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10 - Grace and Free Will

from Part IV - Ethics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 July 2022

Eleonore Stump
Affiliation:
Saint Louis University, Missouri
Thomas Joseph White
Affiliation:
Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas
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Summary

Grace is a gratuitous divine gift that exceeds our human nature and allows us to obtain a supernatural, eternal good. Thomas Aquinas, who attempts to formulate the orthodox Christian teaching on grace, understands by it in one sense a stable disposition (habitus) infused by God into the soul that lifts human nature so as to partake in the divine nature. It is thus a created reality, not simply the fact of enjoying God’s favor. In a second sense, he understands by grace an aid (auxilium) of God moving us to know, will, or do something. While Aquinas’s terminology varies, scholars call the first kind ‘habitual grace’ and the second ‘actual grace.’1

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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