Eternal Life and Human Happiness: Philosophical Problems, Thomistic Solutions

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2022.10.07 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews

Christopher M. Brown, Eternal Life and Human Happiness: Philosophical Problems, Thomistic Solutions, The Catholic University of America Press, 2021, 487pp., $75.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780813234144.

Reviewed by Patrick Zoll, Munich School of Philosophy

Are the authoritative teachings of Christian denominations about human life and happiness after death coherent? In his book, Christopher M. Brown takes up the task of defending what the Catholic tradition affirms about the afterlife against charges of incoherence. Not only does Brown defend the coherence of traditional Catholic views on heaven, but Brown’s thesis is that Thomas Aquinas’s views on eternal life and human happiness in heaven offer better solutions to four problems than the solutions provided by some contemporary philosophical theologians.

The first part of Brown’s book lays out in three chapters four problems which seem to arise from a combination of views Catholicism is committed to. The first three problems concern the nature of heaven (abbreviated by Brown…

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