Toward Creaturely Value: God's Inner Processive Life and the Intrinsic Value of Creatures in Thomas Aquinas
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The intrinsic value of creatures is defensible on many accounts, though more rarely from a speculative, metaphysical, and theological perspective. In this thesis, I seek to establish and elaborate the connection between creaturely value and scholastic theology through the work of Thomas Aquinas. In chapter 1, I explicate the thesis and the methodology and build a case that Aquinas’s speculative, metaphysical, and theological clarification provide the substructure for creaturely value. In chapter 2, I argue that Aquinas’s vision of creation and inner trinitarian relations are mutual informing. In chapter 3, I explicate the ad intra processions of the Trinity as the origin and end of all created life. In chapter 4, I elucidate the relation between the processions of the Trinity ad intra and the procession of creatures ad extra. In chapter 5, I summarize my thesis and offer points of contact for future research. As such, according to Aquinas, the value of all creatures has a direct correlate in the eternal processions of the Trinity.