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Wherefore power is said to be perfect, according as it is determinate to its act. Thomas emphasized that " Synderesis is said to be the law of our mind, because it is a habit containing the precepts of the natural law, which are the first principles of human actions. According to Thomas "…all acts of virtue are prescribed by the natural law: since each one's reason naturally dictates to him to act virtuously. But if we speak of virtuous acts, considered in themselves, i. Thomas defined the four cardinal virtues as prudence , temperance , justice , and fortitude.

The cardinal virtues are natural and revealed in nature, and they are binding on everyone. There are, however, three theological virtues : faith , hope , and charity. Thomas also describes the virtues as imperfect incomplete and perfect complete virtues. A perfect virtue is any virtue with charity, charity completes a cardinal virtue. A non-Christian can display courage, but it would be courage with temperance. A Christian would display courage with charity.

These are somewhat supernatural and are distinct from other virtues in their object, namely, God:. Now the object of the theological virtues is God Himself, Who is the last end of all, as surpassing the knowledge of our reason. On the other hand, the object of the intellectual and moral virtues is something comprehensible to human reason.

Wherefore the theological virtues are specifically distinct from the moral and intellectual virtues. Thomas Aquinas wrote "[Greed] is a sin against God, just as all mortal sins, in as much as man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things. Furthermore, in his Treatise on Law , Thomas distinguished four kinds of law: eternal, natural , human, and divine.

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Eternal law is the decree of God that governs all creation. It is, "That Law which is the Supreme Reason cannot be understood to be otherwise than unchangeable and eternal. All other precepts of the natural law are based on this. Whether the natural law contains several precepts, or one only is explained by Thomas, "All the inclinations of any parts whatsoever of human nature, e. The desires to live and to procreate are counted by Thomas among those basic natural human values on which all human values are based.

According to Thomas, all human tendencies are geared towards real human goods.

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In this case, the human nature in question is marriage, the total gift of oneself to another that ensures a family for children and a future for mankind. Concerning the Human Law, Thomas concludes, " These particular determinations, devised by human reason, are called human laws, provided the other essential conditions of law be observed Natural and human law is not adequate alone.

The need for human behavior to be directed made it necessary to have Divine law. Divine law is the specially revealed law in the scriptures. Thomas quotes, "The Apostle says Hebrews 7. But the priesthood is twofold, as stated in the same passage, viz, the levitical priesthood, and the priesthood of Christ. Thomas also greatly influenced Catholic understandings of mortal and venial sins.

Thomas Aquinas refers to animals as dumb and that the natural order has declared animals for man's use.

Thomas denied that human beings have any duty of charity to animals because they are not persons. Otherwise, it would be unlawful to kill them for food. But humans should still be charitable to them, for "cruel habits might carry over into our treatment of human beings. Thomas contributed to economic thought as an aspect of ethics and justice. He dealt with the concept of a just price , normally its market price or a regulated price sufficient to cover seller costs of production.

He argued it was immoral for sellers to raise their prices simply because buyers were in pressing need for a product. Thomas's theory of political order became highly influential. He sees man as a social being that lives in a community and interacts with its other members. That leads, among other things, to the division of labour.

Thomas made a distinction between a good man and a good citizen, which was important to the development of libertarian theory. That is, the sphere of individual autonomy was one which the state could not interfere with. Thomas thinks that monarchy is the best form of government, because a monarch does not have to form compromises with other persons.

Moreover, according to Thomas, oligarchy degenerates more easily into tyranny than monarchy. To prevent a king from becoming a tyrant, his political powers must be curbed. Unless an agreement of all persons involved can be reached, a tyrant must be tolerated, as otherwise the political situation could deteriorate into anarchy , which would be even worse than tyranny.

According to Thomas, monarchs are God's representatives in their territories, but the Church, represented by the popes, is above the kings in matters of doctrine and morality. As a consequence, worldly rulers are obliged to adapt their laws to the Catholic Church's doctrines and determinations.

Following Aristotle's concept of slavery , Thomas justifies this institution on the grounds of natural law. Thomas Aquinas maintains that a human is a single material substance. He understands the soul as the form of the body, which makes a human being the composite of the two. Thus, only living, form-matter composites can truly be called human; dead bodies are "human" only analogously. One actually existing substance comes from body and soul. A human is a single material substance, but still should be understood as having an immaterial soul, which continues after bodily death.

In his Summa theologiae Thomas clearly states his position on the nature of the soul; defining it as "the first principle of life". Because the intellect is incorporeal, it does not use the bodily organs, as "the operation of anything follows the mode of its being. According to Thomas the soul is not matter, not even incorporeal or spiritual matter.

If it were, it would not be able to understand universals, which are immaterial. A receiver receives things according to the receiver's own nature, so for soul receiver to understand receive universals, it must have the same nature as universals. Yet, any substance that understands universals may not be a matter-form composite.

So, humans have rational souls, which are abstract forms independent of the body. But a human being is one existing, single material substance that comes from body and soul: that is what Thomas means when he writes that "something one in nature can be formed from an intellectual substance and a body", and "a thing one in nature does not result from two permanent entities unless one has the character of substantial form and the other of matter.

The soul is a " substantial form "; it is a part of a substance, but it is not a substance by itself. Nevertheless, the soul exists separately from the body, and continues, after death, in many of the capacities we think of as human. Substantial form is what makes a thing a member of the species to which it belongs, and substantial form is also the structure or configuration that provides the object with the abilities that make the object what it is. For humans, those abilities are those of the rational animal. In any given substance, matter and form are necessarily united, and each is a necessary aspect of that substance.

However, they are conceptually separable. Matter represents what is changeable about the substance—what is potentially something else. For example, bronze matter is potentially a statue, or also potentially a cymbal. Matter must be understood as the matter of something. In contrast, form is what determines some particular chunk of matter to be a specific substance and no other.

When Thomas says that the human body is only partly composed of matter, he means the material body is only potentially a human being. The soul is what actualizes that potential into an existing human being. Consequently, the fact that a human body is live human tissue entails that a human soul is wholly present in each part of the human. Aquinas addressed most economic questions within the framework of justice, which he contended was the highest of virtues.

He says that justice is "a habit whereby man renders to each his due by a constant and perpetual will. Joseph Schumpeter, in his History of Economic Analysis , concluded that "All the economic questions put together matters less to him than did the smallest point of theological or philosophical doctrine, and it is only where economic phenomena raise questions of moral theology that he touches upon them at all.

Aquinas was careful to distinguish the just , or natural, price of a good from that price which manipulates another party. He determines the just price from a number of things. First, the just price must be relative to the worth of the good. Aquinas holds that the price of a good measures its quality: "the quality of a thing that comes into human use is measured by the price given for it. This worth is subjective because each good has a different level of usefulness to every man.

Aquinas argues, then, that the price should reflect the current value of a good according to its usefulness to man. He continues: "Gold and silver are costly not only on account of the usefulness of the vessels and other like things made from them, but also on account of the excellence and purity of their substance. Aquinas also wrote extensively on usury , that is, the lending of money with interest. He condemned its practice: "to take usury for money lent is unjust in itself, because this is to sell what does not exist, and this evidently leads to inequality which is contrary to justice.

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Charging a premium for money lent is a charge for more than the use of the good. Thus, Aquinas concluded that the lender is charging for something not his own, in other words, not rendering to each his due. Thomas Aquinas viewed theology , or the sacred doctrine , as a science, [65] the raw material data of which consists of written scripture and the tradition of the Catholic Church.

These sources of data were produced by the self-revelation of God to individuals and groups of people throughout history.


Faith and reason, while distinct but related, are the two primary tools for processing the data of theology. Thomas believed both were necessary—or, rather, that the confluence of both was necessary—for one to obtain true knowledge of God. Thomas blended Greek philosophy and Christian doctrine by suggesting that rational thinking and the study of nature, like revelation, were valid ways to understand truths pertaining to God.

According to Thomas, God reveals himself through nature, so to study nature is to study God. The ultimate goals of theology, in Thomas's mind, are to use reason to grasp the truth about God and to experience salvation through that truth. The central thought is Gratia non tollit naturam, sed perficit.

Grace does not destroy nature, but perfects it. Thomas believed that truth is known through reason natural revelation and faith supernatural revelation. Supernatural revelation has its origin in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and is made available through the teaching of the prophets, summed up in Holy Scripture, and transmitted by the Magisterium , the sum of which is called "Tradition".

Natural revelation is the truth available to all people through their human nature and powers of reason. For example, he felt this applied to rational ways to know the existence of God. Though one may deduce the existence of God and his Attributes Unity, Truth, Goodness, Power, Knowledge through reason, certain specifics may be known only through the special revelation of God through Jesus Christ.

The major theological components of Christianity, such as the Trinity , the Incarnation , and charity are revealed in the teachings of the Church and the Scriptures and may not otherwise be deduced. Revealed knowledge does not negate the truth and the completeness of human science as human, it further establishes them. First, it grants that the same things can be treated from two different perspectives without one canceling the other; thus there can be two sciences of God.

Second, it provides the basis for the two sciences: one functions through the power of the light of natural reason, the other through the light of divine revelation. Moreover, they can, at least to some extent, keep out of each other's way because they differ "according to genus". Sacred doctrine is a fundamentally different kind of thing from theology, which is part of philosophy ST I. Faith and reason complement rather than contradict each other, each giving different views of the same truth. As a Catholic Thomas believed that God is the "maker of heaven and earth, of all that is visible and invisible.

Since the generation of one thing is the corruption of another, it was not incompatible with the first formation of things, that from the corruption of the less perfect the more perfect should be generated. Hence animals generated from the corruption of inanimate things, or of plants, may have been generated then. Additionally Thomas considered Empedocles 's theory that various mutated species emerged at the dawn of Creation.

Thomas reasoned that these species were generated through mutations in animal sperm , and argued that they were not unintended by nature ; rather, such species were simply not intended for perpetual existence. That discussion is found in his commentary on Aristotle's Physics :. The same thing is true of those substances Empedocles said were produced at the beginning of the world, such as the 'ox-progeny', i.

For if such things were not able to arrive at some end and final state of nature so that they would be preserved in existence, this was not because nature did not intend this [a final state], but because they were not capable of being preserved. For they were not generated according to nature, but by the corruption of some natural principle, as it now also happens that some monstrous offspring are generated because of the corruption of seed.

Augustine of Hippo agreed strongly with the conventional wisdom of his time, that Christians should be pacifists philosophically, but that they should use defense as a means of preserving peace in the long run. For example, he routinely argued that pacifism did not prevent the defence of innocents. In essence, the pursuit of peace might require fighting to preserve it in the long-term. Clearly, some special characteristics sets apart "war" from "schism", "brawling", and "sedition". While it would be contradictory to speak of a "just schism", a "just brawling" or a "just sedition" the three terms denote sin and sin only "war" alone permits sub classification into good and bad kinds.

Curiously, however, Augustine does not work up a terminological contrast between "just" and "unjust" war. Some years later, the School of Salamanca expanded Thomas's understanding of natural law and just war. Given that war is one of the worst evils suffered by mankind, the adherents of the School reasoned that it ought to be resorted to only when it was necessary to prevent an even greater evil. A diplomatic agreement is preferable, even for the more powerful party, before a war is started. Examples of " just war " are: [ citation needed ].

A war is not legitimate or illegitimate simply based on its original motivation: it must comply with a series of additional requirements: [ citation needed ]. Under this doctrine, expansionist wars, wars of pillage, wars to convert infidels or pagans , and wars for glory are all inherently unjust. Thomas believed that the existence of God is self-evident in itself, but not to us. Now because we do not know the essence of God, the proposition is not self-evident to us; but needs to be demonstrated by things that are more known to us, though less known in their nature—namely, by effects.

Thomas believed that the existence of God can be demonstrated. Briefly in the Summa theologiae and more extensively in the Summa contra Gentiles , he considered in great detail five arguments for the existence of God, widely known as the quinque viae Five Ways. Concerning the nature of God, Thomas felt the best approach, commonly called the via negativa , is to consider what God is not. This led him to propose five statements about the divine qualities:.

Following St. Augustine of Hippo , Thomas defines sin as "a word, deed, or desire, contrary to the eternal law. Natural law is an instance or instantiation of eternal law. Because natural law is what human beings determine according to their own nature as rational beings , disobeying reason is disobeying natural law and eternal law.

Thus eternal law is logically prior to reception of either "natural law" that determined by reason or "divine law" that found in the Old and New Testaments. In other words, God's will extends to both reason and revelation. Sin is abrogating either one's own reason, on the one hand, or revelation on the other, and is synonymous with "evil" privation of good, or privatio boni []. Thomas, like all Scholastics, generally argued that the findings of reason and data of revelation cannot conflict, so both are a guide to God's will for human beings.

Thomas argued that God, while perfectly united, also is perfectly described by Three Interrelated Persons. These three persons Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are constituted by their relations within the essence of God. Thomas wrote that the term "Trinity" "does not mean the relations themselves of the Persons, but rather the number of persons related to each other; and hence it is that the word in itself does not express regard to another. This eternal generation then produces an eternal Spirit "who enjoys the divine nature as the Love of God, the Love of the Father for the Word.

This Trinity exists independently from the world. It transcends the created world, but the Trinity also decided to give grace to human beings. This takes place through the Incarnation of the Word in the person of Jesus Christ and through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within those who have experienced salvation by God; according to Aidan Nichols. Thomas's five proofs for the existence of God take some of Aristotle's assertions concerning principles of being. For God as prima causa "first cause" comes from Aristotle's concept of the unmoved mover and asserts that God is the ultimate cause of all things.

In the Summa Theologica Thomas begins his discussion of Jesus Christ by recounting the biblical story of Adam and Eve and by describing the negative effects of original sin. The purpose of Christ's Incarnation was to restore human nature by removing the contamination of sin , which humans cannot do by themselves. Thomas argued against several specific contemporary and historical theologians who held differing views about Christ. In response to Photinus , Thomas stated that Jesus was truly divine and not simply a human being. Against Nestorius , who suggested that Son of God was merely conjoined to the man Christ, Thomas argued that the fullness of God was an integral part of Christ's existence.

However, countering Apollinaris ' views, Thomas held that Christ had a truly human rational soul , as well. This produced a duality of natures in Christ. Thomas argued against Eutyches that this duality persisted after the Incarnation. Thomas stated that these two natures existed simultaneously yet distinguishably in one real human body, unlike the teachings of Manichaeus and Valentinus. With respect to Paul 's assertion that Christ, "though he was in the form of God Following the Council of Nicaea , Augustine of Hippo , as well as the assertions of Scripture, Thomas held the doctrine of divine immutability.

For Thomas, "the mystery of Incarnation was not completed through God being changed in any way from the state in which He had been from eternity, but through His having united Himself to the creature in a new way, or rather through having united it to Himself. But human nature and the soul are not full, but capable of fulness, because it was made as a slate not written upon. Therefore, human nature is empty. In short "Christ had a real body of the same nature of ours, a true rational soul , and, together with these, perfect Deity ".

Thus, there is both unity in his one hypostasis and composition in his two natures, human and Divine in Christ. I answer that, The Person or hypostasis of Christ may be viewed in two ways. First as it is in itself, and thus it is altogether simple, even as the Nature of the Word. Secondly, in the aspect of person or hypostasis to which it belongs to subsist in a nature; and thus the Person of Christ subsists in two natures. Hence though there is one subsisting being in Him, yet there are different aspects of subsistence, and hence He is said to be a composite person, insomuch as one being subsists in two.

Thomas Aquinas identified the goal of human existence as union and eternal fellowship with God. This goal is achieved through the beatific vision , in which a person experiences perfect, unending happiness by seeing the essence of God. The vision occurs after death as a gift from God to those who in life experienced salvation and redemption through Christ.

The goal of union with God has implications for the individual's life on earth. Thomas stated that an individual's will must be ordered toward right things, such as charity, peace, and holiness. He saw this orientation as also the way to happiness. Indeed, Thomas ordered his treatment of the moral life around the idea of happiness. The relationship between will and goal is antecedent in nature "because rectitude of the will consists in being duly ordered to the last end [that is, the beatific vision].

Such love requires morality and bears fruit in everyday human choices. Thomas Aquinas belonged to the Dominican Order formally Ordo Praedicatorum , the Order of Preachers who began as an order dedicated to the conversion of the Albigensians and other heterodox factions, at first by peaceful means; later the Albigensians were dealt with by means of the Albigensian Crusade.

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How does God enter into theology? Reflections on the Paternity of God, Luis F. Precisely because the contributors manifestly do not agree on some central areas of contention, the volume catches a moment of significant theological transition and provides an invaluable resource for ecumenical debate, discussion and teaching. The editors are to be congratulated on their choice of materials. The editors have done a great job bringing together essays from leading contributors to this debate to create a unique tool for all those who need information about the current state of the discussion.

The selection is judicious and takes into account the various disciplinary and confessional angles from which the topic has been approached. As well as providing an expert overview of where we are at the moment, the book is thus likely to serve as the starting point for further explorations in this field. Historically demarcating movements e. Many intellectual movements rise and fall like a bell curve rather than appearing suddenly as with clear boundaries. Analytic theology is no different. It should be thought of as the result of a wave cresting and not the result of a few contemporary individuals.

Those currently working analytic theology derive their momentum from previous scholarship.

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Contemporary analytic theology, represented by scholars like Oliver Crisp and Michael Rea, has its roots in three periods of Western philosophical history. These periods include: a historic Scholastic philosophical theology b Mid 20th century responses by Christian philosophers to challenges of religious epistemology and religious language about God c a turn by Christian philosophers to work on more traditionally theological topics in the s.

As noted above, analytic theology is a contemporary movement. It is a resurgence in philosophical-theology that began in the UK and US. However, this movement has always had a strong retrieval element to it. Retrieval theology refers to thinkers revisiting and reappropriating certain ideas from historical theology or philosophy. In analytic theology this retrieval often includes a revisitation to the works of theologian-philosophers like Augustine, Duns Scotus, Anselm, Thomas Aquinas, and Jonathan Edwards.

How then did a contemporary movement wind up with roots in a period of the Western intellectual tradition that is hundreds of years old? In Medieval Europe, a rich tradition of philosophical thought about theological topics, flourished for over a thousand years. This tradition of philosophical theology was brought into steep decline by the philosophy of Immanuel Kant and the theology of Friedrich Schleiermacher. As a result, a very robust dividing wall separated philosophy and theology by the middle of the 20th century. See Figure 2.

The story of analytic theology usually begins at this point with Logical Positivism. In August a group of philosophers in Vienna, sometimes referred to as the Vienna Circle, published a manifesto containing a verificationist criterion to be used as a criteria by which statements could be analyzed in terms of meaning. Any statements that could not be broken down into empirically verifiable concepts were held to be meaningless thus preventing any metaphysical i. In the middle of the 20th century this verification principle began to crumble under the weight of its own strictness on at least four counts: a No satisfactory concept of empirical verifiability could be agreed upon; b Supporters of logical positivism like Carl Hempel argued that it seemed to invalidate less strictly worded universal generalizations of science; c Ordinary language philosophers argued that it rendered meaningless imperatives, interrogatives, and other performative utterances.

By the s logical positivism was in decline, and with it the stance that metaphysical claims were meaningless. Conversation shifted to grounds that required speakers to show why theological or philosophical claims were true or false. This had a liberating effect on analytic philosophy. This put a crack in the wall that had divided theology and philosophy for centuries. Of course, analytic philosophers do still on occasion charge people with failing to think a genuine thought or make a genuine judgment.

But the tacit assumption has come to be that such claims will always have to be defended on an individual, ad hoc, basis; deep skepticism reigns among analytic philosophers concerning all grand proposals for demarcating the thinkable from the unthinkable, the assertible from the non-assertible.

What has resulted was an environment of dialogical pluralism where no major epistemological framework e. In this context of dialogical pluralism, the state of play returned to one in which metaphysical or theistic belief could be taken as rational provided one could give justification for those beliefs. Two mechanisms for doing this became popular: Reformed Epistemology See.

Richard Swinburne. Either way, logical argumentation and rational coherence remained important for such beliefs. Examples here would be the coherence of certain traditional attributes of God or the possibility that the existence of God was not logically incompatible with the existence of evil in the world.

Philosophy of Religion

In the [Society of Christian Philosophers] was formed. He goes on to write that. Christian philosophers, however, are the philosophers of the Christian community; and it is part of their task as Christian philosophers to serve the Christian community. But the Christian community has its own questions, its own concerns, its own topics for investigation, its own agenda and its own research program. Christian philosophers ought not merely take their inspiration from what's going on at Princeton or Berkeley or Harvard, attractive and scintillating as that may be; for perhaps those questions and topics are not the ones, or not the only ones, they should be thinking about as the philosophers of the Christian community.

There are other philosophical topics the Christian community must work at, and other topics the Christian community must work at philosophically. And obviously, Christian philosophers are the ones who must do the philosophical work involved. If they devote their best efforts to the topics fashionable to the non-Christian philosophical world, they will neglect a crucial and central part of their task as Christian philosophers.

What is needed here is more independence, more autonomy with respect to the projects and concerns of the non-theistic philosophical world. In the s and s Christian philosophers did, in fact, begin to turn much of their efforts to explicating questions unique to Christian theology, thereby setting the precedent for the type of work done in analytic theology. The decades saw the production of more literature by Christian philosophers treating theological topics such as the attributes of God the atonement by scholars like[Richard Swinburne.

However, much of that work remained largely appreciated by Christian philosophers and less so by Christian theologians. As noted in the analytic theology Defined as a Movement section, both Oliver Crisp and Michael Rea found that philosophers and theologians were not interacting and sharing resources as late as the mids.

It was in the mids at Notre Dame that they floated the idea of an edited volume aimed at bringing philosophers and theologians together to work on theological questions with a methodology tuned to the style and resources of analytic philosophy. As we discussed the matter, we thought that perhaps a volume might be called for a volume tendentiously entitled Analytic Theology, which would include a few essays making a case directed toward theologians on behalf of analytic approaches to theological topics, a few essays that offered criticism of such approaches, and a few more essays that addressed some of the historical, methodological, and epistemological issues that seemed to lurk in the background of the disciplinary divide.

It was with the publication of this volume that AT began to garner attention, both positive and negative, in philosophical and theological circles. In a session at the American Academy of Religion was dedicated to discussing the volume, followed by several articles in volume 81 the AAR journal. In the Journal of analytic theology was begun, which is now in its sixth year. The following year at the Evangelical Theological Society annual conference a series of papers were given interacting with McCall's book to a packed room.