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Faith before Hope and Love

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Abstract

Thomas’ Compendium was composed in imitation of Augustine's Enchiridion, and with the intention of correcting features which struck Thomas, as they have struck other readers, as strange. The treatment of faith was the principal focus of Thomas’ discontent. In place of Augustine's wandering history of the engagement of divine goodness with the world, Thomas emphasised the cognitive aspect of faith and its concern with being. The two approaches differ in the extent to which they can allow a distinction of the cognitive from the voluntative in virtue. Augustine's insistence on keeping them together has definite strengths in resisting voluntarism, but Thomas’ emphasis imposes constraints on the moralising reduction of faith to action.

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