PL EN


2017 | 6 | 4 | 527-547
Article title

DIVINE POWER AND THE SPIRITUAL LIFE IN AQUINAS

Authors
Content
Title variants
Languages of publication
EN
Abstracts
EN
The role of divine power in Aquinas’s spiritual doctrine has often been neglected in favor of a focus on the primacy of charity, the controlling virtue of spiritual progress. The tendency among some thinkers (e.g. Polkinghorne) to juxtapose divine love and power stems from the stress on divine immanence at the cost of divine transcendence, and from an evolutionary (vs. classical) view of God with its ‘kenotic’ theodicy. A study of the ways in which divine power grounds and directs the spiritual life highlights the robust role that metaphysics plays in spiritual ascent for Aquinas, and offers a philosophical entry point to his doctrine. Themes in his doctrine of the spiritual life incorporate Platonic transcendent causal plenitude and Aristotelian causal axioms and motifs of growth and unity. From the side of theology, divine power is analyzed through several lenses, including power through weakness in Christ, the sin of Lucifer against the gift of being in contrast to the counsel of obedience, and the role of Christ’s human nature in the Church. Taken together, these themes combine to characterize divine power as redemptive medicine, as opposed to a distant, arbitrary force, and to reveal the ways in which Aquinas applies metaphysical insights to the supernatural order.
Year
Volume
6
Issue
4
Pages
527-547
Physical description
Dates
published
2017-12-30
Contributors
  • Great Books Academy, USA
References
  • Boyd, Craig A., Aaron D. Cobb. “The Causality Distinction, Kenosis, and a Middle Way: Aquinas and Polkinghorne on Divine Action.” Theology and Science 7 (2009).
  • Davies, Brian. The Thought of Thomas Aquinas. Oxford: Clarendon, 1992.
  • Fahey, Denis. Mental Prayer according to the Teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas. Dublin: Gill, 1927.
  • Garrigou-Lagrange, Reginald. Christian Perfection and Contemplation According to St. Thomas Aquinas and St. John of the Cross. Trans. Sr. M. Timothea Doyle. Herder: London, 1937.
  • Garrigou-Lagrange, Reginald. Grace: Commentary on the Summa theological of St. Thomas, Ia IIae, q. 109-114. Trans. the Dominican Nuns. London: Herder, 1952.
  • Guardini, Romano. The End of the Modern World. Trans. Joseph Theman and Herbert Burke. Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1956.
  • Nietzsche, Frederich. “Beyond Good and Evil.” Trans. Walter Kaufmann. In Basic Writings of Nietzsche. New York: Modern Library, 2000.
  • Nietzsche, Frederich. Thus Spake Zarathustra. Trans. M. Cowan. Chicago 1957.
  • O’Rourke, Fran. Pseudo-Dionysius and the Metaphysics of Aquinas. Leiden: Brill, 1992.
  • Polkinghorne, John. “Kenotic Creation and Divine Action.” In The Work of Love: Creation as Kenosis. Ed. J. Polkinghorne. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2001.
  • St. Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologiae. Vol. 9 (Ia 50–64). Latin text and English translation by Blackfriars. Ed. Kenelm Foster. McGraw-Hill: New York, 1968.
  • St. Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologiae. Vol. 54 (3a 46–52). Latin text and English translation by Blackfriars. Ed. Richard T. A. Murphy. McGraw-Hill: New York, 1965.
  • Torrell, Jean-Pierre. Saint Thomas Aquinas. Vol. 2: Spiritual Master. Trans. Robert Royal. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2003.
  • Aristotle. Metaphysics. Available at: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/
  • St. Thomas Aquinas’ Works in English. Available at: http://dhspriory.org/thomas/
Document Type
Publication order reference
Identifiers
ISSN
2300-0066
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.desklight-cb1c1393-cfb7-4736-8e96-e7bc8e70249c
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