Academic journal article Theological Studies

Master Thomas Aquinas and the Fullness of Life

Academic journal article Theological Studies

Master Thomas Aquinas and the Fullness of Life

Article excerpt

Master Thomas Aquinas and the Fullness of Life. By John F. Boyle. South Bend: St. Augustine's, 2014. Pp. xv + 85. $14.

Boyle's brief but profound volume, his 2013 Aquinas Lecture at the University of Dallas, would serve as a useful introduction for a class on Aquinas. B. begins with a reflection on wisdom and how a wise teacher passes it on. The wise teacher has a good grasp not only of some particular area of knowledge but also of "the whole of the universe" (9), and is somehow able to convey her grasp to others. The medium of her teaching reflects the ordered splendor of reality. B. not only explains how Aquinas teaches what it means to be alive in a beautifully ordered manner, but he models that wisdom and splendor in his own writing.

B. examines the meaning of the term "life" by turning to Aquinas's Prima pars examination of God as living, with its ascending levels of the term "life." In so doing, B. explains exactly how humans, through the interaction of intellect and will, are able to be self-movers in a manner greater than plants and animals, but still in a way more limited than the God who is life. This allows B. to turn to Aquinas's account in the Secunda pars of how virtuous human activity allows a person to live more fully, and most fully through the graced-infused theological virtues and gifts of the Holy Spirit. …

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