In Chapters 1-2, the work's role as a corrective of earlier commentaries is established. Chapter 3, by examining philosophy at Paris between 1215 and 1283, reveals that the proposal by Aquinas of a moral philosophy would have been unexceptional. Chapter 4's investigation of the principles underlying the moral theory of the Sententia makes apparent that they were regarded by Aquinas as both philosophical and Aristotelian. The date to be assigned the composition of the Sententia is studied in Chapter 5, and the conclusion is drawn, that with some probability, the Sententia is its author's final proposal of moral doctrines. The closing Chapter offers a summary of that moral philosophy against the historical background brought out earlier.
1) An investigation into the metaphysical substructure of friendship;
2) Analysis of St. Thomas’ commentary on St. John’s Gospel from which he takes his understanding of charity as friendship.
In the first part, basic concepts are defined which are employed ubiquitously by the Angelic Doctor whenever he discusses love and friendship. Once a basic lexicon is built, the author distinguishes diverse kinds of love given the anthropology of St. Thomas. This in term is employed in the specific love of friendship noting also Thomas’ dependence upon the Philosopher, Aristotle. Finally, charity itself is examined based primarily upon Thomas’ treatment in the Secunda secundae of the Summa Theologiae. The second movement of the work engages the text of Thomas’ commentary. Aquinas sees the Incarnation as the archetype of all transformation in Christ, namely, that Christ establishes with man a common life upon which friendship is based. This common life must move from the sensible to the spiritual, from human life to Divine. This course is tracked by the author with special emphasis on the means employed by Christ now with His would-be friends, namely, the gift of His Spirit and the Sacrament of Charity.
Drawing on connections and contrasts between Aquinas and contemporary treatments of virtue, Austin argues that Aquinas’s causal virtue theory retains its normative power today. As well as providing a synoptic account of Aquinas on virtue, the book includes an extended treatment of the cardinal virtue of temperance, an argument for the superiority of Aquinas's concept of "habit" over modern psychological accounts, and a rethinking of the relation between grace and virtue. With an approach that is distinctively theological yet strongly conversant with philosophy, this study will offer specialists a bold new interpretation of Aquinas’s virtue theory while giving students a systematic introduction with suggested readings from his Summa Theologiae and On the Virtues.
The volume is in two parts. Part One is a new edition of "Grace and Freedom: Operative Grace in the Thought of St Thomas Aquinas", four articles written by Lonergan in 1941-42, first published in book form in 1971. This edition includes new notes and indices. Part Two is Lonergan's doctoral dissertation, "Gratia Operans", submitted to the Gregorian University, Rome, in 1940. Published here in full for the first time, the dissertation provides important context and background for the articles in the first part. Lonergan's thesis is that, from the sixteenth century onwards, commentators on Thomas Aquinas lacked historical consciousness, raised questions that Thomas had never considered, and obfuscated the issues. Lonergan's achievement consists in having retrieved the actual position of Thomas by adopting a historical approach that has reconstructed his intellectual development on grace. The majority of contemporary theologians now agree with the implementation of the historical method. What Lonergan also adds is a unique diagnosis of the mistakes made by the modern scholastic authors in their treatment of grace. Throughout this work, Lonergan discovers in Thomas a mind in constant development, displaying radical shifts on fundamental questions. Together the two parts not only reveal an essential step in Lonergan's own development, but also make an impressive contribution to Thomist studies.