The Person of the Son

Gilles Emery Op

in The Trinitarian Theology of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780199582211
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191702310 | DOI:
The Person of the Son

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In the Summa Theologiae, the next step after study of the person of the Father is to give two questions to the person of the Son. On the one hand, one must not lose sight of the broader strategy of the treatise. The teaching about the Son's personhood is not pigeon-holed into questions 34–35, but is present throughout. Thomas effectively begins his Trinitarian treatise with the procession of the Son (q. 27), so as to lead the reader into the doctrine of relations and of the divine persons (qq. 28–32) where the personal alterity between the Father and the Son stands out, even as he shows their consubstantiality. Moreover, question 33, which is given over to the Father, has the Son at its heart: it is because he is the Father of the Son that the Father is Father. The Son will be found once again, at the centre of the enquiry into the person of the Holy Spirit (qq. 33–38), and again in the comparative study of the persons (qq. 39–43), and, especially, in the investigation of the persons' missions (q. 43). One has to read the whole treatise to understand what it has to say about the Son.

Keywords: St Thomas Aquinas; Summa Theologiae; Father; Son; Holy Spirit

Chapter.  22424 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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