For the sake of simplicity, let us ponder on the community of humans considered as the education and the communication of human persons; an education and a communication that spring forth only from an extraordinary kind of friendship. We shall see that with varying degrees of success, Greeks, Jews and Christians understood this friendship to be primordially an act. Through his study of their three traditions, St. Thomas Aquinas was able to say how this act was realized among us.

We should notice first that when we speak of the human community we are always speaking of a community of persons. For St. Thomas, human persons are enfleshed spirits. Being spiritual bodies or bodily spirits by nature, we are always only more or less intellectual and always only more or less free. In fact, being embodied spirits, our intellectuality and our freedom are frighteningly pedestrian.



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