The Catholic University of America

Martin Defense

Mr. Matthew Martin presented his dissertation for the Doctor of Philosophy on Thursday, April 21, 2016. His dissertation is titled, "The Kingdom of Heaven in the Gospel Commentaries of St. Thomas Aquinas: Historical, Eccleiological and Eschatological Dimensions."

 
 
For the Final Examination of
Mr. Matthew Martin
for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
10:00a.m., Caldwell Hall, Room 125
 
 
ABSTRACT:
The Kingdom of Heaven in the Gospel Commentaries of St. Thomas Aquinas: Historical, Ecclesiological and Eschatological Dimensions
Director: Dr. Joshua Benson, Ph.D.
 
The preaching of the Gospel opens with the proclamation that the Kingdom of God is at hand. For two millennia, Christian theologians have been exploring the depths of that proclamation through reflection on both the Scriptures and on their great predecessors in the grand tradition. St. Thomas Aquinas stands as one of the greatest theologians of the Church, but his understanding of the Kingdom has not been a major subject of investigation. Instead, Thomas’ thought on the subject has been ignored or criticized. When it has been addressed, but it has been approached almost entirely from the direction of Aquinas as a systematic theologian or philosopher, rather than as an interpreter of Scripture. The Biblical commentaries of Thomas have only recently experienced a resurgence of scholarly interest, and while many great scholars have produced fine work on numerous topics, few have yet turned to the Kingdom.\
 
This dissertation seeks to correct that lacuna by examining the Kingdom in the light of Aquinas' scriptural works, especially his commentary on the Gospel of Matthew. After exploring the Kingdom as presented in that text, it looks into his other Biblical commentaries, his broader theological works, and the Matthew commentaries of his contemporaries to provide a full examination of Aquinas’ kingdom doctrine in its historical and theological context.  This approach not only gives us insight into how he approaches the Bible, but also reveals a fascinating, multifaceted interpretation of the Kingdom which builds on Scripture and, in conjunction with ideas from Aristotle, Pseudo-Dionysius, Johannine mysticism and the mendicant movement, constructs a vision of a Kingdom that is both contemplative and evangelical, internal and ecclesiastical, focused on God and others, and manifest in multiple dimensions and yet fundamentally oriented towards an eschatological vision at which the full promise of humanity is revealed and God becomes all in all.
More about Martin.

More about Martin
Matthew L. Martin grew up in Minnesota and received a Bachelor’s degree in History and Computer Science from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, IA in May 1999. After a few years in the computer programming field, he entered the Master’s program in Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, in the fall of 2006. Upon completing his Master’s degree in late 2008, he moved to the Washington, DC area to pursue a doctorate in Historical Theology at The Catholic University of America. During his time at The Catholic University of America, Mr. Martin has served as a research and teaching assistant to several faculty in the School of Theology and Religious Studies, and has worked as a teaching fellow for the school for the past two years. 
 
Summary of Coursework
TRS 720D Augustine: The Confessions
TRS 720E Augustine’s Controversies
TRS 727   Introduction to Medieval Theology
TRS 727C Bonaventure, Parisan Master
TRS 727E The Counter Reformation: 1540-1615
TRS 727G Medieval Exegesis
TRS 751A Teaching & Learning: Religious Education & Catechetics
TRS 760A Theological Foundations
TRS 761F Aquinas on the Triune God
PHIL 765 Metaphysical Themes in Thomas Aquinas
PHIL 766 Metaphysical Themes in Thomas Aquinas II
TRS 823E Medieval Christology
TRS 830E Ethics & Politics in St. Augustine
TRS 841C Sacramental Treatises
TRS 876D Aquinas on the Incarnation & Passion

TRS 996B Doctoral Dissertation