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Approaching the EndA Theological Exploration of Death and Dying$
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David Albert Jones

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199287154

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199287154.001.0001

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In One Way Natural, in Another Unnatural: Death in the Thought of Thomas Aquinas

In One Way Natural, in Another Unnatural: Death in the Thought of Thomas Aquinas

Chapter:
(p.90) 5 In One Way Natural, in Another Unnatural: Death in the Thought of Thomas Aquinas
Source:
Approaching the End
Author(s):

David Albert Jones

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199287154.003.0006

In the Summa Theologiae, Thomas Aquinas develops Augustine's anthropology with the help of the rediscovered metaphysics of Aristotle. Thomas comes to stress that the power of understanding of the ‘separated soul’ is very weak. Death is natural as regards matter (the destructible body) but not as regards form (the indestructible soul). Death in itself is always a bad thing and it is only incidentally (per accidens) that death is, for some, the beginning of heavenly bliss. Thus, homicide and suicide can be seen to be wrong because, in themselves, they are acts of destruction.

Keywords:   Augustine, death, fear of death, soul, suicide, theology of death, homicide, prayers for the dead, separated soul

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