A Short Orientation
The essays collected here are loosely grouped around the theme of an existential Thomism, and this term “existential” takes on two distinct means. In the first, it concerns a Thomism centered on the primacy of the act of existence in the metaphysics of St. Thomas Aquinas. Instead of a philosophy centered on essences or forms, St. Thomas saw by way of a far-reaching and original intuition that it was existence, itself, that should be at the heart of metaphysics.
The second meaning of the term existential refers to a Thomism that vivified by this insight is alive to the real in its myriad of forms, willing to leave its intramural debates and look at pressing contemporary issues, and hopefully stimulated by these challenges, renew itself.
Some of these essays have seen the light of day before. “Christian Spirituality in the 21st Century” was a talk given at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita, Kansas in 1991 and then appeared in Spirituality Today in Spring 1994. “The Future of Thomism,” now part of “Some Conditions of a Thomistic Renaissance,” was a talk given at the American Maritain Association in Tempe, Arizona in 1996. “Nonlocality” was also a talk given at a American Maritain Association meeting in Berkeley, California, 1999 and later published in the book Jacques Maritain and the Many Ways of Knowing. “A Retreat for Married Couples: Towards a Theology of Marriage” comes from a retreat called “Two Secrets That Can Transform Your Marriage” which also contained another part on the psychological side of marriage. This retreat was first given in Seattle in 1994, and then in Alabama in 1995. “Maritain’s Lost Sequel” appeared in Gregorianum 87/3 (2006).
Table of Contents
II Theology and Morality
IV The Future of Thomism