Summaries & Keywords

Studia Gilsoniana » Issues » 2017 » 6:4 (October-December 2017) » Summaries & Keywords

Alexandra Cathey, THE GOSPEL’S VISION FOR WOMEN AND THE FEMININE GENIUS, Studia Gilsoniana 6:4 (October–December 2017): 511–526:

SUMMARY: The spiritual impoverishment of humanity is directly tied to the marginalization of women that has prevented them from fully expressing their feminine genius in both the home and in society. What is need to remove obstacles to the feminine genius is the adoption of the Gospel vision for women and the espousal of Jesus Christ’s attitude toward women. By showing openness, respect, acceptance, and tenderness towards women, the feminine gifts will make an indispensable contribution to the growth of a culture that promotes a culture worthy of persons, a world in which human relationships are more honest and authentic. Women, beginning with their daily relationships with people, offer to humanity the richness of their sensitivity, intuitiveness, generosity, and fidelity. The family and society, as John Paul II noted, direly need the maternal and healing embrace of women.

KEYWORDS: Gospel vision for women, Feminine Genius, culture of life, authentic human relationships, spiritual motherhood.


Heather M. Erb, DIVINE POWER AND THE SPIRITUAL LIFE IN AQUINAS, Studia Gilsoniana 6:4 (October–December 2017): 527–547:

SUMMARY: The role of divine power in Aquinas’s spiritual doctrine has often been neglected in favor of a focus on the primacy of charity, the controlling virtue of spiritual progress. The tendency among some thinkers (e.g. Polkinghorne) to juxtapose divine love and power stems from the stress on divine immanence at the cost of divine transcendence, and from an evolutionary (vs. classical) view of God with its ‘kenotic’ theodicy. A study of the ways in which divine power grounds and directs the spiritual life highlights the robust role that metaphysics plays in spiritual ascent for Aquinas, and offers a philosophical entry point to his doctrine. Themes in his doctrine of the spiritual life incorporate Platonic transcendent causal plenitude and Aristotelian causal axioms and motifs of growth and unity. From the side of theology, divine power is analyzed through several lenses, including power through weakness in Christ, the sin of Lucifer against the gift of being in contrast to the counsel of obedience, and the role of Christ’s human nature in the Church. Taken together, these themes combine to characterize divine power as redemptive medicine, as opposed to a distant, arbitrary force, and to reveal the ways in which Aquinas applies metaphysical insights to the supernatural order.

KEYWORDS: Thomas Aquinas, John Polkinghorne, divine power, divine goodness, kenosis, process theology, spiritual life, sin of Lucifer, obedience, headship of Christ.


Brian Kemple, THE PREEMINENT NECESSITY OF PRUDENCE, Studia Gilsoniana 6:4 (October–December 2017): 549–572:

SUMMARY: Thomas Aquinas holds not only that prudence, the virtue of right practical reasoning, is necessary for living well, but emphatically asserts that it “is the virtue most necessary to human life.” This essay argues that the force of Thomas’ assertion should not be understood as simply contradicting the objection—that “it seems that prudence is not a virtue necessary to living a good life”—with vigor, but rather, as we intend to show, that although all the moral virtues are necessary for the good life, there is a superior importance to the need for prudence, as that whereby the parts of virtuous living are not merely stacked up like building blocks of moral righteousness, but coalesced into a complete whole. To make clear the reasons for this preeminent necessity, we shall first consider the parts and constitution of prudence itself, its relationship to the other virtues, and conclude with its principal act, praeceptum.

KEYWORDS: prudence, counsel, deliberation, virtue, practical reasoning, practical judgment, Thomas Aquinas.


Denis A. Scrandis, THE END OF MAN IN JACQUES MARITAIN’S CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHY, Studia Gilsoniana 6:4 (October–December 2017): 573–583:

SUMMARY: This essay considers man’s perennial search for the meaning of life, specifically in its philosophical (Aristotelian) formulation namely as the pursuit of happiness, and how Christianity radically redefined the issue. Jacques Maritain began his philosophical analysis on the basis of Aristotle’s analysis because he regards Aristotle’s position as the finest fruit of reason even though it fails. Maritain’s analysis supplements Aristotle’s with man’s experience of the Incarnation and the Christian’s experience of faith, hope, and charity. Jesus promised the good thief “Today thou shalt be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43) and thereby identified God as man’s objective end. Jacques Maritain’s reflection employs rational concepts drawn from reason and theological concepts taken from theology, adequately considered the issue, and constitutes a Christian philosophical treatment of the end of man.

KEYWORDS: Absolute ultimate end, anthropology, beatitude, Christian philosophy, happiness, eudaimonia, Incarnation, supreme end, sovereign end, theological virtues, faith, hope, charity.



SUMMARY: In part one of her arguing for contemplative listening as a fundamental act of the new evangelization, the author explicates the anthropological dimensionof listening. Her analysis consists of four sections. Section one explains silence in terms of listening, for it is attentive perception to the presence of another, which can be described as love in the form of an obedient readiness to receive the other; listening, however, is more than two people actively willing to communicate: it is primarily an ontological reality that constitutes the human person as such. Section two claims that listening illustrates the nature of the person before it describes any action that one does; it relies upon Hans Urs von Balthasar’s analysis of the dialogue philosophers in his Theo-logic II: Truth of God. Section three considers Augustine’s notion of the internal word, which is a judgment that conforms to the Word (Jesus Christ); the author argues that to be in conformitywith the Word indicates that the person fulfills himself as a word spoken by God in the Word, which suggests that listening constitutes the ontology of the human person. Section four shows that the human person’s natural desire for God postulates his obedient readiness to hear theWord Incarnate.

KEYWORDS: contemplative listening, new evangelization, listening, silence, obedience, ontology, reality, human, person, nature, relation, dialogue, dialogicians, Augustine, internal word, the Word, God.



SUMMARY: The main objective of this inquiry is to examine the reach and influence of the Unconditional Norm throughout Karol Wojtyła’s thinking in order to understand the Wojtylian personalistic norm and to propose it as the basis for all social interactions. To this end, our primary method is obtained from the study of Kant’s Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals, which exposes the theory of imperatives and in a special way is able to show, as opposed to utilitarianism, how it is that a person can never be a mere means, but is rather an end in itself. This Kantian concept had a profound impact on Wojtyła, who was also critical of utilitarian ethics and thus found great inspiration in the Kantian proposal. However, Wojtyła goes beyond the Kantian proposal because, although they coincide in many points, Wojtyła felt that the subject of experience was not sufficiently addressed, given that it had an a priori, and therefore insufficient, perspective of the personal self. Wojtyła’s Aristotelian-Thomist education, driven by the discovery of Max Scheler’s phenomenology, gave substance to a very original doctrine in both method and projection.

KEYWORDS: practical love, moral good, categorical imperative, unconditional norm, respect.