Thomas Instituut te Utrecht (Tilburg University)

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Research at the Thomas Instituut te Utrecht

Under the title Ordering Christian Identity - Thomas Aquinas researchers at the Thomas Instituut te Utrecht study the ways in which Thomas Aquinass philosophy and theology order and formulate Christian identity and thereby constitute a principal source for subsequent tradition.
Thomas Aquinas has made important contributions to the formulation of Christian identity in at least three areas: the link he endeavors to establish between metaphysics and belief in God along the lines of being; the theological anthropology he develops, in which the relations between nature, grace and sin are directive; and the way in which his Christology situates salvation through the cross theologically and analyses it conceptually. The concept of ordering is important since establishing links and negotiating approaches and topics constitute Aquinass strength.

The questions this research addresses, aim to build up a historically, philosophically and theologically sound interpretation of the thought of Thomas Aquinas in the areas mentioned, to put this interpretation in historical perspective, and to formulate its relevance for contemporary discussions on Christian identity. An approach is chosen which builds on a more general and innovative interpretation of Thomas which was developed by the Thomas Institute during the years past.

Research is being done within three subprojects:

Key publications
  • H.J.M.J. Goris, Steering Clear of Charybdis: Some Directions for Avoiding Grace Extrinsicism in Aquinas. In: Nova et Vetera, English Edition 5 (2007), pp. 67-79.
  • H.J.M. Schoot, Divine transcendence and the mystery of salvation according to Thomas Aquinas. In: Harm Goris, Herwi Rikhof, and Henk Schoot (eds.), Divine transcendence and immanence in the work of Thomas Aquinas, Louvain: Peeters 2009, pp. 255-281.
  • R.A. te Velde, Aquinas on God. The divine science of the Summa Theologiae (Ashgate Studies in the History of Philosophical Theology), Aldershot: Ashgate 2006.