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date: 22 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Thirteenth-century theologians describe the sacraments as signs that have to do with spiritual realities and effects. In these descriptions, they attend to the distinctive contributions of God and Christ, and of ordained priests, in bringing about the grace of the sacraments, here echoing the anti-Donatist teaching of St. Augustine. Thirteenth-century theologians are also alert to the importance of proper spiritual disposition on the part of recipients for fruitful engagement in the sacraments, without making such disposition efficiently causal of spiritual effects. The chapter reflects on the thirteenth-century theological concern for objective sacramental efficacy as well as appropriate subjective disposition, through the examination of two sets of texts: the teaching on the sacraments in general offered by William of Auxerre, Alexander of Hales, Bonaventure, Aquinas, and Robert Kilwardby; and Aquinas’s treatise on the Eucharist in his Summa theologiae.

Keywords: sacramental character, sacramentum tantum, res et sacramentum, res tantum, sine qua non causality, instrumental cause, Jesus the priest

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