Richard Conrad delivers his talk 'Aquinas on the Human Organism's Complexity' for the 2013 Humane Philosophy Project Conference 'Being a Human, Being a Person'.
Aquinas on the human organism’s unity and complexity – To understand Aquinas on the human organism’s unity and complexity requires awareness of his “neo - Platonic” cosmos in which things ha ve differing degrees of being and therefore of unity. Thus the tension between unity and complexity in the human being is only to be expected. The human person is a single being; on that basis, we can enquire fearlessly about the limited hold soul has over body, the organic cooperation among our faculties, degrees of psychological and moral integrity, and inter - personal communion. Our present limited unity is to be overcome supernaturally in the final resurrection, when personal communion with God will enab le a greater participation in his unity.
Richard Conrad obtained a PhD in chemistry in Cambridge before joining the Dominican Friars and studying philosophy and theology in Oxford. Since 1988 he has been teaching the thought of Aquinas, and the history of dogmatic theology, at Oxford and at Maryvale Institute i n Birmingham. After serving as Prior at Blackfriars, Cambridge he became Vice - Regent of Studies at Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford . His most recent publication is The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit . ( London: CTS, 2009 ) .