Tag Archives: Thomas

Natural Teleology and Divine Language

There’s a deep intimacy between Aquinas’s proof for the existence of God from natural teleology and Berkeley’s account of the world as divine language. Let’s consider them each in turn, and then reflect a bit on their interrelations. The proof … Continue reading

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Shakespearean Berkeley?

One of Berkeley’s most distinctive theses is the claim that the world that appears to us in perception and experiment constitutes a “divine language,” an address from God: “There is a certain analogy, constancy, and uniformity in the phaenomena or … Continue reading

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Dante’s Virtuous Pagans

One of the most striking theological innovations (perhaps more so even than the “Neutrals”) in Dante’s Commedia is his inclusion in Limbo of, not just “little children,” but also of formerly pagan “men and women.” The classic doctrine of Limbo — … Continue reading

Posted in Dante, Divine Comedy, Hell, Inferno, Limbo, Pagans, Soteriology, Thomas Aquinas | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Moses and Christ

“lex per Mosen data est,” John writes, “gratia et veritas per Iesum Christum facta est” (Jn 1:17). These are strong words, words — on their face — to warm a Marcionite’s heart. The Law, given through Moses, apparently excludes “grace … Continue reading

Posted in Augustine, Gospel of John, Grace, Law, Law and Gospel, OT in the NT, Paul, Romans, St. Paul, Thomas Aquinas | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jesus Is Not A Human Person

This might be surprising to you (it was to me). After all, surely there’s nothing more orthodox than to affirm that Jesus is fully human! And yet, Aquinas (following others in the Chalcedonian tradition, notably Damascene), insists that while Jesus … Continue reading

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Berkeley and Aquinas on Matter and Epistemological Realism

Does matter exist? Bishop Berkeley famously said, No, a thesis which has earned him a reputation as a brilliant crank (emphasis on “crank”). Here’s his argument: Wood, stones, fire, water, flesh, iron, and the like things, which I name and … Continue reading

Posted in Aristotle, Being and beings, Descartes, Epistemology, George Berkeley, Idealism, John Locke, John O'Callaghan, Matter, Metaphysics, Mind and World, Plato, Thomas Aquinas | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aquinas vs. Newman on doctrinal development

In discussing whether the articles of faith “creverint secundum temporum successionem,” Thomas considers the following objection: Sicut per apostolos ad nos fides Christi pervenit, ita etiam in veteri testamento per priores patres ad posteriores devenit cognitio fidei, secundum illud Deut. … Continue reading

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