29 April 2009

Paper on the Imago Dei

Image, Likeness, and Trace
in St. Thomas Aquinas's Theological Anthropology

Within St. Thomas's treatise on human nature in the prima pars of the Summa Theologiæ (qq. 75-102), question 93 is dedicated to the "end or terminus of man's production," which St. Thomas explicitly relates to man's being "made to the image and likeness of God." In the course of the nine articles contained in this question, St. Thomas refers frequently to the various concepts of image (imago), likeness or similitude (similitudo), and trace or vestige (vestigium). Through the interplay of these three concepts St. Thomas sets forth a richly theological understanding of man as a creature who images God in his nature and who is ordained to perfect this image through grace unto glory.

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