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On The Loss, And The Recovery, Of Nature As A Theonomic Principle: Reflections On The Nature/Grace Controversy

Steven A. Long

in Natura Pura

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780823231058
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823237012 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823231058.003.0002

Series: Moral Philosophy and Moral Theology

On The Loss, And The Recovery,             Of Nature As A Theonomic Principle: Reflections On The Nature/Grace Controversy

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This chapter intends to contribute to the project of facilitating a renewed appreciation of St. Thomas Aquinas's profound teaching on the character of the relation between the natural and the supernatural. First, it surveys the general speculative dimensions of the controversy about the character of the natural desire for God, so closely related to the question of the natural end. Second, it explores in particular the contours of what is believed to be the common error of Henri de Lubac and Etienne Gilson respecting the obediential potency for grace and glory. Third, it argues that de Lubac's account of the natural desire for God, despite its doctrinal deficiency, is rooted in a genuinely profound theological need to overcome the loss of natural order as a theonomic principle. The chapter concludes by observing the protean implications of these issues for the effort to understand, and to transcend, an invertebrate postmodern theological pluralism that itself presupposes the loss of natural order as a theonomic principle.

Keywords: Thomas Aquinas; Henri de Lubac; Etienne Gilson; natural order; grace; supernatural; natural end; God; glory; theonomic principle

Chapter.  16298 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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