The End of the Endless Motion: Thomas Aquinas, Celestial Bodies, and the Renewal of the World
Dominic Holtz, OP
Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas
Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas was committed both to the claim that celestial bodies were both unchanging in their substance and tireless in their circular motion and to the claim that, in the renewal of the world after the final judgment, these same celestial bodies will cease their motion and never move again. This paper explores the Angelic Doctor’s motives for both of these claims and why Aquinas held that the end of the endless motion of the heavens does not entail anything contrary to nature or the order of the world.
Dominic Holtz, OP is Professor of Philosophy and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome where he teaches a range of courses in Thomistic philosophy, especially Thomistic Metaphysics. He earned his Ph.D. from the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame with his dissertation “Cults of the Precious Blood in the Medieval Latin West,” and has previously been an Assistant Professor of Medieval Theology at Saint Louis University and Assistant Professor of Church History and Thomistic Studies at the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, Missouri. He has lectured and published on a range of Thomistic and Medieval topics including Medieval liturgical practice, Thomistic accounts of Intellectual virtue, Thomistic sacramental theology, and various aspects of Thomistic Metaphysics.