Graduate Papers/Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Graduate Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Theology


School of Theology and Seminary

First Advisor

Helen Rolfson OSF


This paper attempts to illustrate an ascetic theology of Thomas Aquinas that was grounded in his Dominican vocation, the thirteenth century, and the Vita Apostolica (The Apostolic Life). In doing so, this paper first, traces the background of the Vita Apostloica and the creation of the mendicant orders, Franciscans and Dominicans. Secondly, the paper looks more specifically at Dominican spirituality in the thirteenth century. In particular is covered the Dominican ideal of contemplation and action as styles of life, and their understanding of the religious vows: poverty, chastity, and obedience. Finally, an discussion of Thomas Aquinas' personal thoughts on the state of perfection, the integration of the contemplative life and the active life, concluding with a look at his treatment of the three religious vows as cited above. The paper then concludes with a more nuanced and developed restatement of the thesis, and a summer of the paper content.



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