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VERITAS ET AMOR AWARD FOR ANTON TEN KLOOSTER

Fr. Anton ten Klooster received the yearly "Veritas et amor" award for the best dissertation on Thomas Aquinas. This prize is awarded each year by a jury consisting of renowned scholars. The "Circulo San Tommaso d’Aquino", responsible for the award, is based in Aquino, Italy.Ten Klooster, recently appointed assistant professor at the Tilburg School of Catholic Theology, defended the dissertation entitled "Thomas Aquinas on the Beatitudes: Reading Matthew, Disputing Grace and Virtue, Preaching Happiness" in June 2018 (cum laude). The book was published in the Publication Series of the Thomas Institute with Peeters Publishers, Louvain. We congratulate Fr. Anton on this achievement!


Summary:

What is happiness and how do we attain it? Saint Thomas Aquinas (ca. 1226-1274) devoted much time to these questions. In studying them he always returned to the beatitudes as they are found in Matthew 5:1-10. They function as the framework for his theology of human happiness. This study presents that theology as it comes to the fore in Aquinas’ performance of his three tasks as a magister at the Parisian university: to read Scripture, to dispute theological topics, and to preach.

This study shows that Aquinas believes that the beatitudes describe a number of virtuous actions, the exercise of which is made possible by grace, specified in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. To all those observing the new law constituted by the beatitudes, a reward is promised in the form of eternal happiness. Any happiness that can be had in this life is at best an inchoate form of the reward of eternal happiness, which is described in the second part of each individual beatitude.