God the Author of Nature and the Supernatural
Creation as a Divine Fact
Section Two: Supernatural Anthropology
Before the Fall, Adam Possessed Sanctifying
and the Preternatural Gifts of Integrity,
Immortality and Infused Knowledge.
Having studied the nature of man according to his nature, his origin in soul by an immediate creation of God and in body by some special agency directed by God, we are now in a position to examine into the moral and religious phase of human kind. Our immediate concern will be with the first man, Adam, as the father of his race; and our scope of inquiry will be twofold: to establish the fact that he was possessed of original justice or sanctity, covered by the term "sanctifying grace," and of certain additional gifts that followed on this supernatural orientation, namely, in his mind, and body and relation to the external world.
The basis which we face in this matter is the naturalistic mentality, almost inbred in modern thought, which conceives of man as autonomous agent and self-sufficient "master of his own destiny." Yet faith requires us to say that man not only came from the hands of God primordially, in soul and body, but his destiny is beyond the capacities of nature and therefore a sheer gift of divine love. All that we ever say in theology about the supernatural order had its beginnings for the human race in Adam, in the possession he received from the Creator and the means he was given to retain the gift for himself and transmit the same to his progeny.
From the viewpoint of modern paleontology and ethnology, which posit man in ancient times as crude and undeveloped, we seem to face a contradiction to the present thesis. If primitive man was also "primitive," how square this with the dogma that the first man was superlatively gifted with powers of mind and body?
Adam in context means first of all the man, described in Genesis and St. Paul as distinct from Eve. This is the term also found in the documents of the Church. However we do not use the word of him alone but extend it to Eve, in fact apply it to human nature as represented in our first parents.
The expression "before the fall" simply states the fact that Adam possessed grace and the preternatural gifts, without committing ourselves as to when the infusion took place.
By sanctifying grace we understand that permanent gift, which is now given through Christ and by which a man becomes formally justified, a partaker of the divine nature, an adopted son of God and heir of eternal life. In the present order, sanctifying grace is associated with the uncreated gift of the Holy Spirit and such created gifts as the infused virtues of faith, hope and supernatural charity.
The three gifts of bodily immortality, integrity and infused knowledge are called preternatural because they are not strictly due to human nature but do not, of themselves, surpass the capacities and exigencies of created nature as such. In other words, they are not entitatively supernatural.
Bodily immortality is the converse of mortality, i.e., the possibility of separation of soul from body. Adam was therefore capable of not dying. Yet the gift was conditional, provided he did not sin; it was gratuitous, since Adam's nature by itself did not postulate this prerogative but came from the divine bounty; and it was participated, since only God enjoys essential immortality.
The gift of integrity is equivalent to exemption from concupiscence. It is called "integrity" because it effected a harmonious relation between flesh and spirit by completely subordinating man's lower passions to his reason.
This integrity, it should be noted, did not consist in lacking the natural power to desire for sensible or spiritual bona, nor was it a lack of activity of this power, since all of these belong to the perfection of human nature. Rather it was the absence of certain kinds of acts of the appetitive faculty, namely those which anticipate or go before (praevertunt) the operations of reason and will and tend to continue in opposition to the same.
Stated positively, integrity consisted in the perfect subjection of the concupiscible and irascible appetitive powers to the dictates of reason and free will. As a consequence the will had not only indirect (diplomatic) but also direct (despotic) dominion over the appetite.
Two kinds of concupiscence should be distinguished, the one dogmatic and the other moral. In a dogmatic sense, concupiscence is the appetite - primarily sensitive and actual, and secondarily spiritual and habitual - in so far as its movement precedes the deliberation and dictate of reason and tends to endure in spite of the command of the will. In a moral sense, concupiscence is the appetite - again primarily sensitive and actual, and secondarily spiritual and habitual - in so far as 1) its acts not only precede reason and perdure in spite of the will, but 2) they tend to moral evil. Another name for the latter is inordinate or prava concupiscence.
Our concern in the thesis is with concupiscence in the dogmatic sense, and integrity as immunity from this kind of appetitive drive.
In order, further to clarify Adam's gift of integrity, we may say that he was perfectly sound, entire and integral, in the sense that hedid not experience within himself that division which mankind now understands so well. Our own indeliberate tendencies, we know, often oppose themselves to what we decide or want to do. The life of a man who wants to do well and avoid evil is literally a conflict, more or less violent, between reason which sees and approves the good and wants fewer tendencies. This conflict is variously described as a tension between spirit and flesh, between the interior and exterior man, or simply between soul and body. But in our first parents there was no such internal discord. Their integrity was "the absence of any resistance from their spontaneous tendencies, notably the sense appetite, in the performance of good or avoidance of evil." In a word it was a perfect dominion of animal and spiritual passion.
Adam's infused knowledge was not acquired, in the sense of natural cognition derived from experience and the reasoning process; nor was it intrinsically supernatural as giving a knowledge of the mysteries, such as the souls enjoy in the beatific vision. It was infused because not naturally acquired, but yet entitatively not beyond the capacity of man's faculties in his statu viae. Theologians commonly refer to three areas of special knowledge possessed by Adam: regarding God and His attributes, the moral law or man's relations to God, and the physical universe both material and spiritual.
Since the main object of the thesis is the supernatural order, the principal adversaries would logically be the classic opponents of supernaturalism. Historically and chronologically they are Pelagianism and Rationalism.
Pelagianism was named after the British lay monk, Pelagius, and now is practically synonymous for the denial of grace or of a higher order than nature in human existence.
Little is known about the personal career of Pelagius. Born in England about 354, he came to Rome in the time of Pope Anastasius (399-401), where he was so alarmed by the low morality of the day that he became convinced it could only be reformed by concentrating on the responsibility of men for their actions. Together with his disciple Celestius, he began teaching a doctrine of free will which left no room for grace.
Pelagius and Celestius went to Africa in 410, the latter staying to find himself charged with heresy by the Council of Carthage in 412, while Pelagius went on to Palestine and met the same treatment at the hands of St. Jerome. In 418 a plenary Council of Carthage protested to Pope Zozimus and Pelagius was formally condemned by Rome. Though Pelagius leaves the scene of controversy at this point, eighteen Italian bishops, led by Julian of Eclanum, refused to submit to the Pope. Condemned once more at the Council of Orange (529), Pelagianism disappeared as an organized system in the second half of the sixth century, but its influence in opposition to orthodox Christianity remains to the present day.
Two premises served as basis for Pelagius' theory. Arguing from the principle that “A person is free if he does what he wills and avoids what he wants to avoid," he said that heaven and the beatific vision are attainable by the use of our native powers alone, since nothing but free will isneeded to practice virtue and keep out of sin. From the axiom that "Adam neither injured nor deprived us of anything," Pelagius concluded that men require no special help to repair what Adam is supposed to have lost.
Historians of dogma distinguish four stages of development in the Pelagian system: 1) No grace is necessary for right living, but nature and free will are enough to keep the commandments and reach eternal life. 2) Nature itself and free will are grace, because they are free gifts of God. 3) Besides nature and freedom, external graces may be admitted, in the form of preaching, miracles, revelation, and the example of Jesus Christ. 4) If, for the sake of argument, real supernatural grace were needed, it would be only as light for the mind and never internal grace in the will. "You destroy the will," it was argued, "if you say it needs any help."
Pelagianism was therefore in conflict with orthodoxy by claiming that grace is not gratuitous on the part of God, but comes to everyone according to his natural merits and that, in the last analysis, grace is not absolutely necessary but only a help to facilitate the operations of nature.
St. Augustine was the most formidable adversary of Pelagian speculation. At least five of his major treatises were directed against the innovation, which he accused of corrupting the Scriptures and denying man's elevation to the supernatural order.
Directly pertinent to our thesis, the Pelagians denied that Adam was possessed of sanctifying grace as a supernatural gift of God. Regarding Adam's integrity, the principal adversary among the Pelagians was Julianus, who identified concupiscence with the sense faculty. Immortality in the Pelagian theory was not a special gift, nor was infused knowledge in Adam.
Rationalism has been variously defined in different fields. But in theology it is that system of thought which postulates the absolute rights of natural reason as the only source of religious truth. Common to all rationalists is a dogmatic confidence in the powers of human inquiry and a conviction that man alone, without revelation, may comprehend whatever he needs to reach his final destiny.
As a trend in religious culture, rationalism is as old as Judaeo-Christianity. Among the ancient Jews, the Sadducees denied the resurrection and questioned bodily immortality. The very name Gnostics in the first century of the Christian era meant "knowers" who professed to have a special understanding that was not shared by other believers. Arius was condemned by the Council of Nicea because he insisted on a complete explanation of the hypostatic union. Pelagius "settled" the problem of original sin, grace and freedom by denying the supernatural order. The Reformers did the same by liquidating free will. In fact, the rationalist tendency has been active in every major heresy since apostolic times, challenging the Church's right to teach the mysteries of faith on the word of God and not on the strength of human speculation.
The same critical attitude was adopted by those who questioned the foundations of the Christian religion in England, France and Germany. Tindal, Collins and Hume, Voltaire and Rousseau, Kant, Hegel and Strauss were all rationalists in the generic meaning of the term. They found Christianity unreasonable by their own standards of rationality.
Since the turn of the present century, rationalism has entered a new stage that was partly the creature and partly creator of a new concept of history as an empirical science. The area of conflict has shifted from the mainly philosophical grounds that featured the rise of English and French Deism, and especially the idealism of Kant and Schleiermacher. Now the onus probandi was placed on the faithful, and those who would believe in Christianity had to defend themselves against the charge of being unhistorical.
In the context of our thesis, modern Rationalism does not speculatively agitate against the special gifts of nature and grace which orthodoxy claims Adam received from God. It rather centers attention on the objective historicity of the facts, and under guise of sublimating dogma by “rising above the anthropomorphisms and metaphors of Scripture,” reduces the most fundamental doctrines of the Christian religion to mere symbolism. Among such symbolic truisms, original justice and sin, bodily immortality and freedom from concupiscence in the first man - and intended for the human race - are prominent in today's rationalists.
Paul Tillich isa good example. By Christian standards, original sin is a contingent fact, the result of Adam's loss of original justice through a wilful transgression of God's law. For Tillich, on the other hand, "The difficult concept of ‘original sin’ denotes an original self-contradiction in human existence, coincident with human history itself" Protestant Era, pg. 165. Accordingly the Judaeo-Christian notion of a prior state of justice and holiness, from which the first man fell, by Tillichian norms is to be taken as a symbol of the built-in tension within the human frame. Man was always as he is now, and the "fall" is only an imaginative way of expressing a conflict that is descriptive of man's inevitable existence.
It is defined doctrine, at least implicitly in Trent, that Adam possessed sanctifying grace before the fall.
Regarding Adam's integrity, theologians distinguish between immunity from carnal and spiritual concupiscence. They say it is implicitly defined in Trent (DB 792) that Adam was free from sense concupiscence; or according to others it is proxima fidei. Immunity from spiritual concupiscence is said to be at least theologically certain; or the composite of integrity as such may be called proxima fidei.
Adam's immortality of body has been defined by the Church, and is found in a series of documents: DB 101, 174, 788.
The possession of infused knowledge is held to be common and certain doctrine, though some assign a higher dogmatic note.
Part One: “Adam Possessed Sanctifying Grace."
Besides the Council of Orange against the Pelagians (DB 192), the most explicit documentation is in Trent which declared, “If anyone does not profess that the first man Adam immediately lost the justice and holiness in which he was constituted when he disobeyed the command of God in the Garden of Paradise…let him be anathema" DB 788.
The only question is the meaning of sanctitas and justitia in the definition. But these terms either singly or at least together certainly equivalate sanctifying grace, as appears from general conciliar language and specifically in Trent, “Justification…and sanctification" are defined as taking place through the voluntary acceptance of "grace and the gifts" DB 799. And again in a canon, it issaid that "grace…justifies us" DB 821.
Briefly the probative argument from Scripture goes to St. Paul, not only to individual passages but to the whole tenor of his economy of salvation. The work of Christ, in Pauline terminology, was to restore what Adam had lost for the human race, since what Adam originally possessed was regained for us by the cross. Christ restored us to divine friendship through grace; therefore Adam must first have had what he later was dispossessed of through sin.
Paul simply describes Christ as the "new Adam" (I Corinthians 15:21), whose work of restoration is to repair what the first Adam had inflicted by his disobedience. So that if through one man sin came into the world, and through sin death, and thus death has passed into all men because in him all have sinned, from the justice of the one (Christ) the result is unto justification of life to all men (Romans 5:12, 18).
Summarily the work of Christ, according to Paul, was one of reconciliation and redemption - in both cases repairing the damage done by Adam. Either concept singly or in combination means the restoration of sanctifying grace and of those supernatural gifts that man needs to attain the vision of God.
While the precise theological language of today was not yet current, the Fathers explicitly teach that the first man possessed sanctifying grace, which they called "deification" and which Adam lost by the fall. "How can we be said to be renewed," St. Augustine asked, "if we do not receive what the first man lost, in whom all of us die? Plainly we receive the one in some way, and just as plainly we do not receive the other. For we do not receive the immortality of a spiritual body (as did Adam); yet we do obtain justice, from which man had fallen by his sin” (RJ 1698).
Some of the Greek Fathers, like Basil and Cyril of Alexandria, believed that the supernatural sanctification of Adam is indicated in Genesis 2:7. They took spiraculum vitae to mean the grace of the Holy Spirit as a supernatural vital principle. Others, notably Ireneus, Gregory of Nyssa and Augustine, held that imago Dei referred to Adam's nature, while similitudo Dei described him as being in the state of sanctifying grace. Apart from their interpretation of the texts, the Fathers’ common belief that Adam received both natural and supernatural life is a witness to Christian tradition.
Part Two: "Adam Possessed the Gift of Integrity"
The primary text is in Trent, which says, "Concupiscence, which the Apostle
sometimes calls sin, this council declares that the Catholic Church has never
understood that it is called sin because there is, inthe regenerated, sin in the
true and proper sense but only because it is from sin and
inclines to sin. If anyone thinks the contrary: let him be anathema”
DB 792. Since the council defined that concupiscence comes from sin and
leads or inclines to sin, it implicitly declared that concupiscence had not been
present before sin, which in context means before the sinof Adam.
We may further note that Trent speaks directly about concupiscence in the moral sense, namely as the appetite (mainly sense) which tends before the dictate of reason to an object which is morally sinful. However by implication the dogmatic type of concupiscence (defended in the thesis) is also understood; necessarily because the council is talking about the concupiscence which is now in us, namely the kind which may also tend to objects that are morally good or indifferent, yet antecedent to the dictates of reason and continuing in the same direction even against the dictamen rationis.
Among papal documents treating of the subject, the Encyclical of Pius XI
Christian Education is specially pertinent. He states the principles of
faith that should guide the training of youth.
"It must never be forgotten that the subject of Christian education is man whole and entire, soul united to body inunity of nature, with all his faculties natural and supernatural such as right reason and revelation show him to be; man, therefore, fallen from his original estate, but redeemed by Christ and restored to the supernatural condition of adopted sons of God, though without the preternatural privileges of bodily immortality or perfect control of appetite. There remain therefore in human nature the effects of Adam's sin, the chief of which are weakness of will and unrestrained desires of soul" DB 2212.
- The primary text is in Trent, which says, "Concupiscence, which the Apostle sometimes calls sin, this council declares that the Catholic Church has never understood that it is called sin because there is, inthe regenerated, sin in the true and proper sense but only because it is from sin and inclines to sin. If anyone thinks the contrary: let him be anathema” DB 792. Since the council defined that concupiscence comes from sin and leads or inclines to sin, it implicitly declared that concupiscence had not been present before sin, which in context means before the sinof Adam.
In the Book of Genesis, the sexual life of our first parents is described as radically different before and after the fall.
Before the fall, their sex life appears as perfectly under control. God willed the difference between the sexes (Genesis I:27), since man cannot find a helpmate like to himself among the animal kingdom. The Lord therefore created woman to be man's companion and cooperator in the procreation of children (Genesis 2:20-24). Man and woman have no reason to be ashamed of their mutual relation. (Genesis 2:25).
After the fall, things are quite different. Adam and Eve become conscious of their nakedness, which the author of Genesis has coincide with their sense of need for clothing (Genesis 3:7), and with their desire to hide (Genesis 3:10-11). Conjugal life also begins to be a burden and source of sorrow for the woman (Genesis3:16).
The mode of narrative implies that the inspired text wants to show that deordination in the sexual life began only after the fall. It may further be said that the author meant to refer beyond mere sexuality, which he used to illustrate the loss of man's dominion over all his lower powers. Consequently before they sinned, Adam and Eve had perfect command of their passions, which is synonymous with integrity.
In the New Testament, when the Pharisees pose the question of divorce, this gives Christ the opportunity to emphasize what was the original state of things, when matrimony was more strict than under the Mosaic law, because there had not been the obstacle of "hardness of heart" (Matthew 19:3-12, Mark 10:1-8). This hardness of heart can be identified with concupiscence, and the relaxation of the law makes us see what was the original condition of things, when perfect equilibrium existed in the sexual life, which mankind later evidently lacked.
St. Paul in Romans 6 and 7 speaks of "sin" which cannot mean sin formally, because it is found also in the just. Rather it is an inclination to sin, or concupiscence. If we further see that this concupiscence is later called sin in that context of the epistle where Paul is speaking of the corruption introduced into the world by Adam's disobedience, we can only conclude that it had its origin in the sin of Adam. Before his disobedience, therefore, Adam was exempt from this defect, which meant that he possessed integrity.
From the time of Pelagianism, there is no lack of clarity and insistence among the Fathers that the special privileges of our first parents are a matter of faith. However even before Pelagius, there is evidence of a Patristic tradition on the subject.
In fact some of the Fathers were so firmly persuaded of the natural integrity of our first parents that they derived marriage from original sin. Thus it seems Athanasius and John Damascene. No doubt this was going too far. Sexual propagation does not exclude natural integrity, and we may safely say that marriage would have been instituted even if Adam and Eve had remained in their first innocence. It was this attitude which later caused Augustine to retract his earlier statement that if the human race had preserved its primal innocence and grace, propagation might have been asexual.
But with Pelagianism to combat, the original tradition on integrity became clearer than ever. Pelagians maintained that concupiscence was not a defect of nature but a positive vigor, which anticipated the Freudian theory of modern times. Augustine fought against this view in his De Nuptiis et Concupiscentia; and in Contra Julianum he expressly says that freedom from concupiscence was a gift of grace.
Part Three: "Adam Possessed the Gift of Bodily Immortality"
Besides the Councils of XVI Carthage (DB 101) and orange (DB 174), the Council of Trent defined that "If anyone does not profess that the first man Adam… when he disobeyed the command of God in the Garden of Paradise…incurred the death with which God had previously threatened him…let him be anathema" (DB 788).
Later on, when Baianism was condemned by the Church, among the rejected propositions was, the claim that "The immortality of the first man was not a gift of grace, but his natural condition" (DB 1078). This corresponds to another condemned proposition of Baius, to the effect that "The integrity found in first creation was not a gratuitous elevation of human nature, but its natural condition" (DB 1026).
The immortality of our first parents is seen from the sanction which God imposed on them in forbidding them to eat of the tree of knowledge, and His application of this sanction (Genesis 2:16-17, 3:3, 19, 22-24).
The Lord foretold that man would die in whatsoever day he ate of the forbidden fruit. This threat did not literally mean death on the same day as the sin, since the Old Testament often refers to time in broader terms, e.g., III Kings 2:42. Rather it meant that the moment man disobeyed the precept, he would become subject to mortality. Consequently in Genesis and elsewhere (Wisdom 2:24, Ecclesiasticus 25:33) the sacred authors wished to teach that physical death was not man's original lot, but came into the world because of sin. In other words, except for sin, man would have been immortal in body.
In the New Testament, St. John calls the devil “a murderer from the beginning" (John 8:44). And according to St. Paul, death entered the world as a result of Adam's fall (Romans 5:12, I Corinthians 15:21-22). The death in question is not merely spiritual death, since it is contrasted with bodily resurrection, which came to us through Christ. Logically, therefore, if Adam had not sinned by following the suggestion of the devil, he would have preserved himself in bodily immortality.
The Fathers unanimously taught as a matter of faith that man in his primeval condition was gifted with immortality of body and soul. Thus Theophilus of Antioch explained that God made man neither mortal nor immortal, but capable of either, depending on whether Adam would sin or not (RJ 184). Tatian describes the Word of God “making man a sharer in His own divine immortality" (RJ 156). According to St. Cyprian, with the advent of the first sin there disappeared both man's integrity of body and immortality, which were a special grace of God (RJ 566). St. Athanasius taught that men who are by nature mortal would have been immortal, had they not sinned, thus rising superior to the powers of nature by the power of the Word of God (RJ 750). St. Ambrose says that God did not make death, but imposed it upon man as a penalty for sin, so that now he must return to the earth from which he came (RJ 1325). And St. Augustine held that man was mortal because he was able to die, immortal because he was able not to die, so that he was mortal conditione naturae and immortal beneficio Dei (RJ 1699).
Part Four: “Adam Possessed the Gift of Infused Knowledge,”
It is difficult to cite authoritative documents which treat professedly of the infused knowledge of our first parents. Generally there are only oblique references to man's superior mental and moral condition before the fall, implying some special privileges of mind. Thus Pius XII in the Allocution to the Academy of Sciences previously quoted, said "On the day when God formed man and crowned his brow with His own image and likeness…He taught him agriculture, how to care and cultivate the garden in which He had placed him; led him to all the beasts of the fields and all the birds of the air so that man might name them. And he gave to each of them its true and fitting name…Man is great, and he was greater when created…If he fell from his original greatness…if the remnants of the command once given him over the animal world are nothing more than a fading recollection of his former power…even in his ruin he looms great because of that divine image and likeness he carries in his spirit" (November 30, 1941).
Christian tradition reasoned on the datum in Scripture to conclude that if Adam was given complete dominion over the lower organisms and ability to name the animals, i.e., understand their properties enough to describe their nature; if moreover the Lord placed the first parents in a place which they were to cultivate - Adam and Eve must have been given adequate knowledge for these purposes, and the knowledge would have been infused since ex hypothesi this was the beginning of human history.
Also in Ecclesiasticus (17:1-9), we are told that "Man, too, God created out of the earth, fashioning him after His own likeness…To him and to that partner of his, created like to himself and out of himself, God gave will and speech and sight and hearing. He gave them a heart to reason with, and filled them with power of discernment. Spirit itself should be within their ken, their hearts should be all sagacity. What evil was, what good, He made plain to them. He gave them His own eyes to see with, so that they should keep His marvelous acts in view, praise His holy name, boast of His wonders and tell the story of His renowned deeds." Given all these, the Fathers and theologians reasonably conclude that the first man and woman were specially gifted with knowledge infused into them by the Creator.
However any attempt to describe the extent of Adam's infused knowledge would be hazardous. On the supernatural level, opinion differs from Suarez' position that Adam probably had a belief in the Trinity and the future Incarnation of the Word of God, to a minimist school which credits the first man only with the essentials necessary for salvation.
St. Thomas restricted the limits of Adam's infused knowledge by setting down two rules: 1) Adam depended on phantasms for his intellectual concepts. Consequently unlike the human soul of Christ, he did not enjoy the beatific vision before the fall; he could have no intuitive but only an abstractive knowledge of the angels; and he even did not have intuitive knowledge of his own soul. 2) In the domain of nature, Adam had a perfect infused knowledge only regarding those things which were indispensable to him and his descendants to live in conformity with the laws of reason. This did not mean that he would not have had to learn and inquire, or that he was unable to progress in matters of science and culture. There is no reason to suppose that Adam knew about the Copernican system, or electronics, or nuclear fission. Yet, in its own way, Adam's knowledge was extensive; it was specially given him by God; and, according to St. Thomas, it was infallible - though subject to obscurity.
A safe norm to follow with regard to Adam's infused knowledge is to attribute to the first man quite extraordinary insight in the moral and religious order, while limiting his understanding of things material and technical to the needs of his condition before the fall.
Original justice and Prehistory. Until recent times, theologians were
only mildly concerned with the problems posed by scientific discoveries, notably
anthropology and paleontology. Among the Catholic pioneers, Wilhelm Schmidt
ranks as outstanding. Since then the field has become quite thoroughly
Specifically the problems revolve around the apparent contradiction between a highly endowed first man and the primitive, in the sense of crude, state of civilization so far unearthed from times past. A number of careful distinctions have to be made.
The condition of man in paradise is known to us from revelation and accepted on faith. It was not a state of culture which man acquired by his native power, but the result of a special action of God at the dawn of human history. Small wonder, then, that we have no exploratory evidence of this from ethnology or one of the natural sciences.
This primeval condition was not what we would call a "civilization," that existed for centuries and therefore could leave monuments or other historical vestiges for investigation. It may be described as a brief episode in the story of mankind, which science therefore can neither prove nor disprove from a study of human remains.
There is no need to expand on the perfection of our first parents in the Garden of Paradise. It was certainly considerable as regards things of the spirit and their relations with God; but could also have been quite modest in everything else. And even their religious ideas were capable of development, from the instinctive to a more reflexive and demonstrative knowledge.
But most important, we must keep in mind the radical change which took place after the fall. Although scientists speak of the most ancient peoples as "primitive" this is a relative term. Even the oldest civilizations, known or yet to be discovered, are really decadent from their primordial state. Bereft of the special privileges it once enjoyed, the human race had to face and try to surmount the grave difficulties that stood in its way - personally, socially, morally and religiously. So true is this, that the very necessity for a special revelation from God of naturally knowable truths is a logical corollary to man's fallen condition.
Basic principles and Secondary Elements. While holding no brief for
the rationalism of Bultmann and the radical Form Critics, we should recognize
the prejudice they seek to meet in the modern mind. In large measure this is the
result of four centuries of biblicism in Protestant thought, which has affected
Western thought to a degree we are slow to admit.
The biblical account of Adam and Eve too often concentrates on secondary elements, which strike the fancy and have been further elaborated by imaginative literature: the picture of the Garden, the rivers which spontaneously flow water and irrigate the land, the Lord walking in the stillness of the night, rows of animals brought before Adam to be named. All the while, the essentials maybe overlooked, namely, the elevation of man to supernatural friendship with God, his disobedience and consequent loss for himself and posterity of grace, integrity and twofold immortality.
- Of whom do we predicate the possession of sanctifying grace and the
preternatural gifts? And when were these received?
- Briefly distinguish natural, preternatural and
- What kind of immortality did Adam receive as a special gift of God?
- Distinguish the following: concupiscence in the moral sense and in
the dogmatic sense; sensitive appetite and spiritual
appetite; diplomatic and despotic dominion of the appetitive
- What exactly was Adam's gift of integrity, and why was it
- What was the nature and scope of Adam's infused knowledge?
- Outline the basic tenets of Pelagianism, and how were the Pelagians against
- What is Rationalism in theology, and how does it oppose our position that
the first man was elevated to the supernatural order and received preternatural
- Give the dogmatic value for the various parts of the thesis.
- Prove from the documents, Scripture and especially St. Paul that Adam
possessed sanctifying grace. What was the Patristic teaching on the
- Show from Trent, Scripture and the Fathers that Adam had the gift of
- Using Trent, Genesis and St. Paul, prove that Adam was originally destined
to be immortal in body. Briefly state the doctrine of. two of the Fathers on
- How do we argue from theological reason, using Scripture as basis, that Adam
had special infused knowledge?
- How do we reconcile our thesis with the current idea of the “primitive man”?