Luca Bianchi

"Cotidiana miracula", The ordinary course of nature and marriage law dispensations: the miracle from Augustine to Thomas Aquinas

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Since Augustine's times the concept of miracle has undergone deep changes. This article offers a survey of a few significant ones, focusing on the doctrine of miracles proposed by 13th century theologians. Particular attention is given to references to miracles introduced by Thomas Aquinas in order to explain the juridical notion of "dispensation", which he uses while examining Old Testament episodes where precepts of natural law (such as the prohibition of adultery and polygamy) are transgressed. Miracles seem therefore to provide Aquinas with a paradigm allowing him to conceive that all laws - natural, moral, and juridical - might occasionally be violated in order to realise God's Providential plan.

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