The problem with this rational is that it seems unlikely that St. Thomas would change his, elsewhere firm, position that Christ has one esse in writing a preparatory work for the Summa only to revert to his original position in that work itself. Further, Fr. Torrell's dates D.Q. Inc. only in terms of article 4, but as I have suggested above article one is much less developed than the parallel texts in the Summa (or even those in III Sent. d. 6 for that matter). Further, article 3 (which preceeds the central article on Christ's esse) about whether Christ can be called one in the neuter has no direct parallel in the Summa Theologiae. In the Summa the article previous to that on Christ's esse asks whether Christ is one. While the subjects dealt with are similar the approach and structure of these articles seem somewhat different. This seems unusual if it were in fact prepatory to that work as Fr. Torrell argues.
Reading the D.Q. Inc. as an early work mitigates these concerns, notably the one concerning Christ's esse, as it is more believable that it was written at a stage where his views were not yet fixed than to claim that he wavered on the issue (i.e. of Christ's esse) during, or immediately prior to, the writing of the Summa. This view also fits with the fact that other articles of the work show themselves to be less developed than the parallel discussions in the Summa. Jean-Pierre Torrell, O.P., Saint Thomas Aquinas: Volume I The Person and His Work, Tr. Robert Royal, (Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 1996), pp. 206 and 336-337. Of course, until the complete findings of the Leonine Commission are made public any conclusions drawn here can only be considered provisional.
© Mr. Jason Lewis Andrew West
The Aquinas Translation Project