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Thomas Aquinas, Trinity, Procession, Generation, Immanent Word


Thomas Aquinas’ Trinitarian theology has been criticized as proposing an abstract notion of God that is divorced from salvation history and that is supported by tedious and ultimately incomprehensible explication. By showing the goals and limitations of Thomas’ approach and by analyzing one element of his theology, it will be shown that these criticisms are unfounded. Specifically, this article will attempt to analyze Aquinas’ view of the procession of the Word, or act of “generation,” in the divine immanent life. It can be seen that Aquinas actually provides a metaphysical analogy for contemplating generation that avoids heresy and that absolutely integrates the economic and immanent lives of the Trinity.