Hardback
May 26, 2023
9780813236797
English
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v2.1 Reference

Aquinas on Prophecy

Wisdom and Charism in the Summa Theologiae

Aquinas on Prophecy argues that a lacuna exists (especially among Anglophone scholars of Aquinas) that neglects to identify his most famous work as a prophetic witness to the transformative effect of Christian theology. Through a detailed examination of Aquinas's treatment of prophecy in the Summa Theologiae (II-II, QQ.171-174), Paul Rogers reveals how prophetic testimony is central to the understanding of Christian revelation, faith, and theology, since it presents an initial (and historically-rooted) model for a Christian pedagogy that attempts to affect intellectual and moral transformation through communicating knowledge about God.

The theologian thus conceived by Aquinas exercises analogously a prophetic, and hence social, function among Christian believers that has a special care for their spiritual and moral guidance. In contrast to readings of Aquinas that portray him as overly reliant on Aristotelian gnoseology (e.g., Jenkins 1997), Rogers lays out a reading more in line with recent 'ressourcement' Thomistic interpreters that identifies in his account of prophecy a creative adaptation of Arabic-Aristotelian gnoseology in the service of clarifying difficulties that had arisen in the thirteenth century surrounding the reception of a patristic (and predominantly Augustinian) tradition of prophetic illumination or vision. In the hands of Aquinas, the traditional Augustinian theory of prophetic illumination was re-envisioned and reinvigorated, which in turn allowed him to reassert confidently prophecy's status as certain knowledge (scientia) that required its own distinct 'light', comparable to the light of natural reason and the lights of faith and glory.

Highlighting prophecy in Aquinas's thought helps especially to refocus today's readers on how knowledge of the final end as revealed was for Aquinas the ultimate moral objective shared by both the prophet and theologian: a point that is best appreciated when his account of prophecy is related back to his understanding of sacred doctrine and faith as a whole—the book's central task.

About the Author

Paul M. Rogers is a post-doctoral researcher at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

Reviews

"Lucid, textually sound, and well written. The best volume published on prophecy in Thomas Aquinas. Rogers has a deep theological sensibility about Thomas's work."—Anna Moreland, Villanova University

9780813236797 : aquinas-on-prophecy-rogers
Hardback
May 26, 2023
$75.00 USD

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