By Paul Gondreau
St. Thomas Aquinas' theology of Christ's human passions comes on the top of a medieval debate centering at the fact and quantity of Christ's event of affective affliction. Weighing in at the debate, Aquinas forges a safeguard of Christ's complete humanity that stretches a ways past the inquiry into Christ's passions and seeks to uphold the realism of the dogma of the Incarnation. St. Thomas' doctrine of Christ's human affectivity owes a lot to patristic and medieval proposal. but no much less does it constitution a direction in Christology that stands proud for its originality and intensity of study.
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Extra resources for The Passions of Christ's Soul in the Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas
TholtJas AqUinas. trans. K. Shook (New York: Random House, 1956), pp. 381-430, at 397. For agreement, cf. -P. l39. 98. -P. Torrell (The PerSon. pp. 333-8) dates the composition of the Catena aurea at 1264-68 and the Tertia Pars at 1272-73. For a fairly detailed analysis ofthe relationship between the C~tena aurea and the auetoritates cited in the Tertia Pars, cf. L. Batail1on, "Saint Thomas et les Peres," pp. 15-36. 70 THE PASSIONS OF CHRIST'S SOUL IN THE PAUL GONDREAU 71 THEOLOGY OF ST. THOMAS AQUINAS affectivity are Augustine and John Damascene, as well as Hilary of Poitiers, whose problematic Christology plays a decisive role in the framing of the medieval discussion on Christ's passions.
Augustine, De civ. Dei, Bk. XIv, ch. 9 (CCSL 48, p. 427). \i il from these defects through no choice of their own, and since Jesus, contrary to the usual human experience, suffered from these defects through his own choice, it follows that sinlessness alone accounted for Jesus' supreme volitional self-mastery. Z. Hugh ofSL Victor One must proceed to the 12th-century to locate the next medieval source for Aquinas' doctrine of Christ's human affectivity: the important theologian Hugh of st. Victor (t1l42), whom his contemporaries called a "second Augustine" and whose Christological thought would leave an even deeper impression on Bonaventure a century later.
The Impact of the De fide orthodoxa on Aquinas' Theology o/Christ's Passions For all ofAugustine's influence oh Thomas, the key source for Thomas' Christological psy~ chology remains John Damascene's DefuJe orthodoxa. " This eighth-century work betrays its influence all throughout Aquinas' theoiogy of Christ's passions, even when the Dominican Master does not explicitly refer to it. whereas Peter Lombard's Sentences make Augustine the authoritative source for the discussion on Christ's human affectivity (Lombard's place in the Scholastic discussion on Christ's passions shall be considered shortly), Aquinas' commentary on Lombard's texts almost categorically leaves Augustine to the side, making instead, as did Alexander of Hales before him, the De fide orthodoxa of Damascene the key authoritative patristic auctoritas.