Course: St. Thomas - "On Kingship" - Book One
A helpful annotated and illustrated version for high school students

Course description:

Besides describing the nobility and duties of a king, in this work St. Thomas lays down more generally the principles that ought to be active in any government. He touches on the need for government, its purpose, the source of authority, the possibility of revolution. This work coincides nicely with the papal encyclicals on government. Although neither a novel nor a biography, this letter by the Church’s greatest theologian (to a Catholic king who requested the saint to explain to him his new duties), is not only an excellent and easy introduction to Saint Thomas’ writings, but is also an important explanation of the correct view of government itself, kingship, the duties of any ruler, and the duties of his citizens. This work refutes today’s modern spirit which takes for granted that democracies / republics are the “only way to go”, that governments are “a necessary evil”, and the idea that citizens can revolt when they see fit. This mini-course goes very well with Pope Leo XIII’s Immortale Dei or A Heart for Europe.

Course fee:

$ 25

Course Length (in weeks):


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Textbook: “On Kingship” – Books One and Two - By St. Thomas Aquinas; Annotated for Catholic High School Students


Author: St. Thomas Aquinas


Publisher's Description:

This little work by the Catholic Church’s greatest theologian and philosopher is not only very useful and instructive in itself, but it also serves as a friendly and easy introduction for the student to become familiar with the writings of SaintThomas Aquinas.

Although the student only reads a portion of this work, yet how instructive that portion is, for in it, St. Thomas, following the brilliant teachings of the philosopher Aristotle, teaches multiple things. First, he shows how very beautiful, natural, and necessary government is in itself. In doing so, he refutes multiple and serious errors that even Catholics sometimes even fall into, as for example, “government is a necessary evil.” The saint then goes on to show the prime duties of a good king (and any ruler for that matter), and what happens when a king (or ruler) falls away from seeking the good of the citizens; he degenerates into a tyrant.

This book is a perfect match with the biographies of Garcia Moreno and Isabella, Queen of Spain (which Christ the King Books also publishes). Recommended for grades 11-12.

ISBN: 9781785166709

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Exercise Manual: Exercises Manual for “On Kingship” – Books One and Two


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