Aquinas on Beatific Charity and the Problem of Love

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by Christopher J. Malloy

Available Fall 2017

The “problem of love” needs further inquiry and a resolution as to whether God is the ultimate object of love or whether our own happiness is the object of love. This is both a perennial problem in thought and a textual problem in Aquinas. It seems evident that our duty is to love God above all things and for his own sake. On the other hand, it seems that descriptions of the moral life as rooted in a search for perfect fulfillment do not present God for his own sake as the ultimate reason for human action. Aquinas on Beatific Charity and the Problem of Love investigates the nature and characteristics of Thomas’s thought on beatific charity in order to determine whether it may yield a resolution to “the problem of love.”