Sapientia Press of Ave Maria University has recently published Daria Spezzano's masterful work, The Glory of God's Grace: Deification According to St. Thomas Aquinas. It is the first full-length, comprehensive study of St. Thomas's teaching on deification in its scriptural, patristic, philosophical, developmental, and systematic context. Spezzano describes the work's overarching purpose and thesis as follows:
"My goal in this study is to elucidate Thomas's mature account in the Summa of Christianity's 'precious and very great promise'—God's deification of the human person—within the overall context of his vision of the human journey by grace to beatitude. In doing so, I demonstrate the important, though not always obvious, way in which his understanding of deification shapes his larger theological project.... I argue that Thomas's theology of deification in his Summa theologiae clearly demonstrates his mature commitment to a vision of God's loving and sapiential ordering of predestined human beings to communion with himself, by a progressive participation in the divine likeness and activity, which accounts for both the absolute primacy of divine causality in all of its modes and the fullness of graced human freedom" (5-6).
The table of contents may be found here.
Many Thomistic students and scholars will be indebted to Dr. Spezzano for the breadth, length, and depth of her study!
Daria Spezzano is assistant professor of theology at Providence College.