Can Aquinas’s Infused and Acquired Virtues Coexist in the Christian Life?

Studies in Christian Ethics 23 (4):381-396 (2010)
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Although it is well known that Aquinas holds that infused versions of prudence and the other acquired virtues are bestowed on man along with habitual grace, there is no uniform and widely accepted account of how the infused and acquired virtues are related: some scholars interpret Aquinas to mean that the acquired virtues are ‘taken up’ into the infused virtues, while others credit him with the view that the infused and acquired virtues somehow coexist. This paper explores one common way of maintaining that the Christian’s infused and acquired virtues ‘coexist’. I argue that while such an interpretation is able to accommodate some of Aquinas’s most fundamental claims about the infused and acquired virtues, it is also problematic in important respects



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