The science of the Ipsum Esse subsistens

In the 13th century, the question of divine science focused on the problem of its extension, that is, on the justification of divine omniscience. Because of the principle that God knows creatures by knowing himself as their cause, all agree to recognize a link between the extension of divine science and that of divine causality. However, since the inherent effect of divine causality is being, only the Thomas conception of being as an intensive act, “act of acts”, allows the universality of divine causality and, consequently, omniscience to be founded on account of it.

Immanentism and political atheism

The text proceeds from the analysis of the correlation between the idea of rationality and the affirmation-negation of God. Therefore it considers the epistemological premises of modern atheism, identified in the unfolding of the principle of immanence. It subsequently goes on to examine both the political atheism of modernity and that of post-modernity. The first, presents itself vividly in the theory of the State as the arbiter of justice and injustice, as of good and evil, while the latter is expressed as an active, positive or deconstructive negation of being (of politics) in its determinacy. On these assumptions, atheism coincides with the anti-ontology of politics, and this is resolved in the post-ontology. Such “immanentization” vacates order in organization and power in effectiveness.

“This all men speak of as God” (S.Th., I, 2, 3c). And the raison d’être of Philosophy of Religion

The point of arrival for each of the quia demonstrative ways is the fruit of solidly founded scientific reasoning. Each is made to coincide in re with “this all men speak of as God”. We think that there is a human and epistemological space, which is still empty and must be filled by an appropriate Philosophy of Religion. This philosophy must possess a proper and exclusive object, which would be, according to our hypothesis, “this all men speak of as God”: not “God” considered in his existence or nature, but rather in his mysterious “presence” and “action” in each conscience, in every conscience, and in every kind of conscience.

Aristotle’s God

This paper presents the Aristotelian conception of the eternal and unmovable substance, first mover of the world, as the supreme God in his theology. Starting with the common concept of “a god” and the demonstrations of its existence in the Physics and the Metaphysics, the problem of the kind of causality it exerts is examined. It is sustained that both types of causality are implied, that is, efficient and final. After completing its characterization in accord with Metaphysics XII, some problems which are still open to debate among the interpreters of Aristotle, are briefly indicated.

The thomistic proofs for the non existence of God

Examination of the arguments that St Thomas Aquinas gives to support the non-existence of God, which are contained in the Summa Theologiae. The first argument relies on the existence of evil; the second rests on the self-sufficiency of the world and of freedom.
Texts are introduced, and the fact that this arguments are a historical novelty with no located records is shown.
The two atheistic Thomistic arguments are studied. Regarding the first one, the author shows the sense given by Duns Scotus and by the great commentators (Cayetano, Báñez and John of St Thomas). Regarding the second one, the nexus with the atheistic modern discussions and with the concept of autonomy is shown.
The work is concluded with the draft of a general theory of atheistic arguments and their main classification.

Divine Simplicity and Freedom of the act of Creation. A dialogue between Classical Theism and Analytic Philosophical Theology

This article exposes and explains Alvin Plantinga’s objections against the traditional doctrine of divine simplicity, with a special focus on the objection based on the incompatibility between divine simplicity and the free character of the act of creation. The article analyses and weighs different responses to this objection coming from the Classical Theistic perspective of Thomas Aquinas: a) the impugnation of possible worlds semantics; b) the distinction between absolute and hypothetical necessity; c) the denial of God’s trans-world identity; d) the extrinsic character of God’s relational properties. A nuanced version of this last response is proposed and defended.

Relationship between entitative and intelligible perfection in Thomas Aquinas in the light of Francisco Canals’ teaching

This article aims to show the relationship between the entitative and the intelligible in Saint Thomas Aquinas’ thought in the light of Francisco Canals. We will expose how in Aquinas the entitative and the intelligible differ just in virtue of the finitude of the being. The different grades of intelligibility derived from the ontological perfection of being will be examined: the human soul, the separate substances and God. Following Canals, the argumentation will lead to identify self intellection with the presence of the act to itself, overcoming the paradigm of subject-object opposition. Finally, some considerations in relation to human knowledge are posed.

The spiritual understanding of the mystery of God according to saint Thomas Aquinas

Saint Thomas Aquinas is a Magister in Sacra Pagina. The spiritual understanding of the mystery of God is one of those concepts that Saint Thomas has formed from the reading of Sacred Scripture, particularly of Saint Paul and Saint John. It is precisely the adjective “spiritual” which in qualifying the understanding of the mystery of God gives it its peculiar meaning. With this adjective, saint Thomas qualifies this knowledge as the salvific knowledge that really introduces men into salvation and perfection. It is opposed to other knowledges that do not open to the salvific revelation of God and that are qualified as carnal or literal. Concretely the Aquinate, following Saint Paul, considers the knowledge of the reason that is closed or a faith that does not open to the fullness of revelation as a carnal knowledge. The spiritual intelligence in Saint Thomas can highlight not-so-well-known aspects of his thought and serve to illuminate some current issues such as contemporary biblical hermeneutics.

Possibility and sense of the divine names. Analogy and philosophical theology

The problem of analogy has occupied much of the thomistic discussion in the second half of the last century. Going directly into the various positions would exceed the limits of an article; however, in a reflective and proactive exercise, we would like to expose (from the contributions of Cajetan and Canals to the thought of Aquinas) a justification and the basis of the analogy of proportionality as an adequate tool to establish a discourse on God that ends metaphysical work.

Divine freedom, exemplary of all freedom

Divine freedom, according to Aquinas, should be considered not only in the line of the specification that constitutes free will, but in the dimension of the exercise of freedom in general. According to this twofold aspect of freedom (duplex volitio), as “immanence of the end” and as “diffusive self-possession”, we must necessarily claim a free term of love in God. Because of the free and immanent diffusivity of its goodness, whose personal character we know by revelation, the freedom of the creative act is guaranteed. This free diffusivity is shared by man, in the natural inclination toward the good, as a kind of “super-liberty” and as the foundation of the formal freedom proper to his free will.

The mind as imago Dei according to Thomas Aquinas

The concept of imago Dei plays a fundamental role in the christian conception of human being. Saint Augustine’s conception of the mind, held in De Trinitate was determinant to the theorization of this subject throughout the Middle Ages. Indeed, this work exerted a capital influence on the way in which Thomas Aquinas understood this same topic. In this article, we explain the interpretation of the fundamental Augustinian concepts that intervene in Aquinas’ explanation of the mind as the image of God, such as those of likeness and image, those of mind, knowledge and love, those of memory, intelligence and will, as well as those of “dicens”, word and love. Through them, the human mind and its operations are conceived as a privileged reference to speak of God as Trinity, from the application of analogy. Just as in the human mind there is habitual presence to oneself (memory/dicense), from which comes, by intellectual means, a word in which one expresses one’s own nature, and, through this one, a love of self proceeds by way of will, which is a new way of affective presence of oneself, in God, from the Father, perfect as a subsisting being, the Word and Love proceed.

Ego sum Qui sum: Thomas Aquinas and Francisco Suárez

This work intends to verify how the theme of the “logically first” name of God, beginning from the self-revelation of God in Exodus 3:14, manifests amply the difference between the theological and the ontological perspectives of Thomas Aquinas and those of the Jesuit theologian Francisco Suárez. After a brief presentation of some fundamental elements of Doctor Angelicus’ doctrine about the “Ego sum Qui sum”, the text proposes a reading of the Disputatio de divina existentia et subsistentia, the work of the Spanish thinker contemporary to the Disputationes Metaphysicae but less known than it.

Thomas and the Thomists: The achievement of Thomas Aquinas and his interpreters

Being the fourth publication of the series Mapping the tradition, aimed at beginner and intermediate students, Thomas and the Thomists fully fulfills the objective of offering a compact introduction to a great thinker of the Christian tradition. This volume presents Thomas Aquinas, focusing first on his biography and then delving into the vast legacy left in Christian theology. Cessario and Cuddy emphasize the genius and richness of the Thomist intellectual tradition after the saint.

Issue 157

Year 68 | 2019 Articless The science of the Ipsum Esse subsistens Serge-Thomas Bonino, o. p Immanentism and political atheism Giovanni Turco “This all men speak of as God” (S.Th., I, 2, 3c). And the raison d’être of Philosophy of Religion“ Elvio Celestino Fontana...