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Wisdom, Law, and VirtueEssays in Thomistic Ethics$
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Lawrence Dewan

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780823227969

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823227969.001.0001

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Is Thomas Aquinas a Spiritual Hedonist?

Is Thomas Aquinas a Spiritual Hedonist?

Chapter:
(p.99) Chapter 6 Is Thomas Aquinas a Spiritual Hedonist?
Source:
Wisdom, Law, and Virtue
Author(s):

Lawrence Dewan

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fso/9780823227969.003.0007

Leslie Dewart has attempted to make subject to question the whole orientation of Christian life toward beatitude. He has presented that orientation as a form of hedonism. This chapter examines whether Dewart's judgment of St. Thomas Aquinas' doctrine is adequate. It seeks to show that it is not, that is, St. Thomas's theory of the Christian life is not, in principle, a spiritual hedonism. For St. Thomas, the divine promise of supernatural beatitude is not merely no hedonism. It is that very effusion of divine goodness that makes possible the mode of loving God that we call “charity”.

Keywords:   Thomas Aquinas, Leslie Dewart, Christianity, spiritual hedonism, God, beatitudes

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