Charity as Divine Friendship (eBook)

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Charity as Divine Friendship explores and explains St. Thomas’s curious description of charity as a “kind of friendship of man for God.”  

Fr. Matthew Kauth achieves this in two symphonic movements: 

1) An investigation into the metaphysical substructure of friendship; 
2) Analysis of St. Thomas’s commentary on St. John’s Gospel, from which he takes his understanding of charity as friendship.  

In the first part, Fr. Kauth defines basic concepts that the Angelic Doctor employs ubiquitously whenever he discusses love and friendship. Once he has built the lexicon, Fr. Kauth distinguishes diverse kinds of love given St. Thomas's anthropology. He then covers the specific love of friendship, noting also Thomas’s dependence upon the Philosopher, Aristotle. Finally, Fr. Kauth examines charity itself, based primarily upon Thomas’s treatment in the Secunda secundae of the Summa Theologiae.
The second movement of the work engages the text of Thomas’s commentary.  Aquinas sees the Incarnation as the archetype of all transformation in Christ, namely, that Christ establishes with man a common life upon which friendship is based. This common life must move from the sensible to the spiritual, from human life to Divine.  Fr. Kauth tracaks this course, with special emphasis on the means employed by Christ now with His would-be friends: namely, the gift of His Spirit and the Sacrament of Charity. 
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