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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This Chapter considers ‘tradition’ as the context-relative elaboration of an original deposit of revelation. The first part of the chapter explores the need for creative, case-specific judgement in drawing the distinction between those elements of the original deposit that are genuinely revelatory and those that reflect the operation of culturally local assumptions that are now antiquated. The second part of the chapter examines the models of tradition that are implied in the work of two Christian authors of undisputed authority: it considers how Anselm gives tradition, relative to revelation, an ordering and, in turn, extrapolative role; and how Aquinas appropriates various secular concepts for theological use, so stretching their sense, and also how he develops a new account of the hinge between secular learning and revelation.

Keywords: tradition, revelation, culture, authority, Anselm, faith seeking understanding, Aquinas, potentiality, virtue, analogy

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