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Eleonore Stump

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198813866

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198813866.001.0001

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Willing What God Wills

Willing What God Wills

Eckhart and Aquinas

(p.176) 6 Willing What God Wills

Eleonore Stump

Oxford University Press

This chapter takes as its starting point the Thomistic interpretation of the doctrine of the atonement, on which the role of the atonement is to bring a human person into a life in grace; and it argues against one interpretation—Eckhart’s or else an Eckhart-like interpretation—of what a life in grace is. Understanding the internal psychic state of a person in grace is a help to understanding the atonement, but this chapter argues that the psychic state Eckhart recommends for life in grace is actually pernicious to the traditionally understood purpose of both suffering and atonement. Whatever the internal configuration is of a human person in a condition of mutual indwelling with God, it is not the self-destructive absence of desire urged by Eckhart. Aquinas’s view that Christ’s prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane is the model for such a state is much more promising.

Keywords:   Eckhart, Aquinas, willing what God wills, life in grace, union, post-Fall human condition, suffering, stern-minded attitude, self-denial

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