After his death an intense struggle ensued for ownership of the relics of Thomas Aquinas. There were both pious and political motives for the desire to possess the bones of the saint. This article introduces the topic by describing the places where Aquinas’ relics can now be found. We then outline Aquinas’ own views on the veneration of relics, which is characterized by an appreciation of the practice but with great caution to avoid superstition. An historical overview of the fate of Aquinas’ relics sheds light on their significance, particularly in light of the canonization process. The final reflection considers the fate of Aquinas’ relics in light of his own theology.
The so-called. ‘Christianization’ of Aristotle in the Middle Ages and in particular by Thomas Aquinas remains a vexed debate. A case by case study seems to be a fruitful approach. One of these cases concerns Aristotle’s definition of the soul in De anima II, 1(412b10-25). Applying this philosophical claim to the theological question Utrum Christus fuerit homo in triduo mortis seems to be not without difficulty, as St. Thomas’ frequent treatments of this question show. In this paper I analyze these texts and show how Aquinas on multiple occasions follows De anima II, 1 and similar texts of Aristotle and defends a robust Aristotelian position, even in light of the significance of his recovery of Greek Church Fathers.
In both the 20th and 21st centuries, there has been a lively debate concerning beauty’s transcendental status in Aquinas’ thought. Nobody, however, has noticed that this debate can be replicated with peace. Peace’s place vis-à-vis the transcendentals is also ambiguous. This paper argues that peace is not an independent transcendental, but a transcendental of the good. In peace’s positive and negative rationes, union/order and rest/tranquility, it is reduced to the transcendental good. Yet through this reduction, peace adds conceptual content to ens. Inasmuch as something is, it is ordered/in union. Inasmuch as something is, it is at rest/tranquil.
Thomas Aquinas makes occasional references to the coexistence of multiple versions of the Bible. In particular, Thomas was familiar with several versions of the Latin Psalter used in liturgical and scholarly contexts. This article examines Thomas’s references to Ps. 67, 7 as a test case for understanding the role of scriptural plurality in his biblical hermeneutics. Thomas associates this verse with the theme of unity within religious life, the relation of the Eucharist to ecclesial unity, and ecclesial unity in itself. Thomas’s citations of alternate versions of this verse often appear to be consciously chosen in accord with his exegetical purposes.
Current political and social climate seems to have as a presupposition the view that truth-telling has a merely instrumental value. This paper will explore Thomas Aquinas’ writing on truth and truth-telling, arguing that truth-telling is an intrinsic good, a human virtue and a component of human flourishing. In Aquinas’ view the virtue of truth-telling is a satellite virtue within the cardinal virtue of justice, and as such imperative for the flourishing of human society.
In this article I discuss the concept of evil. I begin by showing that the concept of evil is not religiously neutral. Here, I will discuss the Western view of evil, influenced by Judaism and Christianity. Subsequently, I discuss Leibniz’s classic distinction between three forms of evil - metaphysical, physical and moral - and introduce the categories of natural and non-moral evil. Next, I show that one and the same event may be good in one respect and evil in another. Thus, the passion of Christ is a physical evil when we look at the suffering undergone, a moral evil when we look at the act of those who inflict it on Him, and a moral good when we look at the act of Christ: He gives His life for His friends. This I call the ambiguity of evil. Finally, I discuss two views on the origin of evil: dualism and the view of evil as a privation of a good that should be there, and argue in favour of the second.