Chapter

St Thomas Aquinas, OP: Understanding the Distinction

Lawrence Moonan

in Divine Power

Published in print April 1994 | ISBN: 9780198267553
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683282 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198267553.003.0007
St Thomas Aquinas, OP: Understanding the Distinction

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This chapter examines St Thomas Aquinas's most detailed and explicit exposition of the Distinction; which is also the most detailed and explicit given by any medieval examined in this book. It dates from the beginning of his career as a master in the Theology Faculty of Paris, and appears in the first theological work in which he was entitled, as a master, to put forward his own theology in his own right. Essentially the same understanding is shown in later passages, even in theological works from the last years of his life. He provides the exposition in connection with a narrowly theological puzzle, on a matter of the opus redemptionis, the traditional preserve of the theologians. The puzzle is whether God the Father could have become incarnate: one of the puzzles on whether the mode of redemption might differ from the genre which had so much concerned theologians of the age of St Anselm. This chapter examines St Thomas Aquinas's views on the Power Distinction, the knowability of God by creatures, and Negative Theology.

Keywords: St Thomas Aquinas; Power Distinction; theology; God; redemption; Negative Theology; knowability; creatures

Chapter.  14698 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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