Theological virtues

Theological virtues

Theological virtues - in theology and Christian philosophy, are the character qualities associated with salvation, resulting from the grace of God, which enlightens human mind[1].

Contents

In the Bible

The three theological virtues are:

  • Faith - belief in God, and in the truth of His revelation as well as obedience to Him (cf. Rom 1:5:16:26)[2][3]
  • Hope - expectation of and desire of receiving; refraining from despair and capability of not giving up
  • Charity - selfless, unconditional, and voluntary loving-kindness such as helping one's neighbours.

They occur in the Bible at 1 Corinthians 13:13:

"And now abideth faith, hope, and love, even these three: but the chiefest of these is love". (Geneva Bible, 1560).

The English word love for the third and greatest of the virtues, ἀγάπη (agapē), was used by all of the English translators of the Bible in the 16th Century, including Tyndale (1534), the Bishops' Bible (1568) and the Geneva Bible (1560). It is also used by almost all current translations of the Bible, including the New King James Version, the New American Standard Bible, and the New International Version.

The King James Version (1611) and the Challoner Douay Rheims Bible (1752) prefer the more theological term Charity for the same idea of specifically Christian love.

Catholic theology

In Catholic theology, it is held that these virtues differ from the cardinal virtues in that they can not be obtained by human effort. A person can only receive them by their being "infused"—through Divine grace—into the person.

The three Virtues in Bom Jesus, Braga

The theological virtues are so named because the object of these virtues is the divine being (theos). Other virtues have vice at their extremes, and are only virtues when they are maintained between these extremes. In the case of the Theological Virtues, they do not contribute to vice at the positive extreme; that is, there is no vice in having an unlimited amount of faith, hope, or love, when God is the object of that virtue.

More than one vice can be the opposite of each theological virtue:

Symbolism

Theological Virtues are often depicted in art as young women. The symbols most often associated with them are:

  • Faith - cross, pointing upward, staff and chalice, lamp, candle
  • Hope - anchor, harp, flaming brand, palm
  • Love - flaming heart, with children, gathering fruit

For an example of this, the stained glass at St. Martin's Church in Brampton[4]

The theological virtues on the Tomb of Antipope John XXIII by Donatello and Michelozzo

Books

  • Paradise Restored - The Social Ethics of Francis of Assisi, A Commentary on Francis's 'Salutation of the Virtues', by Jan Hoebrichts, Franciscan Institute Publications, 2004. ISBN 9780819910080

See also

References

  1. ^ Cf. Second Council of Orange ch.5-7; H.J. Denzinger Enchiridion Symbolorum et Definitionum, 375-377
  2. ^ Pickar, C. H. (1967 (reprint 1981)). "Faith". The New Catholic Encyclopedia. 5. Washington D.C.. p. 792. 
  3. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church n. 2087
  4. ^ Visitcumbria.com

External Links


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