Aquinas and the gifts: contemporary contributions to the place of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the christian moral life
This study offers a status quaestionis of recent contributions to Thomas Aquinas’s understanding of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This article first outlines two schools of thought or interpretations of Aquinas’s account of the gifts in relation to the acquired and infused virtues: the “standard two modes account” represented by John of St. Thomas and the “rival two modes account” represented by Angela McKay Knobel. The latter account, which arguably represents Aquinas’s mature thought, envisions the gifts of the Holy Spirit as a necessary element in all meritorious activity and therefore integral to the Christian moral life. In this vein, a handful of contemporary authors have attempted to better delineate the role of the gifts within the dynamic of practical reason. The principal contributions of these authors—Angela McKay Knobel, José Noriega, John M. Meinert, and Andrew Pinsent—are outlined.