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Reinhard Hutter's main thesis in this third volume of the Sacra Doctrina series is that John Henry Newman, in his own context of the nineteenth century, a century far from being a foreign one to our own, faced the same challenges as we do today; the problems then and now differ in degree, not in kind. Hence, Newman's engagement with these problems offers us a prescient and indeed prophetic diagnosis of what these problems or errors, if not corrected, will lead to-consequences which have more or less come to pass-and, furthermore, an alternative way which is at once thoroughly Catholic and holds contemporary relevance. The introduction offers a survey of Newman's life and works and each of the subsequent four chapters addresses one significant aspect of Christianity that is not only contested or rejected by secular unbelief, but also has a counterfeit for which not only Christians, but even Catholics have fallen. The counterfeit of conscience is the conscience of the sovereign subject (Ch. 1); the counterfeit of faith is the faith of one who does not submit to the living authority through which God communicates but rather adheres to the principle of private judgment in matters of revealed religion(Ch.2); the counterfeit of doctrinal development is twofold: (i) paying lip service to development while only selectively accepting its consequences on the grounds of a specious antiquarianism and (ii) invoking development theory to justify all sorts of contemporary changes according to the present Zeitgeist (Ch. 3). Finally, the counterfeit of the university are all those universities whose end is not to educate and thereby to perfect the intellect, but rather to feed more efficiently the empire of desire that is informed by the techno-consumerism of today (Ch. 4). John Henry Newman on Truth and its Counterfeits concludes with an epilogue on Hutter's journey to Catholicism.
Aquinas on Transubstantiation treats one of the most frequently misunderstood and misrepresented teachings of Thomas Aquinas - Eucharistic transubstantiation. The study interprets Aquinas's teaching as an exercise of holy teaching (sacra doctrina) that intends to show theologically and back up philosophically the simple yet profound thesis that transubstantiation affirms nothing but the truth of Christ's words at the Last Supper - This is my body, This is my blood. Yet in order to achieve a contemporary ressourcement of this simple yet profound truth, it is necessary to probe the depths of Thomas Aquinas's philosophical interpretation of it. For Thomas Aquinas, in regarding the truth of Eucharistic conversion, it is faith that preserves the human intellect from missing or dismissing the mystery announced in Christ's words. Faith, however, is not intellectually blind, a faith that, as is often erroneously held, is commanded by arbitrary divine dictates to which the will submits in blind obedience. Rather, Aquinas takes faith is sustained, but not constituted, by an intellectual contemplation of the proposed mystery of faith, by faith seeking understanding. Thomas Aquinas unfolds this exercise of understanding guided by faith in the medium of a metaphysical contemplation that affords a profound intellectual appreciation of this central mystery of faith - precisely as mystery. Thomas's metaphysical contemplation of Eucharistic conversion gestures toward the blinding light of superintelligibility, experienced as the unique darkness that surrounds this sublime mystery of faith. A ressourcement in Thomas Aquinas's doctrine of transubstantiation also affords a renewed appreciation of the Church's affirmation of transubstantiation as the most apt term for the interpretation of the mystery of Eucharistic conversion and a greater precision of what is centrally at stake in this mystery in the ongoing ecumenical conversation of this most central Christian teaching. A doctrinally sound, ecumenically informed, and philosophically reflected contemporary Catholic theology cannot afford to ignore or dismiss Aquinas's surpassing account of Eucharistic conversion.
Bound for Beatitude is about St. Thomas Aquinas's theology of beatitude and the journey thereto. Consequently, the work's topic is the meaning and purpose of human life embedded in that of the whole cosmos. This study is not an antiquarian exercise in the thought of some sundry medieval thinker, but an exercise of ressourcement in the philosophical and theological wisdom of one of the most profound theologians of the Catholic Church, one whom the Church has canonized, granted the title Doctor of the Church, and for a long time regarded as the common doctor. This exercise of ressourcement takes its methodological cues from the common doctor; hence, it is an integrated exercise of philosophical, dogmatic, and moral theology. Its specific theological topic, the ultimate human end, perfect happiness, beatitude, and the journey thereto-stands at the very heart of St. Thomas's theology. Far from being passe, his theology of beatitude is of urgent pertinence as the crisis of humanity and of creation and the exile of God seems to approach its apogee. By way of a presentation, interpretation, and defense of Thomas Aquinas's doctrine of beatitude and the journey thereto, Bound for Beatitude advances an argument based on four theses: (1) The loss of a theology of beatitude has greatly impoverished contemporary theology. In order to succeed and flourish, theology must recover a sound teleological orientation. (2) In order to recover a sound teleological orientation, theology must recover metaphysics as its privileged instrument. (3) Thomas Aquinas provides a still pertinent model for how theology might achieve these goals in a metaphysically profound theology of beatitude and the beatific vision. Finally, (4) Aquinas's rich and sophisticated account of the virtues charts the journey to beatitude in a way that still has analytic force and striking relevance in the early twenty-first century.
The essays in this volume explore three areas in which St. Thomas Aquinas's voice has never fallen silent: sacred doctrine, the relationship of sacraments and metaphysics, and the central role of virtue in moral theology. For Aquinas, sacramental theology studies how Christ Jesus acts in the Church through created instruments, namely, the sacraments and their ministers. He remains a crucial source of wisdom for such discussions, which have profound pastoral implications. Aquinas also undertakes inquiry into human nature, human flourishing, and life in Christ. The transformation of created human capacities through the grace of the Holy Spirit requires a careful integration of philosophical and theological reflection, for which Aquinas's moral theology has proven pastorally fruitful and spiritually energizing over the centuries. The authors consider the treatment of these themes in light of, and in tribute to, the wide-ranging work of Aquinas scholar Romanus Cessario, O.P. The essays highlight the importance of St. Thomas Aquinas in contemporary theology and exemplify how to draw upon the resources of the saint for contemporary purposes of appropriation and practice, rather than for strictly historical purposes. Throughout, one sees the importance of St. Thomas Aquinas for theology today. ABOUT THE EDITORS Reinhard Hutter is professor of theology at Duke University and author most recently of Bound to Be Free: Evangelical Catholic Engagements in Ecclesiology, Ethics, and Ecumenism. Matthew Levering, professor of theology at the University of Dayton, is author of several books, most recently Christ and the Catholic Priesthood and coeditor of Thomas Aquinas's Commentary on the Gospel of John. CONTRIBUTORS In addition to commendations by Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia and Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon, the following scholars contribute essays to the volume: Guy Bedouelle, O.P.; Bernhard Blankenhorn, O.P.; Stephen L. Brock; Lawrence Dewan, O.P.; Reinhard Hutter; Joseph W. Koterski, S.J.; Matthew L. Lamb; Benoit-Dominique de La Soujeole, O.P.; Matthew Levering; Steven A. Long; Alasdair MacIntyre; Graham J. McAleer; Richard Schenk, O.P.; Craig Steven Titus; Thomas Weinandy, O.F.M. Cap.; and Thomas Joseph White, O.P.