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Document Details :
Title: «These Words are Spirit and Life»
Subtitle: Thomas' Use of Augustine on the Eucharist in Summa Theologiae, III, 73-83
Author(s): HUMPHRIES, Thomas
Journal: Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales
Volume: 78 Issue: 1 Date: 2011
This article demonstrates that Thomas Aquinas was sensitive to the tension between two authorities on the Eucharist, Ambrose of Milan and Augustine of Hippo. The article argues that Thomas resolves the tension in his Summa Theologiae by using the structure of a quaestio to present Ambrose and Augustine as mutually reinforcing, not mutually exclusive authorities. Thomas is attentive to Augustine’s arguments for multiple layers of significance in the sacrament. The Eucharist is the real presence of Jesus Christ and is also a sign of corporate and personal unity with Christ and the eschatological fulfillment for which Christians hope. While Thomas, unlike modern scholarship, is not interested in the historical context of Augustine’s theological system, he is attentive to the theological context of Augustine’s doctrine of the Eucharist.