Grace perfects nature. As a Christian with an Aristotelian streak, Aquinas thought that our nature was wounded by sin but not that it was vitiated and corrupted all the way down and that we should fall back on faith in desperation. That particular idea broke out with a fury in the Reformation and it went back to Augustine, not to Aquinas. Aquinas thought that our senses and our rational faculties were made by God and they were capable of working very well, as is anything God has made, but that as natural and human faculties they were limited and imperfect, and this imperfection is made up for by grace, thanks be to God. (Philosophy and Theology 17, emphasis mine)Caputo does not seem to know about the distinction between gratia sanans and gratia elevans. He does know about grace, but he thinks grace is needed only to make up for the natural imperfect and limitation of human faculties.
Friday, 10 October 2008
Conflating finitude and falleness
Unlike Heidegger, Caputo speaks well of Aquinas and seems to be far less negative about the history of Western thought. That is why it is suprising that, like Heidegger, he also seems to conflate finitude and fallenness in some way. Thus he can say: