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H. Daniel Monsour

The relation between uncreated and created grace in the Halesian 'Summa': A Lonergan reading (Bernard Lonergan)


University of St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto
Degree: PhD
Date: 2000 ; 291 pages
ISBN: 0-612-54051-0 Advisor: Robert M. Doran

Abstract: The terms, gratia increata and gratia creata , emerged in theological reflection in the West in the early thirteenth century as the expression of an understanding that for the first time attempted to relate systematically the indwelling of the Divine Persons in human hearts and the new life in God that characterizes those who embrace God's saving action in their lives. This dissertation attempts to outline the movement in theological reflection that led to the introduction of the terms, to clarify how the relation between the realities to which the terms are meant to refer was initially understood, and to indicate briefly what in that initial understanding is of permanent theological validity. Initially, the dissertation focuses on methodological considerations. Drawing on Bernard Lonergan's exposition of transcendental method and the concrete generality of its heuristic function, I attempt to specify a set of ideal-types that will be employed in the subsequent historical discussion. Thus, I treat briefly the elements and functions of meaning and the pivotal role these play in constituting the history that is written about, the various differentiations of consciousness and the various correlative Realms and Worlds of meaning, the genetic sequence in which at least some of the differentiations of consciousness are realized in a culture and the consequent stages of meaning of a culture, symbolic apprehension, and continuing contexts and the various kinds of relationship that can exist between continuing contexts. The discussion then turns to an examination of the first extended treatment of the terms gratia increata and gratia creata in theological literature, found in a set of questions in the Summa attributed to Alexander of Hales. The goal here is to provide a preliminary clarification of the meaning of the terms that can serve as an anchor and preparation for the subsequent discussion. Little explicit reference is made in this preliminary clarification to the philosophical and theological contexts out of which the terms emerged. An explicit consideration of context, however, does follow in the next two chapters. I distinguish a general philosophical context and a more specific theological context for the emergence of the terms.

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