Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Why there cannot be a "Theology of the Body"


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From St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologiae, I.75.prooem.

"[W]e now proceed to treat of man, who is composed of a spiritual and corporeal substance. We shall treat first of the nature of man, and secondly of his origin. Now the theologian considers the nature of man in relation to the soul; but not in relation to the body, except in so far as the body has relation to the soul. Hence the first object of our consideration will be the soul. And since Dionysius (Celestial Hierarchy, Ch. 11) says that three things are to be found in spiritual substances---essence, power, and operation---we shall treat first of what belongs to the essence of the soul; secondly, of what belongs to its power; thirdly, of what belongs to its operation...."

Division of the Treatise on Man (ST I.75-102)
I. The Nature of Man, in relation to the Soul (I.75-89)
--A. Essence of the Soul (I.75-76)
----1. The Soul Itself (I.75)
----2. The Soul's Union with the Body (I.76)
--B. Powers of the Soul (I.77-83)
--C. Operation of the Soul (I.84-89)
II. The Origin of Man (I.90-102)

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