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Document Details :
Title: 'Utrum caritas sit aliquid creatum in anima'
Subtitle: Aquinas on the Lombard's Identification of Charity with the Holy Spirit
Author(s): ZUIJDWEGT, Geertjan
Journal: Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales
Volume: 79 Issue: 1 Date: 2012
This article examines Thomas Aquinas’s critique of Peter Lombard’s controversial claim that the charity with which we love God and neighbor is the Holy Spirit himself. It discusses three interpretations of the Lombard’s position, analyses Aquinas’s objections to each of them, and presents Aquinas’s own developing view of the relation between charity and the Holy Spirit. In his Scriptum super Sententiis, Aquinas attacks the Lombard’s position as interpreted by the English Dominican Richard Fischacre, who tentatively argued that the Holy Spirit ‘co-constitutes’ human acts of charity either by means of a (quasi-)hypostatical union with the mind of the believer (i), or by means of a concursus simultaneus with the believer in the act of charity (ii). From the Lectura romana onwards, Aquinas is no longer concerned with Fishacre’s position. He rather reads the Lombard as maintaining that the Holy Spirit is the sole principle of the act of charity in the believer, without a mediating form or habit (iii). Aquinas maintains that the Lombard’s position is mistaken on each of these three interpretations. Instead of being the Holy Spirit himself, Aquinas argues, charity is a created habitual form in the soul of the believer, which enables the free and full participation of human beings in the divine love.