rss_2.0European Journal for the Study of Thomas Aquinas FeedSciendo RSS Feed for European Journal for the Study of Thomas Aquinas Journal for the Study of Thomas Aquinas Feed God a Body? Isaiah, Divine Dissimilitude, and Scriptural Signification<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In light of recent biblical scholarship claiming that the God of the Hebrew Bible has a body, this article investigates how Aquinas reads Isaiah’s description of God in embodied, anthropomorphic terms in 6, 1 (<italic>I saw the Lord sitting on a throne high and lifted up</italic>, etc.) in tandem with the prophet’s denial that God is like any creature in 40, 18 (<italic>To whom have you likened God? Or what image will you make for Him?</italic>). We seek to show that, according to Aquinas, Is. 6, 1 teaches not that God has or is a body, but rather that He is not. </p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Arabic Roots for the<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper reopens the debate on the possibility that Aquinas borrowed his <italic>tertia via </italic>from a Latin translation of Maimonides ‘Guide for the Perplexed’. After introducing the text of the <italic>tertia via</italic>, I shall analyze the first part and conclude that while a ‘metaphysical’, tenseless reading is correct, we should not be nervous to call Aquinas’s reasoning for what it is: flawed. Framing the problematic passage in its historical context, I shall then argue that the flaw lies not so much with Aquinas, but with the source he was borrowing from. This is Maimonides’ <italic>Dalālat al-ḥāʾirīn </italic>(“The Guide for the Perplexed”), and in fact more specifically the blame is to be given to an early translator into Latin. </p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue reviews Knowledge of the Natural Law<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper traces the basic contours of Aquinas’s account of connatural knowledge in order to see what role (if any) connaturality might play in our knowledge of the precepts of the natural law. It engages a dispute between Maritain and Doolan on this topic. After considering what Aquinas means by “connaturality” in general the paper examines the main elements of his view of knowledge by connaturality in particular. I argue that the true doctrine of Aquinas probably lies between Maritain and Doolan’s opposed interpretations. Although it is not the only way of doing so, connaturality or inclination would still seem to be one possible way of knowing the natural law, while the use of reason is another. </p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Importance of Music in the Theology of Thomas Aquinas<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper presents a reading of Aquinas’ treatment of the value of music in religious teaching and preaching about God that reinterprets his claim in ST II-II, q. 91, a.2 that language is of ‘a more noble kind’ than music. Through an understanding of Aquinas’ writings on ‘contemplation’ a more complex and thorough treatment of music can be outlined. Far from simply presenting an argument for the superiority of language over music for the purpose of gaining religious understanding, this paper argues that Aquinas’ wider literary corpus on the subject of contemplation provides both implicit and explicit support for the parallel value music and language. </p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Faith. Aquinas on Convincing and Its Apologetical Significance<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper analyzes Aquinas’ understanding of persuasion and its impact for apologetics. It consists of three parts. The first explains the meaning of persuasion in his writings and the philosophical framework. The second explore the manner of convincing others towards truth. Finally, attention is drawn to Aquinas’ argumentative strategies and his recommendations on how to deal with <italic>contradicentes fidei</italic>. This permits to understand the theological value of gift of counsel as God’s persuasive manner to bring human being to the ultimate end. It demonstrates the dignity and freedom of rational creature that reach God in this way and imitate God whose will is not arbitrary force, but proceeds by reasons.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Einheit und Fragmentierung des menschlichen Geistes. Thomas von Aquin über die<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In heutigen Beschleunigungsgesellschaften werden Körper und Geist des Menschen auf eine ausserordentliche Weise beansprucht, die nicht selten zu physischen und psychischen Krankheitsverläufen führt. Medizin, Psychologie, Soziologie und Philosophie haben sich vermehrt in den letzten zwei Dekaden dieses Problems angenommen, Ursachenforschung betrieben, Diagnosen erstellt und Auswege aufgezeigt. Aufschlussreich und nicht ohne bedenkenswerte Anregung ist nun aber auch die Tatsache, dass schon Thomas von Aquin ein Phänomen aufdeckt und analysiert, das er mit der Tradition die ‘evagatio mentis’ nennt. Diese Fragmentierung des Geistes verortet der Aquinate in besonderer Weise in der menschlichen Geisteshaltung der Trägheit. Aktualisierenden Erkennungswert erreicht Thomas’ Untersuchung vor allem dann, wenn jene Zerfallsbewegung sich in mehrfacher Hinsicht des Erkennens, der Kommunikation und der inneren und äusseren Unruhe artikuliert. In neuerer Zeit haben aus philosophischer Sicht erst wieder phänomenologischexistentialistische Zugänge diesem Phänomen ihre Aufmerksamkeit geschenkt, so dass dieser Diskurs heutigentags auf vielen Feldern seine aktuelle Bedeutung und Brisanz aufzeigt.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Gift of Counsel, Infused Prudence, and the Natural Law<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article deals with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, with infused prudence, and with the natural law. Prudence has an intimate connection both with the natural law and with the Gift of Counsel, and is thus pivotal to the argument made. In brief, it is argued that the Gift of Counsel perfects reason’s grasp of the demands of the natural law. This Gift, which proportions the believer to the <italic>instinctus</italic> of the Holy Spirit, guides him in all that pertains the attainment of ultimate beatitude. It does so, moreover, by actually enhancing human freedom rather than by undermining it. In order to make this argument, this article, in the first instance, turns to a treatment of the content of natural reasoning, dealing in particular with the primary and secondary precepts of the natural law.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Co-Activity of Gifts and Virtues: A Response to Angela Knobel<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In this essay, I explain why I agree with Angela Knobel’s judgement that, despite recent claims to the contrary, Aquinas did not jettison from his mature theology the distinction of ‘human mode’ and ‘superhuman mode’ of action in articulating his understanding of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and their relationship to the virtues. However, I disagree with Knobel’s claim that, in his mature thought, Aquinas saw the infused virtues as inherently part of the superhuman mode. Rather, I argue that, in Aquinas’s mature thought, the infused virtues have an inherently human mode of operation, even if they can be elevated to the higher superhuman mode, when they operate in unison with the Gifts. I also diverge from Knobel in as much as I argue that the infused virtues have a default operation that is distinct from the Gifts, whereas a gift never operates without the co-operation of an infused virtue.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Reviews versus Participatory Christologies: A Critical Analysis of Richard Rohr’s in Light of Thomas Aquinas’s<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This essay will present Richard Rohr’s central claims about Jesus Christ and the presence of God in creation and then consider them in light of Aquinas’s teachings with particular attention to his <italic>Commentary on John</italic>. This essay attempts to show that Rohr’s claims are incomplete and ultimately misguided and that Aquinas’s participatory account of creation and the Incarnation allows him to cultivate an awareness of God’s presence in all of creation while also maintaining the salvific uniqueness of the Incarnation.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue reviews Aquinas and Albertus Magnus on the Problem of Evil: Insights from their Commentaries on the Book of Job<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article broadly considers the commentaries on Job of Thomas Aquinas and Albert the Great as offering a helpful theological alternative to some modern philosophical approaches to the ‘problem of evil’. We seek to show that whereas some modern philosophers understand evil as a problem for the very existence of God, whether and how God can coexist with evil was never a question that evil seriously raised in the minds of Aquinas and Albert. In fact, although the suffering of the just in particular led our medieval Dominicans to wonder about divine providence and our ability to know God in this life, they understood the reality of evil as compelling evidence <italic>for</italic> the existence of God.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Presupposes Nature: The Structure of the and an Illustration by the Virtue of Patience in Light of Christ<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The first part of this essay argues that the very structure and ordering of Thomas Aquinas’ <italic>Summa Theologiae</italic> manifests a departure from the typical theological position of his time regarding natural acquired virtues. Resting on a conviction that grace <italic>presupposes</italic> nature, Aquinas uniquely holds that natural virtues perfective of human nature can be acquired prior to grace, which can be elevated and incorporated by grace into the properly Christian life. The second part of this essay offers a case study of the virtue of patience that illustrates the argument of the first part of the paper.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Thomistic Defense of “Nature” in Avicenna’s Physics<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Avicenna offers a novel definition of “nature” as a power in his <italic>Physics of the Healing.</italic> Some have seen in this redefinition a radical departure from Aristotle. James Weisheipl, for one, rejected Avicenna’s definition as a mistaken interpretation of Aristotle and as a position incompatible with Thomas Aquinas. In Weisheipl’s view, Avicenna reifies form into a kind of motor of the natural being, a conception earlier rejected by Thomas Aquinas in several works. In this study, I offer a Thomistic defense of Avicenna by investigating the definition of nature and its relation to matter and form.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue on Relations: A Topic Which Aquinas Himself Perceives as Foundational to Theology<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>Fundamental to theology is the ordering of all things to God, yet this ordering is directly tied to the topic of relation. Thus, while the category of relation is inherited by Aquinas from ancient philosophy, it mostly shows up in Aquinas’ theological treatments. This paper will look specifically at the distinction between God and creatures as understood through Aquinas’ use of mixed relations. It will provide an expository treatment of Aquinas’ use of mixed relation in attempt to bridge his philosophy and theology while seeking to encourage and aide others to more actively incorporate the category of relation in theological work, as Aquinas himself did.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue and the in Aquinas<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>Contemporary discussions of Aquinas’ understanding of the passions often mention the <italic>passio corporalis</italic> and the <italic>passio animalis</italic>, but no recent scholarship has paid close attention to what these terms mean, largely because many scholars wrongly assume that ‘<italic>passio animalis</italic>’ simply means the same thing as ‘<italic>passio animae</italic>’. However, this paper argues that ‘<italic>passio corporalis</italic>’ and ‘<italic>passio animalis</italic>’ are specialized terms that Aquinas uses in order to explain the ways in which Christ experienced suffering on earth. Furthermore, understanding these terms properly bears important implications for understanding the development of Aquinas’ thought on the passion of pain.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue Aquinas on Human Beings as Image of God<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>Employing a work of modern conceptual art, a manipulated photograph entitled ‘The Missing Person’, the author studies Thomas Aquinas on the concept of human beings as image of (the Triune) God. Typical for Aquinas’ approach is the theocentric focus of his Christian anthropology. The threefold (nature, grace, glory) ‘image of God’, a central and dynamic concept in Aquinas’ <italic>Summa Theologiae</italic>, is both descriptive and prescriptive in nature, corresponding to an account of both analogical naming of the divine ánd living according to the vocation to become more and more image of the Triune God.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue reviews Plurality in the Writings of Thomas Aquinas: The Case of Psalm 67, 7<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>Thomas Aquinas makes occasional references to the coexistence of multiple versions of the Bible. In particular, Thomas was familiar with several versions of the Latin Psalter used in liturgical and scholarly contexts. This article examines Thomas’s references to Ps. 67, 7 as a test case for understanding the role of scriptural plurality in his biblical hermeneutics. Thomas associates this verse with the theme of unity within religious life, the relation of the Eucharist to ecclesial unity, and ecclesial unity in itself. Thomas’s citations of alternate versions of this verse often appear to be consciously chosen in accord with his exegetical purposes.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue