When I was at the seminary set books were Schillebeeckx, Curran, Rahner and Kung. They were read and their arguments put forward by clergy and people alike when I was first ordained, nowadays one seldom hears of them now.
Aquinas, I used to read before I went to the seminary, I read him as a 15 year protestant, I suppose 15/17 was the age of most of the students he taught, so I wasn't precocious.
The intention of modern theologians is to be"cutting edge" to score academic points. It is the nature of even the Catholic university not to orthodox theologians. It's the system.
For Aquinas deepening love of God in the hearts of his young students was paramount, called by his fellows, "the dumb ox" reminds us of the ancient definition of a theologian, "A theologian is one who prays: one who prays is a theologian". Silence and contemplation should be a theologians tools.
Theology is about holiness, knowledge and understanding of God are of no value unless they lead to Union with Him. The work of the theologian should be done on his knees.