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Baptism, Faith and Severe Cognitive Impairment in Some Medieval Theologies



Thirteenth-century theologians believed that grace and theological virtues count as created habits, infused by God. They held that this belief placed them in a stronger position to give an account of the grace given to those with severe cognitive impairments than those who denied such habits. Aquinas argued that the faith infused in baptism, in the case of those who lack reason, nevertheless needs to be supplemented by other church members' actual occurrent assent to the Christian faith. Duns Scotus gives reasons to deny this, and thus defends a view of church membership that avoids any kind of non-mutual dependence in this context.