The Person of the Holy Spirit

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 Holy Spirit

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This chapter focuses on questions of the Holy Spirit in the Summa. One must appreciate that the Spirit is present within the treatise from the first question to the last. Questions 36–38, dedicated to the person of the Holy Spirit, ‘taken in a special way’, are a narrower examination of his personal property. To grasp what Thomas is aiming at, one has to read the questions in the context of the Trinitarian treatise. The central aim of this enquiry is to elucidate what belongs eternally to the Holy Spirit, in the immanence of the Trinity, but to do so in a way that provides the foundation for understanding his action in creation and salvation. Here perhaps more than elsewhere, theology is closely linked to the economy, because the Spirit is at the source of Christian life and of ecclesial unity. The study of the Holy Spirit will show that the ground of Christian existence, and the bond of believers, lives in the Charity who proceeds from the Father and the Son. As with the Father and the Son, the way of tackling the investigation into the Holy Spirit is to consider the orientation of the names which we give to him. So it comes down to disclosing the personal property of the Holy Spirit as it is expressed through the names which genuinely address him.

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

Chapter.  27721 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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