The Role of Gloria in Aquinas’ Philosophy of Religion

Francisco J. Romero Carrasquillo

Summary: 1. Introduction. 2. The Basic Meaning of Gloria in Aquinas. 2.1. Intrinsic and Extrinsic ‘Glory’. 2.2. Extrinsic Glory in Aquinas. 3. Gloria as the End of Religious Worship. 4. Gloria as the end of the universe. 5. Conclusion.

Abstract: The concept of gloria is a legitimately philosophical notion — and not just a theological one — that plays a crucial role in Aquinas’ philosophy of religion. Despite this fact, the concept has been given little philosophical attention in the secondary literature. The aim of this essay is twofold: (1) to fill this lacuna by showing the crucial role this concept plays in Aquinas’ religious ethics and metaphysics of creation, in particular in his account of the finality of both the human virtues and of the created universe; and also (2) to show that it is essentially a philosophical concept that despite its theological connotations and applications can be handled rationally and independently of divine revelation.

Key Words: glory, Aquinas, finality, religion, creation.