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Title: The principle of grace according to Thomas Aquinas
Author: Martin, Luke
ISNI:       0000 0004 7652 8901
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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My thesis investigates Thomas Aquinas' doctrine of Grace. There are several aspects to this doctrine, and I am primarily interested in Aquinas' claim that God bestows a supernatural quality on some human beings-a quality called 'grace'. In the thesis I am concerned with two research questions: is the quality of grace necessary for justification and/or sanctification? And if it is, how does a person get it? Discussion of Aquinas' doctrine of grace has been widespread in certain schools of Thomism, notably the Strict-Observance School (see Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange), Augustinian Thomism (see the work of Henri de Lubac, particularly his Mystere du Surnaturel), and Transcendental Thomism (see Karl Rahner). One school of Thomism where discussion of grace is lacking is that of 'analytical Thomism' (Haldane, 2004). One could argue that analytical Thomism might come under another recent movement within theology: namely, analytic theology (Crisp and Rea, 2009). I adopt a methodology roughly characteristic of either analytical Thomism or analytic theology. For Aquinas, the quality of grace is needed for the processes of both justification and sanctification. In my first chapter I get clear on the nature of this quality, engaging in a debate over whether it is created or uncreated. In the second chapter I look to the thought of Duns Scotus and William of Ockham to begin to address the question of whether created grace is necessary for justification and acceptance to eternal life. I then look to the reformers, particularly Calvin, in whom we find a wholesale rejection of the need for created grace for justification. Noting the agreement of Aquinas and Calvin on the need for new dispositions for sanctification (what Aquinas simply calls 'grace'), I move on to the question of how a person gets created grace. I compare Aquinas and Calvin on the necessary and sufficient conditions for a bestowal of grace in the Eucharist. Finally, I seek to address the question of the plausibility of the claim that created grace is bestowed through material rites like the sacraments.
Supervisor: Leftow, Brian ; Wood, William Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available