Chapter

Ockham 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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646371.003.0007

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

Ockham against Henry

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Ockham thinks Henry of Ghent is wrong about this issue too. When Henry says “the divine essence is the material” of divine production, he must mean this either literally or figuratively. It cannot be literal, for the divine essence is not a lump of matter in any literal sense, but it cannot be figurative either, for we can say some “A is like B” only if A and B have something in common. But Ockham points out that the divine essence has much in common with things other than matter, so we have no more reason to say the divine essence is “like” matter than we do to say it is “like” something else (e.g. a form). This highlights the fact that Henry’s only reason for saying the divine essence is “like” matter is that the divine essence is not produced, but that could be true of a form as well.

Keywords: Henry of Ghent; John Duns Scotus; William Ockham; Robert Cowton; production; matter; form; formal terminus; Trinity

Chapter.  4688 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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