The Passions of Christ in the Moral Theology of Thomas Aquinas: An Integrative Account

New Blackfriars 98 (1074) (2017)
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In recent scholarship, moral theologians and readers of Thomas Aquinas have shown increasing sensitivity to the role of the passions in the moral life. Yet these accounts have paid inadequate attention to Thomas's writings on Christ's passions as a source of moral reflection. As I argue in this essay, Thomas's writings on Christ's human affectivity should not be limited to the concerns of Christology; rather, they should be integrated into a fuller account of the human passions. One upshot of this approach for Thomists is that it sharpens our vocabulary when describing human nature and the conditions for the moral life. By considering the rubrics of creation, fall, and redemption – as Thomas does – we find that our resources for analyzing the passions are greatly enriched.
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