The ecstasy of love in the thought of Thomas Aquinas

Steubenville, Ohio: Emmaus Academic (2021)
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Abstract

Peter Kwasniewski shows that St. Thomas contemplates the nature of ecstasy at key stages in the development of his thought and that it plays a crucial role in his doctrine of love. St. Thomas recognized that all love involves ecstatic transcendence, whether it be the creature's self-oblation to the Creator, the reverence of an inferior for a superior, a superior's generosity toward an inferior, or the mutual affection and help of equals joined in friendship. Love of persons for their own sake generates an ecstatic love in which the self is borne as a gift to another subject by sharing a common life aspiring to common goods. Kwasniewski also examines Aquinas on the question of whether or not God experiences ecstasy, and if so, in what ways.

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