QUESTION 81: OF THE QUALITY OF THOSE WHO RISE AGAIN
We must now consider the quality of those who rise again. Under this
head there are four points of inquiry:
(1) Whether all will rise again in the youthful age?
(2) Whether they will be of equal stature?
(3) Whether all will be of the same sex?
(4) Whether they will rise again to the animal life?
Article 1: Whether all will rise again of the same age?
Objection 1: It would seem that all will not rise again of the same, namely
the youthful age. Because God will take nothing pertaining to man's
perfection from those who rise again, especially from the blessed. Now
age pertains to the perfection of man, since old age is the age that
demands reverence. Therefore the old will not rise again of a youthful
Objection 2: Further, age is reckoned according to the length of past time.
Now it is impossible for past time not to have passed. Therefore it is
impossible for those who were of greater age to be brought back to a
Objection 3: Further, that which belonged most to the truth of human nature in
each individual will especially rise again in him. Now the sooner a thing
was in man the more would it seem to have belonged to the truth of human
nature, because in the end, through the strength of the species being
weakened the human body is likened to watery wine according to the
Philosopher (De Gener. i). Therefore if all are to rise again of the same
age, it is more fitting that they should rise again in the age of
On the contrary, It is written (Eph. 4:13): "Until we all meet . . .
unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ."
Now Christ rose again of youthful age, which begins about the age of
thirty years, as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xxii). Therefore others also
will rise again of a youthful age.
Further, man will rise again at the most perfect stage of nature. Now
human nature is at the most perfect stage in the age of youth. Therefore
all will rise again of that age.
I answer that, Man will rise again without any defect of human nature,
because as God founded human nature without a defect, even so will He
restore it without defect. Now human nature has a twofold defect. First,
because it has not yet attained to its ultimate perfection. Secondly,
because it has already gone back from its ultimate perfection. The first
defect is found in children, the second in the aged: and consequently in
each of these human nature will be brought by the resurrection to the
state of its ultimate perfection which is in the youthful age, at which
the movement of growth terminates, and from which the movement of
Reply to Objection 1: Old age calls for reverence, not on account of the state of
the body which is at fault; but on account of the soul's wisdom which is
taken for granted on account of its being advanced in years. Wherefore in
the elect there will remain the reverence due to old age on account of
the fulness of Divine wisdom which will be in them, but the defect of old
age will not be in them.
Reply to Objection 2: We speak of age not as regards the number of years, but as
regards the state which the human body acquires from years. Hence Adam is
said to have been formed in the youthful age on account of the particular
condition of body which he had at the first day of his formation. Thus
the argument is not to the point.
Reply to Objection 3: The strength of the species is said to be more perfect in a
child than in a young man, as regards the ability to transform
nourishment in a certain way, even as it is more perfect in the seed than
in the mature man. In youth, however, it is more perfect as regards the
term of completion. Wherefore that which belonged principally to the
truth of human nature will be brought to that perfection which it has in
the age of youth, and not to that perfection which it has in the age of a
child, wherein the humors have not yet reached their ultimate disposition.
Article 2: Whether all will rise again of the same stature?
Objection 1: It would seem that all will rise again of the same stature. For
just as man is measured by dimensive quantity, so is he by the quantity
of time. Now the quantity of time will be reduced to the same measure in
all, since all will rise again of the same age. Therefore the dimensive
quantity will also be reduced to the same measure in all, so that all
will rise again of the same stature.
Objection 2: Further, the Philosopher says (De Anima ii, 4) that "all things in nature have a certain limit end measure of size and growth." Now this limitation can only arise by virtue of the form, with which the quantity as well as all the other accidents ought to agree. Therefore since all men have the same specific form, there should be the same measure of quantity in respect of matter in all, unless an error should occur. But the error of nature will be set right at the resurrection. Therefore all will rise again of the same stature.
Objection 3: Further, it will be impossible for man in rising again to be of a
quantity proportionate to the natural power which first formed his body;
for otherwise those who could not be brought to a greater quantity by the
power of nature will never rise again of a greater quantity, which is
false. Therefore that quantity must needs be proportionate to the power
which will restore the human body by the resurrection, and to the matter
from which it is restored. Now the selfsame, namely the Divine, power
will restore all bodies; and all the ashes from which the human bodies
will be restored are equally disposed to receive the action of that
power. Therefore the resurrection of all men will bring them to the same
quantity: and so the same conclusion follows.
On the contrary, Natural quantity results from each individual's nature.
Now the nature of the individual will not be altered at the resurrection.
Therefore neither will its natural quantity. But all are not of the same
natural quantity. Therefore all will not rise again of the same stature.
Further, human nature will be restored by resurrection unto glory or
unto punishment. But there will not be the same quantity of glory or
punishment in all those who rise again. Neither therefore will there be
the same quantity of stature.
I answer that, At the resurrection human nature will be restored not
only in the self-same species but also in the selfsame individual: and
consequently we must observe in the resurrection what is requisite not
only to the specific but also to the individual nature. Now the specific
nature has a certain quantity which it neither exceeds nor fails without
error, and yet this quantity has certain degrees of latitude and is not
to be attached to one fixed measure; and each individual in the human
species aims at some degree of quantity befitting his individual nature
within the bounds of that latitude, and reaches it at the end of his
growth, if there has been no error in the working of nature, resulting in
the addition of something to or the subtraction of something from the
aforesaid quantity: the measure whereof is gauged according to the
proportion of heat as expanding, and of humidity as expansive, in point
of which all are not of the same power. Therefore all will not rise again
of the same quantity, but each one will rise again of that quantity which
would have been his at the end of his growth if nature had not erred or
failed: and the Divine power will subtract or supply what was excessive
or lacking in man.
Reply to Objection 1: It has already been explained (Article , ad 2) that all are
said to rise again of the same age, not as though the same length of time
were befitting to each one, but because the same state of perfection will
be in all, which state is indifferent to a great or small quantity.
Reply to Objection 2: The quantity of a particular individual corresponds not
only to the form of the species, but also to the nature or matter of the
individual: wherefore the conclusion does not follow.
Reply to Objection 3: The quantity of those who will be raised from the dead is
not proportionate to the restoring power, because the latter does not
belong to the power of the body---nor to the ashes, as to the state in
which they are before the resurrection---but to nature which the
individual had at first. Nevertheless if the formative power on account
of some defect was unable to effect the due quantity that is befitting to
the species, the Divine power will supply the defect at the resurrection,
as in dwarfs, and in like manner in those who by immoderate size have
exceeded the due bounds of nature.
Article 3: Whether all will rise again of the male sex?
Objection 1: It would seem that all will rise again of the male sex. For it is
written (Eph. 4:13) that we shall all meet "unto a perfect man," etc.
Therefore there will be none but the male sex.
Objection 2: Further, in the world to come all pre-eminence will cease, as a
gloss observes on 1 Cor. 15:24. Now woman is subject to man in the
natural order. Therefore women will rise again not in the female but in
the male sex.
Objection 3: Further, that which is produced incidentally and beside the
intention of nature will not rise again, since all error will be removed
at the resurrection. Now the female sex is produced beside the intention
of nature, through a fault in the formative power of the seed, which is
unable to bring the matter of the fetus to the male form: wherefore the
Philosopher says (De Anima xvi, i.e. De Generat. Animal. ii) that "the
female is a misbegotten male." Therefore the female sex will not rise
On the contrary, Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xxii): "Those are wiser,
seemingly, who doubt not that both sexes will rise again."
Further, at the resurrection God will restore man to what He made him at
the creation. Now He made woman from the man's rib (Gn. 2:22). Therefore
He will also restore the female sex at the resurrection.
I answer that, Just as, considering the nature of the individual, a
different quantity is due to different men, so also, considering the
nature of the individual, a different sex is due to different men.
Moreover, this same diversity is becoming to the perfection of the
species, the different degrees whereof are filled by this very difference
of sex and quantity. Wherefore just as men will rise again of various
stature, so will they rise again of different sex. And though there be
difference of sex there will be no shame in seeing one another, since
there will no lust to invite them to shameful deeds which are the cause
Reply to Objection 1: When it is said: We shall all meet "Christ unto a perfect
man," this refers not to the male sex but to the strength of soul which
will be in all, both men and women.
Reply to Objection 2: Woman is subject to man on account of the frailty of
nature, as regards both vigor of soul and strength of body. After the
resurrection, however, the difference in those points will be not on
account of the difference of sex, but by reason of the difference of
merits. Hence the conclusion does not follow.
Reply to Objection 3: Although the begetting of a woman is beside the intention
of a particular nature, it is in the intention of universal nature, which
requires both sexes for the perfection of the human species. Nor will any
defect result from sex as stated above (ad 2).
Article 4: Whether all will rise again to animal life so as to exercise the functions of nutrition and generation?
Objection 1: It would seem that they will rise again to the animal life, or in
other words that they will make use of the acts of the nutritive and
generative powers. For our resurrection will be conformed to Christ's.
But Christ is said to have ate after His resurrection (Jn. 21; Lk. 24).
Therefore, after the resurrection men will eat, and in like manner beget.
Objection 2: Further, the distinction of sexes is directed to generation; and
in like manner the instruments which serve the nutritive power are
directed to eating. Now man will rise again with all these. Therefore he
will exercise the acts of the generative and nutritive powers.
Objection 3: Further, the whole man will be beatified both in soul and in
body. Now beatitude or happiness, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. i,
7), consists in a perfect operation. Therefore it must needs be that all
the powers of the soul and all the members should have their respective
acts after the resurrection. And so the same conclusion follows as above.
Objection 4: Further, after the resurrection there will be perfect joy in the
blessed. Now such a joy includes all pleasures, since "happiness"
according to Boethius is "a state rendered perfect by the accumulation of
all goods" (De Consol. iii), and the perfect is that which lacks nothing.
Since then there is much pleasure in the act of the generative and
nutritive powers it would seem that such acts belonging to animal life
will be in the blessed, and much more in others, who will have less
On the contrary, It is written (Mt. 22:30): "In the resurrection they
shall neither marry nor be married."
Further, generation is directed to supply the defect resulting from
death, and to the multiplication of the human race: and eating is
directed to make up for waste, and to increase quantity. But in the state
of the resurrection the human race will already have the number of
individuals preordained by God, since generation will continue up to that
point. In like manner each man will rise again in due quantity; neither
will death be any more, nor any waste affect the parts of man. Therefore
the acts of the generative and nutritive powers would be void of purpose.
I answer that, The resurrection will not be necessary to man on account
of his primary perfection, which consists in the integrity of those
things that belong to his nature, since man can attain to this in his
present state of life by the action of natural causes; but the necessity
of the resurrection regards the attainment of his ultimate perfection,
which consists in his reaching his ultimate end. Consequently those
natural operations which are directed to cause or preserve the primary
perfection of human nature will not be in the resurrection: such are the
actions of the animal life in man, the action of the elements on one
another, and the movement of the heavens; wherefore all these will cease
at the resurrection. And since to eat, drink, sleep, beget, pertain to
the animal life, being directed to the primary perfection of nature, it
follows that they will not be in the resurrection.
Reply to Objection 1: When Christ partook of that meal, His eating was an act,
not of necessity as though human nature needed food after the
resurrection, but of power, so as to prove that He had resumed the true
human nature which He had in that state wherein He ate and drank with His
disciples. There will be no need of such proof at the general
resurrection, since it will be evident to all. Hence Christ is said to
have ate by dispensation in the sense in which lawyers say that a
"dispensation is a relaxation of the general law": because Christ made an
exception to that which is common to those who rise again (namely not to
partake of food) for the aforesaid motive. Hence the argument does not
Reply to Objection 2: The distinction of sexes and the difference of members will
be for the restoration of the perfection of human nature both in the
species and in the individual. Hence it does not follow that they are
without purpose, although they lack their animal operations.
Reply to Objection 3: The aforesaid operations do not belong to man as man, as
also the Philosopher states (Ethic. x, 7), wherefore the happiness of the
human body does not consist therein. But the human body will be glorified
by an overflow from the reason whereby man is man, inasmuch as the body
will be subject to reason.
Reply to Objection 4: As the Philosopher says (Ethic. vii, 12, x, 5), the
pleasures of the body are medicinal, because they are applied to man for
the removal of weariness; or again, they are unhealthy, in so far as man
indulges in those pleasures inordinately, as though they were real
pleasures: just as a man whose taste is vitiated delights in things which
are not delightful to the healthy. Consequently it does not follow that
such pleasures as these belong to the perfection of beatitude, as the
Jews and Turks maintain, and certain heretics known as the Chiliasts
asserted; who, moreover, according to the Philosopher's teaching, would
seem to have an unhealthy appetite, since according to him none but
spiritual pleasures are pleasures simply, and to be sought for their own
sake: wherefore these alone are requisite for beatitude.