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Title: Contemplatio Sapientialis
Subtitle: Thomas Aquinas's Contribution to Mystical Theology
Author(s): MCGINN, Bernard
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 95    Issue: 2   Date: 2019   
Pages: 317-334
DOI: 10.2143/ETL.95.2.3286479

Abstract :
Because he says so little about himself, it is difficult to know whether or not Thomas Aquinas was a mystic, that is, someone who personally experienced union with God, but many contemporary scholars of Thomas claim that he did. There can be no question, however, that the Dominican made important contributions to the doctrinal foundations of mystical theology. This is especially evident in his teaching about the three related levels of contemplation (contemplatio) and the three kinds of wisdom (sapientia) that characterize them. The highest form of contemplation, an intuitive and connatural knowing of divine things on the basis of the wisdom that is the gift of the Holy Spirit, can be aptly named contemplatio sapientialis and is among Thomas’s most important contributions to mystical theology.

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