The mind as imago Dei according to Thomas Aquinas


Martín Federico Echavarría


Espíritu: ISSN 0014-0716, Year 68, Issue 157, 2019, pages 223-252




The concept of imago Dei plays a fundamental role in the christian conception of human being. Saint Augustine’s conception of the mind, held in De Trinitate was determinant to the theorization of this subject throughout the Middle Ages. Indeed, this work exerted a capital influence on the way in which Thomas Aquinas understood this same topic. In this article, we explain the interpretation of the fundamental Augustinian concepts that intervene in Aquinas’ explanation of the mind as the image of God, such as those of likeness and image, those of mind, knowledge and love, those of memory, intelligence and will, as well as those of “dicens”, word and love. Through them, the human mind and its operations are conceived as a privileged reference to speak of God as Trinity, from the application of analogy. Just as in the human mind there is habitual presence to oneself (memory/dicense), from which comes, by intellectual means, a word in which one expresses one’s own nature, and, through this one, a love of self proceeds by way of will, which is a new way of affective presence of oneself, in God, from the Father, perfect as a subsisting being, the Word and Love proceed.

Key words:

Thomas Aquinas, Image of God, Philosophical anthropology, Theological anthropology.


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