Scotus against Henry

JT Paasch

in Divine Production in Late Medieval Trinitarian Theology

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199646371
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739293 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

Scotus against Henry

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John Duns Scotus was critical of Henry of Ghent’s theory that the divine essence plays the role of materials in the Son’s and Spirit’s productions. This chapter examines two of Scotus’s most important criticisms of Henry’s theory. First, Scotus points out that the personal properties are just relationships (paternal and filial relationships, for example), and so if the divine essence simply acquires those relationships as Henry claims, then divine production really amounts to a mere change in relationship, and that cannot be a genuine production. Second, Scotus argues that Henry’s theory makes the divine essence the subject of incompatible properties, which is impossible. Fatherhood and sonship, for instance, are incompatible (nothing can be the father and son of itself), so the divine essence cannot be the subject of fatherhood and sonship, as Henry claims.

Keywords: John Duns Scotus; Henry of Ghent; Aristotle; change in relationships; substantial change; production; incompatible properties; Trinity

Chapter.  6246 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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