Essays in Existential Thomism

By James Arraj

paper, large format, 7 3/4" x 11"

To order a printed copy of this book
Copyright 2007 James Arraj.
ISBN: 0-914073-13-3


A Short Orientation

The essays collected here are loosely grouped around the theme of an existential Thomism, and this term existential takes on two distinct means. In the first, it concerns a Thomism centered on the primacy of the act of existence in the metaphysics of St. Thomas Aquinas. Instead of a philosophy centered on essences or forms, St. Thomas saw by way of a far-reaching and original intuition that it was existence, itself, that should be at the heart of metaphysics.

The second meaning of the term existential refers to a Thomism that vivified by this insight is alive to the real in its myriad of forms, willing to leave its intramural debates and look at pressing contemporary issues, and hopefully stimulated by these challenges, renew itself.

Some of these essays have seen the light of day before. “Christian Spirituality in the 21st Century” was a talk given at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita, Kansas in 1991 and then appeared in Spirituality Today in Spring 1994. “The Future of Thomism,” now part of “Some Conditions of a Thomistic Renaissance,” was a talk given at the American Maritain Association in Tempe, Arizona in 1996. “Nonlocality” was also a talk given at a American Maritain Association meeting in Berkeley, California, 1999 and later published in the book Jacques Maritain and the Many Ways of Knowing. “A Retreat for Married Couples: Towards a Theology of Marriage” comes from a retreat called “Two Secrets That Can Transform Your Marriage” which also contained another part on the psychological side of marriage. This retreat was first given in Seattle in 1994, and then in Alabama in 1995. “Maritain’s Lost Sequel” appeared in Gregorianum 87/3 (2006).

Table of Contents

I Philosophy

  1. Maritain's Lost Sequel to The Degrees of Knowledge and the Future of Thomism
  2. The Ultimate Reducibility of Essence and Matter to Existence
  3. Some Notes on the History of the Evolution of the Intuition of Being
  4. Vanishing Subsistence?
  5. Nonlocality and Maritain’s Dream of a Philosophy of Nature

II Theology and Morality

  1. An Interview with Karl Rahner on the State of Catholic Theology Today
  2. A Crisis of Faith?
  3. The Inner Nature of Law
  4. A Retreat for Married Couples: Towards a Theology of Marriage
  5. Amour Fou: Sex, Marriage and Contemplation
  6. Priests, Women and the Anima

III Spirituality

  1. Christian Spirituality in the 21st Century
  2. Reginald Garrigou-LaGrange and the Renewal of the Contemplative Life
  3. Diabolical Possession and Catholic Cults? The Lack of Psychological Awareness and the Materialization of Belief in the Catholic Church

IV The Future of Thomism

   15.  Some Conditions of a Thomistic Renaissance