The Catholic University of America Press

The Glory of God's Grace

Deification According to St. Thomas Aquinas

Daria Spezzano

Sapientia Press

Paper 978-1-9325-8972-6 $45.00
April 2015 In Print Add to Cart

St. Thomas Aquinas, drawing from Scripture and the Fathers of the Church, offered in the Summa theologiae a theology of sanctification as deification in his mature systematic work. Presenting his most developed thought on the graced movement of the elect toward God - conformed to and moved by their Trinitarian exemplar - Thomas defined grace as a created habitus that is a deifying participation in the divine nature and the virtue of charity and gift of wisdom as participations in the likeness of the Holy Spirit and Son. Deification, according to Thomas, is thus a true conformation to the image of the Trinity and a participation in Christ's sonship, which simultaneously take place through the graced creature's own free moral activities led by the Holy Spirit.

The Glory of God's Grace offers the first full-length comprehensive study of Thomas's teaching on deification in its scriptural, patristic, philosophical, developmental, and systematic context. Daria Spezzano traces Thomas's theology of deification throughout the Summa, exploring in depth how the notion of deification links his treatments of the divine missions and image, the journey to beatitude through the moral life, adopted sonship through Christ and his sacraments, and the deiform worship of the beatific vision. Also examined are Thomas's other works, in particular his Scripture commentaries, as well as the evolution of his thought. Spezzano argues that Thomas's theology of deification in the Summa theologiae demonstrates his mature vision of God's loving and sapiential ordering of predestined human persons to communion with himself by a progressive participation in the divine likeness and activity, accounting for both the primacy of divine causality in all its modes and the fullness of graced human freedom. The fruit of this theology is ultimately doxological: the deification of adopted sons gives praise to God's glory by fully manifesting God's gracious plan to share the divine life with rational creatures.


DARIA SPEZZANO is assistant professor of theology at Providence College.

Product Details

Pages:408 pages

Dimensions:6 x 9 inches

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