Aquinas on Friendship

Aquinas on Friendship

Aquinas on Friendship

Aquinas on Friendship

Excerpt

In the last few decades philosophers have rediscovered friendship as a distinct topic of interest. Aristotle's thought has been, justifiably, the starting point for most philosophical work on friendship, and often its focus. This renewal of philosophical interest has seldom, however, translated into interest in what Aquinas and other medieval philosophers had to say about friendship. Interest in Aquinas's views on friendship has so far remained confined mainly to theologians. The fact that Aquinas's views on friendship are not easily approachable (we find them scattered throughout his work, often within highly theological discussions) bears part of the blame for this state of affairs. Probably, though, we should lay some of the blame on the widespread perception that the Christian notion of friendship is far too removed both from the friendship theorized by the Greeks and from that which we experience in our lives.

This book can best be described as a journey into the territory of Aquinas's views on friendship. While the purpose of the book is to acquaint the reader with some of Aquinas's views on friendship, there

A list of works on Aquinas on friendship from the last twenty years should include:
C. Steel, 'Thomas Aquinas on Preferential Love', in T. A. F. Kelly and P. W. Rosemann
(eds.), Amor amicitiae: On the Love That Is Friendship: Essays in Medieval Thought and
Beyond in Honor of the Rev. Professor James McEvoy
(Leuven: Peeters, 2004), 437–58;
J. McEvoy, 'The Other as Oneself: Friendship and Love in the Thought of St Thomas
Aquinas', in J. McEvoy and M. Dunne (eds.), Thomas Aquinas: Approaches to Truth
(Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2002), 16U%+201337, and his Amitié, attirance et amour chez
15?', Thomas d'Aquin', Revue philosophique de Louvain, 91 (1993), 383–408; A. W.
Keaty, 'Thomas's Authority for Identifying Charity as Friendship: Aristotle or John
15?', Thomist, 62 (1998), 581–601; W. H. Principe, 'Loving Friendship According to
Thomas Aquinas', in D. Goicoechea (ed.), The Nature and Pursuit of Love (Buffalo:
Prometheus, 1995), 128–41; C. Osborne, Eros Unveiled: Plato and the God of Love
(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994), chs. 6 and 8; W. Cizewski, 'Friendship with God:
Variations on a Theme in Aristotle, Aquinas, and Macmurray', Philosophy and Theology,
6 (1992), 369U%+201381; J. Porter, 'De Ordine Caritatis Charity, Friendship, and Justice
in Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologiae', Thomist 53 (1989), 197–213; P. J. Wadell,
Friendship and the Moral Life (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1989);
F. Kerr, 'Charity as Friendship', in B. Davies (ed.), Language, Meaning and God: Essays
in Honour of Herbert McCabe
(London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1987), 1–23; G. L. Jones,
'Theological Transformation of Aristotelian Friendship in the Thought of St Thomas
Aquinas', New Scholasticism, 61 (1987), 373–99; J. Bobik, 'Aquinas on Friendship with
God', New Scholasticism, 60 (1986), 257–71 and his 'Aquinas on Communication the
Foundation of Friendship and Caritas'', Modern Schoolman, 65 (1986), 1U%+201319.

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