Theological virtues

Theological virtues

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Theological virtues - in theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

 and Christian philosophy
Christian philosophy
Christian philosophy may refer to any development in philosophy that is characterised by coming from a Christian tradition.- Origins of Christian philosophy :...

, are the character
Moral character
Moral character or character is an evaluation of a particular individual's durable moral qualities. The concept of character can imply a variety of attributes including the existence or lack of virtues such as integrity, courage, fortitude, honesty, and loyalty, or of good behaviors or habits...

 qualities associated with salvation
Salvation
Within religion salvation is the phenomenon of being saved from the undesirable condition of bondage or suffering experienced by the psyche or soul that has arisen as a result of unskillful or immoral actions generically referred to as sins. Salvation may also be called "deliverance" or...

, resulting from the grace
Grace (Christianity)
In Christian theology, grace is God’s gift of God’s self to humankind. It is understood by Christians to be a spontaneous gift from God to man - "generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved" - that takes the form of divine favour, love and clemency. It is an attribute of God that is most...

 of God, which enlightens human mind
Christian anthropology
In the context of Christian theology, theological anthropology refers to the study of the human as it relates to God. It differs from the social science of anthropology, which primarily deals with the comparative study of the physical and social characteristics of humanity across times and...

.

In the Bible


The three theological virtues are:
  • Faith
    Faith in Christianity
    Faith, in Christianity, has been most commonly defined by the biblical formulation in the Letter to the Hebrews as "'the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen". Most of the definitions in the history of Christian theology have followed this biblical formulation...

     - belief in God, and in the truth of His revelation
    Revelation
    In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing, through active or passive communication with a supernatural or a divine entity...

     as well as obedience to Him (cf. Rom 1:5:16:26)
  • Hope
    Hope (virtue)
    Hope is one of the three theological virtues in Christian tradition. Hope being a combination of the desire for something and expectation of receiving it, the virtue is hoping for Divine union and so eternal happiness...

     - expectation of and desire of receiving; refraining from despair and capability of not giving up
  • Charity
    Charity (virtue)
    In Christian theology charity, or love , means an unlimited loving-kindness toward all others.The term should not be confused with the more restricted modern use of the word charity to mean benevolent giving.- Caritas: altruistic love :...

     - selfless, unconditional, and voluntary loving-kindness such as helping one's neighbours.


They occur in the Bible at 1 Corinthians
First Epistle to the Corinthians
The first epistle of Paul the apostle to the Corinthians, often referred to as First Corinthians , is the seventh book of the New Testament of the Bible...

 13:13:
"And now abideth faith, hope, and love, even these three: but the chiefest of these is love". (Geneva Bible
Geneva Bible
The Geneva Bible is one of the most historically significant translations of the Bible into the English language, preceding the King James translation by 51 years. It was the primary Bible of the 16th century Protestant movement and was the Bible used by William Shakespeare, Oliver Cromwell, John...

, 1560).


The English word love for the third and greatest of the virtue
Virtue
Virtue is moral excellence. A virtue is a positive trait or quality subjectively deemed to be morally excellent and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being....

s, (agapē
Agape
Agape is one of the Greek words translated into English as love, one which became particularly appropriated in Christian theology as the love of God or Christ for mankind. In the New Testament, it refers to the fatherly love of God for humans, as well as the human reciprocal love for God; the term...

), was used by all of the English translators of the Bible in the 16th Century, including Tyndale (1534), the Bishops' Bible
Bishops' Bible
The Bishops' Bible is an English translation of the Bible which was produced under the authority of the established Church of England in 1568. It was substantially revised in 1572, and this revised edition was to be prescribed as the base text for the Authorized King James Version of...

 (1568) and the Geneva Bible
Geneva Bible
The Geneva Bible is one of the most historically significant translations of the Bible into the English language, preceding the King James translation by 51 years. It was the primary Bible of the 16th century Protestant movement and was the Bible used by William Shakespeare, Oliver Cromwell, John...

 (1560). It is also used by almost all current translations of the Bible, including the New King James Version
New King James Version
The New King James Version is a modern translation of the Bible published by Thomas Nelson, Inc. The New Testament was published in 1979. The Psalms in 1980. The full Bible was published in 1982. It took a total of 7 years to complete...

, the New American Standard Bible
New American Standard Bible
The New American Standard Bible , also informally called New American Standard Version , is an English translation of the Bible....

, and the New International Version
New International Version
The New International Version is an English translation of the Christian Bible. Published by Zondervan in the United States and by Hodder & Stoughton in the UK, it has become one of the most popular modern translations in history.-History:...

.

The King James Version (1611) and the Challoner Douay Rheims Bible (1752) prefer the more theological term Charity
Charity (virtue)
In Christian theology charity, or love , means an unlimited loving-kindness toward all others.The term should not be confused with the more restricted modern use of the word charity to mean benevolent giving.- Caritas: altruistic love :...

 for the same idea of specifically Christian love.

Catholic theology


In Catholic theology, it is held that these virtues differ from the cardinal virtues
Cardinal virtues
In Christian traditionthere are 4 cardinal virtues:*Prudence - able to judge between actions with regard to appropriate actions at a given time*Justice - proper moderation between self-interest and the rights and needs of others...

 in that they can not be obtained by human effort. A person can only receive them by their being "infused"—through Divine grace
Divine grace
In Christian theology, grace is God’s gift of God’s self to humankind. It is understood by Christians to be a spontaneous gift from God to man - "generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved" - that takes the form of divine favour, love and clemency. It is an attribute of God that is most...

—into the person.

The theological virtues are so named because the object of these virtues is the divine being (theos). Other virtues have vice at their extremes, and are only virtues when they are maintained between these extremes. In the case of the Theological Virtues, they do not contribute to vice at the positive extreme; that is, there is no vice in having an unlimited amount of faith, hope, or love, when God is the object of that virtue.

More than one vice
Vice
Vice is a practice or a behavior or habit considered immoral, depraved, or degrading in the associated society. In more minor usage, vice can refer to a fault, a defect, an infirmity, or merely a bad habit. Synonyms for vice include fault, depravity, sin, iniquity, wickedness, and corruption...

 can be the opposite of each theological virtue:
  • Lack of faith may give place to incredulity (as in atheism
    Atheism
    Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

     and agnosticism
    Agnosticism
    Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable....

    ), blasphemy
    Blasphemy
    Blasphemy is irreverence towards religious or holy persons or things. Some countries have laws to punish blasphemy, while others have laws to give recourse to those who are offended by blasphemy...

     or apostasy
    Apostasy
    Apostasy , 'a defection or revolt', from ἀπό, apo, 'away, apart', στάσις, stasis, 'stand, 'standing') is the formal disaffiliation from or abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person. One who commits apostasy is known as an apostate. These terms have a pejorative implication in everyday...

    .
  • Lack of hope may give place to despair or cynicism
    Cynicism
    Cynicism , in its original form, refers to the beliefs of an ancient school of Greek philosophers known as the Cynics . Their philosophy was that the purpose of life was to live a life of Virtue in agreement with Nature. This meant rejecting all conventional desires for wealth, power, health, and...

    .
  • Lack of love may give place to hatred
    Hatred
    Hatred is a deep and emotional extreme dislike, directed against a certain object or class of objects. The objects of such hatred can vary widely, from inanimate objects to animals, oneself or other people, entire groups of people, people in general, existence, or the whole world...

    , wrath or indifference.

Symbolism


Theological Virtues are often depicted in art as young women. The symbols most often associated with them are:
  • Faith - cross, pointing upward, staff and chalice, lamp, candle
  • Hope - anchor, harp, flaming brand, palm
  • Love - flaming heart, with children, gathering fruit


For an example of this, the stained glass at St. Martin's Church in Brampton
Brampton
Brampton is the third-largest city in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario, Canada.Brampton may also refer to:- Canada :* Brampton, a city in Ontario** Brampton GO Station, a station in the GO Transit network located in the city- United Kingdom :...



Books

  • Paradise Restored - The Social Ethics of Francis of Assisi, A Commentary on Francis's 'Salutation of the Virtues, by Jan Hoebrichts, Franciscan Institute Publications, 2004. ISBN 9780819910080

See also

  • 1 Corinthians 13
    1 Corinthians 13
    Chapter 13 of the First Epistle to the Corinthians, written by Paul the apostle covers the subject of love, principally the love that Christians should have for everyone. In the original Greek, the word αγαπη agape is used throughout...

  • Cardinal virtues
    Cardinal virtues
    In Christian traditionthere are 4 cardinal virtues:*Prudence - able to judge between actions with regard to appropriate actions at a given time*Justice - proper moderation between self-interest and the rights and needs of others...

  • Seven deadly sins
    Seven deadly sins
    The 7 Deadly Sins, also known as the Capital Vices or Cardinal Sins, is a classification of objectionable vices that have been used since early Christian times to educate and instruct followers concerning fallen humanity's tendency to sin...

     (cardinal sins)
  • Seven virtues
    Seven virtues
    In the Catholic catechism, the seven catholic virtues refer to the combination of two lists of virtues, the 4 cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, restraint or temperance, and courage or fortitude, and the 3 theological virtues of faith, hope, and love or charity ; these were adopted by the...

    , which are the four cardinal virtues and the three theological virtues


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