HPU Religion Professor Publishes Book On Teachings Of Thomas Aquinas

HIGH POINT, N.C., April 28, 2009 – Dr. Chris Franks, assistant professor of religion at High Point University, has recently written and published a book entitled, “He  Became Poor: The Poverty of Christ and Aquinas’s Economic Teachings.” In his book, he examines certain virtues associated with voluntary poverty and contrasts them with the usual dispositions toward wealth and property fostered by modern market society.
The book seeks to reclaim the relevance of Thomas Aquinas’s economic teachings for modern Christians. Aquinas’s thoughts on property, buying and selling, and lending are usually taken as reflections of an outdated form of economy, historically interesting but irrelevant to today. Franks presents them instead as a source of wisdom that exposes people’s captivity to economic habits that run counter to the gospel.
Franks’ book suggests Christians who are formed by modern market-driven economies have a lot to learn from Aquinas, particularly about how to embody certain lowly virtues, such as a humility that is willing to abandon wealth and a hopeful trust in God that is willing to accept the extraordinary vulnerability and risk that accompany it. For Aquinas, something like this humility and trust should characterize every Christian.
“Aquinas was the theologian I wanted to read because I had always been attracted to his rich account of the virtues of Christian life,” says Franks. “It occurred to me that his vow of poverty would give him a compelling perspective on economic issues.”
At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in a fun environment with caring people. HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with more than 3,400 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 50 countries and more than 40 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report No. 5 among comprehensive universities in the South and No. 1 in its category among up-and-coming schools. Forbes.com ranks HPU in the top 6 percent among “America’s Best Colleges.” The university offers 66 undergraduate majors, 40 undergraduate minors and seven graduate-degree majors. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at www.highpoint.edu. Chris DudleyVice President for Administration336-841-4530cdudley@highpoint.edu

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