Monday, May 4, 2009

Léonard on pure nature

"If one avoids these two dangers of extrinsecism and dualism, the problematic of the supernatural [on the one hand] and pure nature [on the other] will connect back up with the great Christian idea of the reciprocal glorification of God and man: God reveals his glory all the more in the creation of a man free and substantial [(consistant) in his own right], and man is all the more fulfilled the more he opens himself up to the will of God for him. Divine grace, because it is grace, calls forth the substantiality proper to human nature [(la consistance propre de la nature humaine)]. Far from competing with it, it postulates it. In Thomistic terms, grace presupposes nature, and, far from suppressing it, elevates it. Or, in the language of Irenaeus, the glory of God is man [fully] alive, and the life of man is the vision of God. For this reason, the glory of God does not burst forth over the ruins of man, nor does his grace build on the foundation of human inconsequence [(inconsistance)]. On the contrary, man fully realizes his humanity only in openness to God, and, in closing himself off from the supernatural a priori, falls finally beneath it (his humanity)."

     André-Mutien Léonard, "La nécessité théologique du concept de nature pure," Revue thomiste 101, no. 1/2 (2001): 355, italics mine.

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