Aquinas’s Shiny Happy People: Perfect Happiness and the Limits of Human Nature

In Oxford Studies in the Philosophy of Religion. pp. 269-291 (2014)
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In Aquinas's account of the beatific vision, human beings are joined to God in a never-ending act of contemplation of the divine essence: a state which utterly fulfills the human drive for knowledge and satisfies every desire of the human heart. In this paper, I argue that this state represents less a fulfillment of human nature, however, than a transcendence of that nature. Furthermore, what’s transcended is not incidental on a metaphysical, epistemological, or moral level.



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Christina VanDyke
Barnard College

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