Theoria versus Praxis : a view based on the final end of humanity according to Aquinas.

Barford, Lee (2014) Theoria versus Praxis : a view based on the final end of humanity according to Aquinas. Masters thesis, University of Wales, Trinity St David.

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Which of praxis or theoria should be primary? Traditionally, theoria, the contemplative gaining of knowledge and love of God, came first. Liberation theologians have insisted instead that theology must be rooted in praxis in order to achieve social change that is an irruption of the Kingdom of God into history. To them, understanding of neighbor and of God follows from reflection on political and social action. This essay explores the question of which alternative is primary based on the mature theology of St Thomas Aquinas as found in the Summa Theologica. For Aquinas, the final end of humanity is happiness that is found in unity with the Triune God. But increasing conformity of the imago Dei within one necessitates that growing wisdom and love (charity) break out as action in the world, just as the Word and Spirit were sent into the world to make this final end possible for fallen humanity. Charity is not limited to almsgiving but is rather a mode of life involving gaining a thorough knowledge of the true needs of one’s neighbor and acting on this knowledge with wisdom to build a just peace among all in society. Even the spheres of business and economics are places of training in the practice of seeing that one’s neighbors have their needs met through just means. The justice required by charity can demand the re-ordering of economic affairs. The Christian life is a mode of life (1) oriented toward knowledge and union with God (theoria) but that very orientation requires that one have (2) knowledge and union with neighbor, which (3) necessarily involves praxis with the poor. For Aquinas, theoria is logically primary. However, motion toward unity with God means increasing unity of theoria and praxis.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Series: Carmarthen / Lampeter Dissertations.;.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Theoria, Coleção Práxis, Thomas Aquinas, Saint, 1225?-1274.
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
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Depositing User: John Dalling
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2014 08:36
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2023 15:59

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