Gabriel Vasquez on Thomas Aquinas

Gabriel Vasquez (also Gabriele Vázquez) was a Spanish Jesuit theologian from the late 16th and early 17th centuries (BnF; Antonio Goyena, “Gabriel Vasquez” CE). In his time, Vasquez was known for a strong familiarity with different authors and schools of thought, and Benedict XIV praised him as a “luminary of theology” (Goyena, “Gabriel Vasquez” CE).

AltImage of a portrait of Gabriel Vasquez by Raimundo Pastor

Vasquez did his early schooling at Belmonte and joined the Jesuit order on 9 April 1569 (Goyena, “Gabriel Vasquez” CE). Vasquez later studied Hebrew at Alcalá, where he would later return to teach theology until he died (Goyena, “Gabriel Vasquez” CE). Among Vasquez’s detailed studies were the works of Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and other church fathers (Goyena, “Gabriel Vasquez” CE).

My interest in Vasquez derives from the fact that he is one of the comparatively few interpreters to have considered explaining 1 Cor 15:29 by reference to Pentateuchal legislation about corpse contamination. The relevant passage is found in Vasquez’s Commentariorum ac disputationum in primam partem Sancti Tomæ, published posthumously in Lugundi in 1631.

I’ll not comment on that text here at the moment. But, happily, this work has been digitized along with a number of Vasquez’s other writings.

The 1631 edition of Vasquez’s commentary on Thomas’s writings was printed in four volumes. Google has made available some of the volumes, but it appears that only the Bavarian State Library has made all four available from that printing (1, 2, 3, 4).

There seems to have been at least one slightly earlier printing of this work made ca. 1609–1615. But, presumably the later edition is the better one to use if you are also interested in digging into Vasquez’s work (e.g., see Bernard M. Foschini, “‘Those Who Are Baptized for the Dead,’ 1 Cor 15:29: Second Article,” CBQ 12.4 [1950]: 380n68).

What interaction have you had with Vasquez? Where have you found him helpful? What translations of his works have been made?

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