In Summa Theologica suppl.q.91, St.Thomas teaches clearly about the state of the world after its renewal. In article 5 of the same question I said above, he says plants and animals will not remain in the renewed universe. He also says that no minerals will also remain. This is because he says no mixed body except that of human will remain. By mixed body, I assume he says any body that is a mixture of the four elements.

Answer of article 5 of suppl.q.91 states,

Since the renewal of the world will be for man's sake it follows that it should be conformed to the renewal of man. Now by being renewed man will pass from the state of corruption to incorruptibility and to a state of everlasting rest, wherefore it is written (1 Corinthians 15:53): "This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality"; and consequently the world will be renewed in such a way as to throw off all corruption and remain for ever at rest. Therefore it will be impossible for anything to be the subject of that renewal, unless it be a subject of incorruption. Now such are the heavenly bodies, the elements, and man. For the heavenly bodies are by their very nature incorruptible both as to their whole and as to their part: the elements are corruptible as to their parts but incorruptible as a whole: while men are corruptible both in whole and in part, but this is on the part of their matter not on the part of their form, the rational soul to wit, which will remain incorrupt after the corruption of man. On the other hand, dumb animals, plants, and minerals, and all mixed bodies, are corruptible both in their whole and in their parts, both on the part of their matter which loses its form, and on the part of their form which does not remain actually; and thus they are in no way subjects of incorruption. Hence they will not remain in this renewal, but those things alone which we have mentioned above.

But in Sppl.q.74 article 5 reply to objection 2,he states,

If, however, the sea be taken literally we must reply that by the sea two things are to be understood, namely the substance of the waters, and their disposition, as containing salt and as to the movement of the waves. The sea will remain, not as to this second, but as to the first.

Salt is a mixed body. And he says the sea will remain as to containing salt, again making the sea also a mixed body.
As I quoted earlier, he says only the elements, heavenly bodies and human body will remain, but nothing else (no other mixed body than man's body). But he simultaneously says salt and sea will remain, which are clearly mixed bodies.
Isn't he contradicting?
How can this be explained?

Moreover, he says the elements will be unalterble after the renewal,
Suppl.q.91. Article 4, reply to objection 4,

This brightness will be in these bodies even as it is in the heavenly bodies, in which it causes no heat, because these bodies will then be unalterable, as the heavenly bodies are now.

These bodies, which means the elements and the heavenly bodies, I assume, will become unalterble, he says (heavenly bodies are already unalterble, according his metaphysics). Becoming unalterble means that no chemical changes are possible as viewed by modern science. By, becoming unalterble , humans won't be able to use these creatures (elements) to achieve a greater perfection. Because he says in Suppl.q.91. Article 3, reply to objection 5, last sentence,

Secondly, on account of a greater perfection, and thus man will make use of other creatures, yet not as needful to him in order to obtain his end, in which way he makes use of them now.

Isn't he contradicting here also?
How can it be explained?

Actually, if no minerals are to exist, soil/land will not exist because soil is a mixture of minerals. Isn't it absurd that no land will exist in renewed world?

Or am I completely wrong in how I interpreted these parts of Summa Theologica which talks about what will be in the renewed universe?
If so, what will exactly remain in the renewed universe according to Summa Theologica, apart from humans, elements and heavenly bodies?
I mean, will there be metals, ores, and such material things in the renewed universe as can be understood from Summa Theologica?
When St.Thomas says elements will remain, is he saying that they will exist in pure form only or will there be some composition of them?
Even if they exist in pure forms, does it mean from anywhere in Summa Theologica that humans can't mix them, with their knowledge, to produce things they wish to make or use? (Because, as I quoted above, he apparently says man will use them to achieve a greater perfection. But he also says that elements will be unalterable, which should make them useless because if they are so, we can't mix them to make things that can be used (if we knew how to))

Sorry for a long question but I hope I could impart the idea:)

  • 2
    I think people on Christianity SE will be in a better position to help you with this question.
    – Conifold
    Feb 20 '20 at 22:40
  • Welcome to SE Philosophy! Thanks for your contribution. Please take a quick moment to take the tour or find help. You can perform searches here or seek additional clarification at the meta site. Don't forget, when someone has answered your question, you can click on the checkmark to reward the contributor.
    – J D
    Feb 21 '20 at 3:44
  • @Conifold I thought it is better to ask in Philosophy SE because I am finding confusion in interpreting Summa Theologica based on certain [medieval] scientific claims St.Thomas in making, for eg, ...how can salt remain in renwed earth while he claims no such minerals will remain..., ...whether certain portions of Summa Theologica, like the ones I have asked above, have to be interpreted differently...,...how can these scientific claims he made be understood from view point of modern science...etc. I was looking for clarification and interpretation of such philosophies:)
    – melon
    Feb 21 '20 at 4:43
  • I just think that there are more people there with expertise on Thomist physics and metaphysics of resurrection. Natural philosophy split off from philosophy a long time ago, so people here would not typically know the specifics, unless they fed into what later became natural sciences. For Christians, on the other hand, eschatology remains a live issue.
    – Conifold
    Feb 21 '20 at 5:18

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