Paul in the Summa Theologiae

Paul in the Summa Theologiae

MATTHEW LEVERING
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 336
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7zswbz
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  • Book Info
    Paul in the Summa Theologiae
    Book Description:

    Aquinas's commentaries on St. Paul are well known and have received significant attention in the past few years. It is widely known, too, that Aquinas quotes Paul often in the Summa theologiae. This aspect of the Summa, however, has not been studied in detail. This book seeks to fill that lacuna in scholarship.

    eISBN: 978-0-8132-2598-2
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. ix-xxii)

    The idea for this book began with a question generated by my interest in Thomas Aquinas and scripture: what would I find if I tracked each citation of Paul in theSumma theologiae? Put another way, how would examining Aquinas’s Pauline citations enhance our understanding of the ways in which scripture informs theSumma? Underlying this question, of course, is the difference between the genre of Aquinas’s commentaries on scripture and the genre of theSumma theologiae. Whereas the former exposit God’s scriptural Word verse-by-verse, the latter undertakes the task that we today associate with dogmatic theology and that Aquinas...

  5. PART 1. THE ORDER OF THE Summa Theologiae
    • CHAPTER 1 THE TRIUNE GOD
      (pp. 3-48)

      Gilles emery has provided a careful exposition of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in Thomas Aquinas’sCommentary on the Letter to the Romans. Emery notes that Aquinas’s biblical “commentaries do not offer a different doctrine from his synthetic works. Rather, their genre is different. By means of direct contact with the biblical text whose words they explain and whose profound meaning they seek to expose, these commentaries offer another access to the thought of St. Thomas.”¹ Emery shows how Aquinas, in his commentary on Romans, reflects extensively on the person and mission of the Holy Spirit.² The influence of...

    • CHAPTER 2 THE PASSION OF CHRIST
      (pp. 49-75)

      With reference to Thomas Aquinas’s use of 1 Corinthians 1:18 inSumma theologiaeIII, question forty-eight, article six, Thomas Joseph White observes that for Aquinas: “The human acts of Christ from the cross are the acts of the Word made flesh. Even amidst weakness and suffering, they can communicate effects of divine power.”¹ Through the weakness of his cross, the Son of God redeems us. Obviously the cross of Christ is a central theme for Paul, one that touches all aspects of his theology. Thus in hisA Theology of the Cross: The Death of Jesus in the Pauline Letters,...

    • CHAPTER 3 BAPTISM
      (pp. 76-106)

      In a nice image, Liam Walsh describes Thomas Aquinas’s theology of the sacraments as “eschatology in the flesh … [I]t is the way that Christians live the ‘already’ of Christ in the ‘not yet’ that waits the return of all things to God in the glory of the resurrection.”¹ For Aquinas, Walsh observes, baptism establishes believers in the communion of the church. This point is made also by Colman O’Neill, whoseSacramental Realismowes a significant debt to Aquinas. The Holy Spirit can unite humans to Christ prior to their reception of baptism. By baptism, however, believers become full members...

  6. PART 2. THE ORDER OF THE PAULINE LETTERS
    • CHAPTER 4 THE MOSAIC LAW
      (pp. 109-152)

      In a recent essay on Moses in theSumma theologiae, Franklin Harkins observes that “a number of times throughout theSummaand in widely divergent contexts, Thomas grapples with the reality that Moses had a very special knowledge of God by virtue of the fact that God spoke to him face to face (Exod 33:11; Num 12:8; Deut 34:10).”¹ This special knowledge relates to the fact that Moses is the one through whom God gives the people of Israel the law at Mount Sinai. As Harkins makes clear, when Aquinas thinks of the Mosaic law, he does not imagine simply...

    • CHAPTER 5 GRACE
      (pp. 153-185)

      Romanus Cessario has remarked, “It is impossible to under-estimate how much the human creature requires the gift of divine grace.”¹ As the Gospel of John says, grace comes to us through Jesus Christ, who pours out the Holy Spirit upon all who are united to him by faith and love: “And from his fullness have we all received, grace upon grace” (Jn 1:16). Humans are created for communion with God but are cast down by sin. We need healing and we desire to share in God’s life, but these gifts can come only from God. Consider Moses’s warning that the...

    • CHAPTER 6 THE VIRTUE OF RELIGION
      (pp. 186-216)

      Thomas aquinas treats the virtue of religion (religio), including its interior and exterior acts, in questions 81–89 of thesecunda-secundae parsof theSumma theologiae. These questions are important because they establish what Aquinas thinks all humans owe in justice to God. Jean Porter summarizes Aquinas’s position: “Since we are embodied creatures whose thought processes are grounded in sense data, it is necessary for us to express our devotion and love for God by means of exterior signs. These signs provide the sphere of operation proper to the virtue of religion…. The inclination to show honor to a divine...

  7. PART 3. TRACING PAULINE TEXTS IN THE Summa Theologiae
    • CHAPTER 7 ROMANS 1:20 IN THE Summa Theologiae
      (pp. 219-235)

      Can we know God’s existence and attributes by reflection upon the good things that we see around us? If so, what is the relationship between knowing God through reflection on created things and knowing God in Jesus Christ? According to St. Paul, who here draws heavily upon the Wisdom of Solomon, “Ever since the creation of the world his [God’s] invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made” (Rom 1:20).¹ Paul means what he says. As N. T. Wright observes, “Paul clearly does believe that when humans look at...

    • CHAPTER 8 1 CORINTHIANS 13 IN THE Summa Theologiae
      (pp. 236-266)

      Arguing that Thomas Aquinas’s theology of charity accords with scripture rather than with modern theories that reduce charity simply to a good motivation, Michael Sherwin comments: “That the New Testament authors eschew formalism in their treatment of charity is evident in the works of St. Paul. When St. Paul wishes to describe charity and the Christian life, he presents them in terms of characteristic types of actions. Paul acknowledges that not everyone who exhibits apparently virtuous actions is necessarily doing them from the love of charity [cf. 1 Cor 13:1–7].”¹ Just as 1 Corinthians 13 plays a significant role...

    • CHAPTER 9 PHILIPPIANS 2:5–11 IN THE Summa Theologiae
      (pp. 267-282)

      Discussing Aquinas’s commentary on Philippians, Francesca Aran Murphy points out that beginning with Hilary of Poitiers, “interpreters of Philippians had spoken of the ‘two states’ of Christ, the ‘state of obedience’ (status obedientis) and the ‘state of glory’ (status gloriae).”¹ For these two states, Philippians 2:5:11 is obviously of prime importance. Paul here describes thekenosisof Christ:

      Have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in...

  8. CONCLUSION
    (pp. 283-292)

    Both as a wisdom derived from God’s teaching and as a body of truth “acquired by study,”¹ sacred doctrine involves the teaching of Paul. In the chapters of this book, we have asked exactly how Paul’s inspired teaching informs the sacred doctrine or “sacred science” that Aquinas sets forth in theSumma theologiae.² By this point, we can say that to read theSumma theologiaemeans to have the words of Paul ringing in one’s ears. Even when Aquinas’s use of Paul seems minor, for example when most of his Pauline citations serve to formulate objections, examination of a whole...

  9. WORKS CITED
    (pp. 293-302)
  10. INDEX
    (pp. 303-306)