Bound for Beatitude
A Thomistic Study in Eschatology and Ethics
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.
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"Building on Aquinas's profound theological anthropology, Htter develops a rich account of the beatitudes within an Aristotelian-Thomist grammar of proximate and ultimate ends. He also makes a compelling case for why a retreat from these metaphysical questions into a purely immanent frame dominated by 'practical' concerns would greatly impoverish theology and, indeed, the faith itself. Immensely learned and unfailingly probing, the arguments presented will establish ound for Beatitude as the benchmark for all future exploration of Christian soteriology and eschatology."—Thomas Pfau, Duke Divinity School
"Like Ariadne's thread, this richly documented and clear-sighted work guides the reader through a maze of newer and older controversies clustered around the manifold ties connecting the first-and-last things to the search for the best approaches to them in our earthly Christian existence. It locates the concerns where intra-Thomistic debates intersect and interact with the wider theological and philosophical spectrum of quaestiones disputatae et disputandae."—Richard Schenk, OP, University of Freiburg
"We are called to eternal happiness. As the Gospel spirituals proclaim, we are bound for glory and the joys of Canaan Land. Reinhard Hütter, nourished by an evangelical love of Scripture and trained in the best of Catholic tradition, employs the insights of Thomas Aquinas to present the implications for the Christian life (and for moral theology) of the universal call to beatitude. Hütter illustrates the difference that beatitude makes. We are pilgrims on the way (viatores), sustained by the sacraments and fortified by the virtues. By restoring to moral theology the eschatological urgency of St. Thomas's understanding of beatitude, Hütter has done theology a tremendous service."—Michael Sherwin, OP, author of On Love and Virtues: Theological Essays.
"Aquinas's theology is at once intricately analytical and authentically mystical. These dual elements are captured wonderfully in this major work. Bound for Beatitude is an extensive and coordinated study of the moral teaching and virtue theory of Aquinas, always with an orientation toward eschatology. Reinhard Hütter is one of the leading voices in Thomistic studies today, and this book marks a milestone in his articulation of a living Thomistic theology, one simultaneously rooted in historical principles and engaged with contemporary questions."—Thomas Joseph White, OP, Director, Thomistic Institute, Angelicum, Rome
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