The Heart of Grace

Brian Davies

in The Thought of Thomas Aquinas

Published in print February 1993 | ISBN: 9780198267539
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600500 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

 The Heart of Grace

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Aristotle speaks of virtues as dispositions that make people good and cause them to function well, and St Paul speaks in a similar way about faith, hope, and love. With these points in mind, and following the practice of his day, Thomas Aquinas asserts that the theological virtues are faith, hope, and charity; these, he says, are the means by which we come to God by grace as opposed to nature. Their presence is what chiefly allows us to say that, in the time of the New Law (which started with the sending of the Son and the Spirit, and consists chiefly of the grace of the Holy Spirit, which the people receive through God's Son), people have become sharers in the divine nature. For Aquinas, faith, hope, and charity are the heart of the life of grace. In this chapter, therefore, what he says about them is explored in some detail, with the aim of showing how it is that much of Aquinas’ thought as covered in earlier chapters comes to a kind of culmination when he turns to what, for him, is clearly the most important aspect of our lives.

Keywords: Aristotle; Thomas Aquinas; charity; faith; grace; hope; New Law; St Paul

Chapter.  10085 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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