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Christ and Spirituality in St. Thomas Aquinas

Jean-Pierre Torrell

Publication Year: 2011

The studies in this volume investigate themes of particular spiritual relevance in Aquinas's theology: friendship, charity, prayer, configuration to Christ, priesthood, preaching.

Published by: The Catholic University of America Press

Series: Thomistic Ressourcement

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

French Sources of Book Chapters

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pp. vii-viii


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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xxiv

The nine chapters in this book are a collection of essays previously published under various titles that precede, prepare, accompany, or follow the various works that I have published on Saint Thomas Aquinas. No preconceived master plan governed the writing of these short essays. ...

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1. St. Thomas Aquinas: Theologian and Mystic

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pp. 1-20

The title of this chapter may be surprising. Thomas Aquinas is unquestionably a great theologian, but is he also a mystic? A preliminary answer to this question could be found in the fact that he is a canonized saint, and that in one way or another, God was at the heart of his life, as is true of all saints. ...

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2. Theology and Sanctity

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pp. 21-44

In an impressive essay published some time ago also named “Theology and Sanctity,” Hans Urs von Balthasar made a case for the necessary unity between theology and spirituality.1 For a long time, he said, the great theologians were also great saints. ...

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3. Charity as Friendship in St. Thomas Aquinas

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pp. 45-64

Saint Thomas is far from being the only person ever to have used the term “friendship” to describe our affective relations with God. The great Cistercian authors of the twelfth century, among which St. Bernard was the most preeminent, did so well before Thomas and with a rare refinement inspired largely by Cicero’s treatise De amicitia. ...

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4. The Interpreter of Desire: Prayer According to St. Thomas Aquinas

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pp. 65-73

As with any Christian—and probably more so than for most—for St. Thomas prayer was something very familiar. He chanted the Divine Office in choir each day with his Dominican confreres; and, like Brother Dominic, the holy founder of his order, he also prayed during his many voyages as he traveled on foot with his companions. ...

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5. Christ in the “Spirituality”of St. Thomas

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pp. 74-109

The simple title of this chapter assumes one can speak of a spirituality in St. Thomas. I do not mean by this, of course, that Thomas wrote various spiritual works, but I would assert that one can find an incontrovertible spiritual aspect to his theology. ...

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6. Imitating God as His Beloved Children: Conformity to God and to Christ in the Works of St. Thomas Aquinas

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pp. 110-125

The origin of this chapter is an investigation that I began some time ago into the role of Christ in the spirituality of St. Thomas. I set out to test certain hunches by a study of certain words used by St. Thomas, such as “imitation” (imitatio), “the following of Christ” (sequela Christi), or again of “conformity to Christ” (conformitas Christo). ...

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7. The Priesthood of Christ in the Summa Theologiae

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pp. 126-158

This chapter deals specifically with the priesthood of Christ as discussed in question 22 of the Tertia Pars. Indeed, we find nothing on this subject in the Prima Pars, nor is there anything in the Secunda Pars, with the exception of two allusions at the end of the Prima Secundae.1 ...

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8. The Sower Went Out to Sow: The Image of Christ the Preacher in Friar Thomas Aquinas

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pp. 159-173

St. Thomas, known above all as the author of the Summa Theologiae, is renowned as a great intellectual—which he certainly was—but also as a cerebral thinker taken with abstractions, which he certainly was not! Far from being trapped in a merely deductive and rationalist theology, he was, on the contrary, extremely attentive to sacred scripture. ...

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9. St. Thomas, Spiritual Master

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pp. 174-194

It is hard for a writer to talk about his book without talking about himself. This is true generally, but even more so when it comes to my book Saint Thomas Aquinas, Spiritual Master.1 Having read it, a colleague of mine told me that one could sense that I was much more personally involved in it than in my first volume, Saint Thomas Aquinas, The Person and His Work. ...


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pp. 195-206

Index of Subjects

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pp. 207-210

Index of Names

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pp. 211-213

Production Notes

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p. 241-241

E-ISBN-13: 9780813219387
E-ISBN-10: 0813219388
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813218786
Print-ISBN-10: 0813218780

Page Count: 220
Publication Year: 2011

Edition: 1
Series Title: Thomistic Ressourcement