Alfonso C. Chacón e-mail(Inicie sesión)

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Alfonso C. Chacón e-mail(Inicie sesión)


It is striking to find the treatise on supernatural grace in Book III of St. Thomas's Summa Contra Gentiles; he knew well that the supernatural realities can only be known with the light of Revelation but nevertheless, Book III of this work concerns truths attainable with the sole use of reason.

If we look for a sufficient motive to explain this, we arrive at the conclusion that the apostolic and apalogetic purpose of this work can justify a treatment of grace that differs greatly from the treatise on grace of the Summa Theologica as regards the approach to many questions and the method of work.

St. Thomas was confronted with those who denied the possibility of beatific vision. He makes them see -with a fact taken from the faith- that the last end of man consists in the vision of God. The apologetic character of the work obliges its author to underscore the continuity between the human spirit's openness to the Truth and the Good whose possession consists in a face to face vision. This standpoint can shed some light on the debated question regarding the desire to see God.

The apologetic perspective leaves its mark in what St. Thomas wrote in Book III on grace. Book IV, on the other hand, deals with some questions concerning grace -starting openly from the faith- in its relation to the trinitarian mystery.


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Alfonso C. Chacón, Universidad de Navarra.