Christ’s Fulfillment of Torah and Temple is a concise introduction to the Christian theology of salvation in light of the contributions of Thomas Aquinas. In this cogent study, Matthew Levering identifies six important aspects of soteriology, each of which corresponds to an individual chapter in the book. Levering focuses on human history understood in light of the divine law and covenants, Jesus the Incarnate Son of God and Messiah of Israel, Jesus’ cross, transformation in the image of God, the Mystical Body of Christ into which all human beings are called, and eternal life.
Taking the doctrines of faith as his starting point, Levering’s objective is to answer the questions of both Christians and non-Christians who desire to learn how and for what end Jesus “saves” humankind. Levering’s work also speaks directly to contemporary systematic theologians. In contrast to widespread assumptions that Aquinas’s theology of salvation is overly abstract or juridical, Levering demonstrates that Aquinas’s theology of salvation flows from his reading of Scripture and deserves a central place in contemporary discussions.
As a Thomistic contribution to contemporary theology, this fruitful study develops a theology of salvation in accord with contemporary canonical readings of Scripture and with the teachings of the Second Vatican Council on the fulfillment and permanence of God’s covenants.
“[A]n instructive survey and analysis of Thomas’ understanding of the connections between Old and New Testaments, with special attention to the ways in which the Christian understanding of salvation includes the fulfillment of Israel’s law and worship.” — First Things
“Matthew Levering is one of the brightest of the Thomistic new wave and in this exciting book, he displays, for a wide readership, the resourcefulness of the reinvigorated Thomistic theology of today. If you are someone who thought that Thomism ‘went out’ with the Second Vatican Council, then I urge you to read Matthew Levering’s eloquent new book. It will lead you back to St. Thomas Aquinas himself, whom the Church commends, now as before, as a teacher of privileged authority whose thought lives on with undiminished energy.” — Crisis Magazine
“Matthew Levering’s book is an example of the type of research and reflection needed if we are to recover in greater fullness the robust thinking of the past, in this case that of Thomas Aquinas, in regard to the ongoing mystery of Israel. This fine work makes a serious contribution to the kind of retrieval theology that must be done before we Christians can approach Jewish-Christian relations in our own day with a genuine spiritual and theological understanding of what the Scriptures and Tradition actually teach.” — The Thomist
“There is much of value in this book. It makes an important contribution to Thomistic studies.” — Catholic Library World
“The author explores very closely the Angelic Doctor’s reading of biblical texts in a way that offers a fresh perspective on the connections between law (including natural law) and gospel, as well as the ways in which the Church is and is not ‘the new Israel.’ Levering’ is an illuminating argument for readers with at least a modicum of theological training.” — First Things
“[Levering’s] presentation is well-organized, clear, and always to the point. Beginners will find it a prime example of extended theological thinking and writing. More advanced readers will find the 40 pages of notes and the bibliography very helpful.” — Choice
“Levering succeeds splendidly both in orienting biblically informed readers to Aquinas’ work and in welcoming Jewish readers into the breadth of Thomist theology of salvation” —_Theology Today_
“In showing how Aquinas’s doctrine of salvation focuses on the significance of Torah and Temple, Matthew Levering develops a new approach to Aquinas’s soteriology and Christology. Readers will find here a renewed appreciation of the value of Aquinas’s theology of salvation.” —Gilles Emery, O.P., professor of systematic theology, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
“The author succeeds in providing a complete account of Aquinas’s doctrine of salvation. Because the Church substantially has made this doctrine her own, both catechism teachers and students of theology will find in this volume a treasure-trove of information about Christian salvation. Matthew Levering has proven himself the lodestar of the new Thomism. The attentive reader will not only learn about what it means to be saved by Christ, but also what it is to do theology according to the mind of Aquinas. Historians will judge this book as the start of a new moment in Catholic theology done in the United States.” —Romanus Cessario, St. John’s Seminary, Brighton, Massachusetts
“This excellent book clarifies the distinctiveness and specificity of the Christian understanding of salvation with its roots in the faith of the Old Testament. With Aquinas, the author invites us to adopy a divine perspective on the mystery of salvation, to see the saving work of Christ through the eyes of God. Richly biblical, liturgical, and moral themes interweave as the book traces the path to the transformation of the human person in the image of the Savior.” —J.A. Di Noia, O.P., Dominican House of Studies, Washington, DC
“In this extraordinary book, Levering makes clear why: 1. Aquinas’ understanding of the law, and in particular natural law, cannot be separated from his account of salvation; 2. Aquinas’ reading of the Old Testament is crucial for understanding salvation; and 3. Aquinas’ significance for contemporary challenges in theology concerning the relation of Christianity and Judaism. Any one of these goals would justify recommending this book, but that Levering accomplishes all three makes his book required reading for anyone who cares about theology.” —Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics, Duke University
“For experts on Thomas, for amateurs, and for everyone who wants to understand the connections between Old and New Testaments, Matthew Levering proves himself an able and scintillating guide. Those engaged in Jewish-Christian dialogue will find especially instructive Thomas’ understanding of the Church as the ‘new Israel.’” —Richard John Neuhaus, editor in chief, First Things
“The book would make a suitable introduction to newcomers to Aquinas on salvation.” — Theological Studies
“In Christ’s fulfillment of Torah and Temple, Matthew Levering has written a thoughtful, insightful study, one that will be valuable for Aquinas studies and beyond. Levering’s thoughtful treatment of the matter will make his work useful not only for Aquinas studies, but for… contemporary Jewish-Christian dialogue. …Levering has produced a work that is both careful and creative.” — Pro Ecclesia