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/9780199646371.003.0013

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

Ockham against Henry

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Like Scotus, Ockham rejects Henry of Ghent’s theory that relationships somehow constitute a power. For those relationships would either have to be connections drawn only in the mind, or they would have to be real relationships. But connections drawn only in the mind obviously play no constitutive role in reality, and real relationships are naturally prior to the things they relate. Thus, relationships simply cannot play any constitutive role for powers. Ockham also rejects Scotus’s claim that Henry’s theory leads to subordinationism. For according to Ockham, everything in the Godhead is perfectly identical to the divine essence, and that entails that everything in the Godhead will be just as perfect as the divine essence. So whether we construe divine production on Henry’s model or on Scotus’s model, there simply will not be any differences of perfection, and hence no subordination either.

Keywords: Henry of Ghent; John Duns Scotus; William Ockham; power; perfection; subordinationism; production; relationships; divine essence; Trinity

Chapter.  3808 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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