Thomas Aquinas and Contemplation
- ISBN: 9780192895295
- Published By: Oxford University Press
- Published: April 2021
Contemplation, according to Thomas Aquinas, is the central goal of our life. This study considers the epistemological and metaphysical foundations of the contemplative act; the nature of the active and contemplative lives in light of Aquinas's Dominican calling; the role of faith, charity, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit in contemplation; and contemplation and the beatific vision. Rik Van Nieuwenhove argues that Aquinas espouses a profoundly intellective notion of contemplation in the strictly speculative sense, which culminates in a non-discursive moment of insight (intuitus simplex). In marked contrast to his contemporaries Aquinas therefore rejects a sapiential or affective brand of theology. He also employs a broader notion of contemplation, which can be enjoyed by all Christians, in which the gifts of the Holy Spirit are of central importance. Thomas Aquinas and Contemplation will appeal to readers interested in this key aspect of Aquinas's thought. Van Nieuwenhove provides a lucid account of central aspects of Aquinas's metaphysics, epistemology, theology, and spirituality. He also offers new insights into the nature of the theological discipline as Aquinas sees it, and how theology relates to philosophy.