Life," he told Ucanews.  The title highlights the fact that Thomas had an instruction manual for people who want to be, as he wrote, "really and truly happy," says Inagaki. A total of 15 scientists were involved in the Japanese translation .  Half of them did not survive to see the last volume.  The founder of the publishing house, which is publishing the "Summa", died two days after the completion of the page proofs of the last volume.  A Latin-German edition of 34 volumes which began in 1933 is still not finished.

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