Issue 154

Year 66 | 2017 Articles Jesus Christ the perfect man. Nature and grace in the Divine Person of Jesus Christ Ignacio Andereggen Providence in St. Albert the Great David Torrijos-Castrillejo Natural order and chance in Thomas Aquinas’ Thought Lorella Congiunti...

Connaturality in the act of appetitus sensitivus

Contemporary explanations in Psychology of Emotions lack reference to the Aristotelian notion of nature. Subsequently, from this stance it is impossible to understand emotions as tendencies. This and some other deficiencies of contemporary Psychology, such as the confusion between emotion and cognition, are rooted in its Cartesian basis in this field. The present article will try to revalue the concept of nature as key to formally distinguish different psychological operations and to understand their dynamism and proper order in human beings.

Beauty, nature and arts in Thomas Aquinas’ thought

The present study analyzes the Thomistic doctrine concerning the foundations of art and beauty and the relationship between beauty and goodness.
Although a complete artistic theory is not found in Thomistic intents, several texts of Thomas Aquinas give valuable clues for an organic theory of art aimed to beauty and good.
Reference to nature is crucial for the production of an authentic human art, as can be seen in various examples from the past.
The following section discusses some of the implications derived from the Thomist position or, on the contrary, from a relativistic conception of the same.
Finally, it explains the usefulness of Thomas’ thinking for a renewed artistic realism.

The destruction of nature by gnosis: God, cosmos, man

In this article we intend to study the persistence and consequences of Gnostic thought about the concept of God, nature and cosmos. Gnosis has an enormous corrosive potential of the philosophical categories because it is a titanic attempt to reconfigure the world considered radically insufficient and that arises from the attempt to match the pneumatic nature and the outside world. This study will focus on three main areas of the Gnostic revolution, following the three concepts mentioned above: theological modernism, post-humanism and gender studies.

Connaturality in the act of appetitus sensitivus

Contemporary explanations in Psychology of Emotions lack reference to the Aristotelian notion of nature. Subsequently, from this stance it is impossible to understand emotions as tendencies. This and some other deficiencies of contemporary Psychology, such as the confusion between emotion and cognition, are rooted in its Cartesian basis in this field. The present article will try to revalue the concept of nature as key to formally distinguish different psychological operations and to understand their dynamism and proper order in human beings.

Nature and will according to Thomas Aquinas

Modern philosophy has made of the opposition between nature and freedom one of the central points of anthropology and ethics, but Thomas Aquinas’ position is very different. This author considers that nature and will not only are not opposed, but the former is preserved and elevated in the latter. Natural and voluntary are only opposed when “natural” is taken in a precisive sense. The voluntary and the natural have in common the proceeding of interiority, unlike the violent. They differ in that the natural is spoken of in a precisive sense when the entity is directed to an end that it does not know as such, while the voluntary supposes the knowledge of the end. The will itself has an act per modum naturae, which is the appetite for human goods. These are the acts of voluntas ut natura, which differs from voluntas ut ratio. Finally, even realities that depend on the deliberate will are called “natural” insofar as through them are acted inclinations inchoated in the natural will, and terminated by the deliberate will.

Convenience and inconvenience of nature in today’s society

The permanent question today in the social sciences and in the socio-political philosophy is the reconciliation between the natural and the philosophical or with the cultural, the historical, the social, the moral. However, in today’s world there is a tendency to minimize and even obstinately deny the reality of “nature” and especially “human nature”, because it begins to be inconvenient. First, a current picture of the most significant negations of the concept of nature will be traced to the explicit answer found in Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas.

Natural order and chance in Thomas Aquinas’ Thought

This study analyzes the notion of order in Thomas Aquinas’ texts. The natural order is different from the mathematical one, and is related to contingency, multiplicity, graduality. Such a notion of order is not in contradiction with the reality of chance, but confirms it. In fact, chance is perceivable since it is a lower degree of order. If it were total disorder, chance could not be perceived. Chance can only be explained in theological perspective. For St. Thomas, Providence requires chance. For God nothing is casual, but for human beings chance is the space of human freedom and God’s gifts.

Providence in St. Albert the Great

In these pages, we expose the main traits of the doctrine of providence of Saint Albert the Great, according to his systematic works, mainly his Summa of Theology. His discussion follows clearly the guidelines of the Summa of Alexander of Hales, in order to delve into the set of problems faced by theological tradition over the centuries. Albert also restates the reflections of different authors like Boethius or Saint John of Damascus and he gives his personal solution to the complex questions of providence, destiny and contingency of the world.

Jesus Christ the perfect man. Nature and grace in the Divine Person of Jesus Christ

The entire natural order and its being culminates in the perfection of nature given by the grace that we find in the human nature of the Person of the Word. The Thomasian study of Christ responds radically to the objection that western metaphysics has forgotten being, considering the relationship between being and nature from its Increate source. From the supposed scriptural point of view, we reflect on the Exposition of the Letter to the Ephesians, in which the Angelic explains the meaning of man perfected by his union with Christ. The perfection that Christ produces by being a perfect man is made explicit in christians, for each one is called to the spiritual perfection fulfilled in the Resurrection. If no human individual realizes all human perfection, in Christ there is all the perfection of human nature, because the divine Person of Christ exists by the divine Being. St. Thomas concludes with regard to the humanity of Christ as the Head of the Church, and this perspective is taken up by the Second Vatican Council. From a metaphysical point of view, “participation” is not enough to explain the union of the Incarnate Word. Humanity not only participates in the divine nature, but has the divine esse. The restoration of humanity is achieved when it reaches union with the immutability of God, the Ipsum esse subsistens, which is the Trinity revealed by Christ himself, through the personal and habitual grace of the incarnate Word, who leads us, and unites us to the Father.