Dust Bound for Heaven: Explorations in the Theology of Thomas Aquinas

By Rober, Daniel A. | Theological Studies, March 2014 | Go to article overview

Dust Bound for Heaven: Explorations in the Theology of Thomas Aquinas


Rober, Daniel A., Theological Studies


Dust Bound for Heaven: Explorations in the Theology of Thomas Aquinas. By Reinhard Hutter. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2012. Pp. x + 511. $50.

Hutter, professor at Duke University, positions himself within the new wave of neo-Thomism, including others such as Romanus Cessario, Thomas Joseph White, Lawrence Feingold, and Steven A. Long. This book is a loosely connected series of essays that seeks to advance the argument that Thomas Aquinas is the common doctor of the Catholic Church, and that neo-Thomism is the privileged way of doing theology in the service of "an overdue theological renewal after a dire period of pervasive theological fragmentation and disorientation" (5). H.'s work here presents an accessible introduction to this school of thought, while at the same time evidencing its main weaknesses.

Several sections of the book--in particular, the first section, which offers a MacIntyre-influenced critique of modernity and a later section on free will and hope--offer thoughtful insights and reflections. It is in the polemical sections arguing for neo-Thomistic positions and method that H. displays some of the more problematic aspects of this line of thinking. In particular, in an essay critiquing Henri de Lubac on nature and grace, H. …

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