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date: 26 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This essay explores the Catholic teaching on grace through some of the classic texts and writers. It begins by comparing the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and The Council of Trent’s decree On Justification. Although the two differ in strategy (the latter seeking to differentiate itself from emerging Protestant teaching), the Catechism shows itself to be in great continuity with Trent. The essay then considers the teaching of the two most influential writers in the Catholic tradition of reflection on grace, Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas (and some of his successors). Thomas incorporates much of Augustine’s later teaching, but offers a more expansive account of merit and sees predestination more as a matter of fore-knowledge than God’s causal activity. The essay ends with a treatment of some recent writing on the subject.

Keywords: grace, merit, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Karl Rahner, Trent, predestination, justification

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