By Mercedes Rubio
Thomas Aquinas wrote a textual content later referred to as Quaestio de attributis and ordered it inserted in an actual situation of his Commentary at the Sentences of Peter Lombard more than a decade after composing this paintings. Aquinas assigned remarkable value to this article, within which he confronts the controversy at the factor of the divine attributes that swept crucial centres of studying in 13th Century Europe and examines the solutions given to the matter via the representatives of the 4 mainstream colleges of his time: the Greek mystic Dionysius Areopagita, the Latin Saint Anselm of Canterbury, the Jewish rabbi Moses Maimonides and the Muslim thinker Ibn Sina.
This in-depth examine of Thomas Aquinas’ Quaestio de attributis (In I Sent., d. 2, q. 1, a. three) binds jointly the findings of prior examine at the targeted heritage of this article by means of reconstructing the historic situations surrounding its composition, indicates that the Quaestio contains Aquinas’ ultimate solution to the dispute at the divine attributes, and carefully examines his interpretation of Maimonides’ place at the factor of the data of God through analysing this and different texts concerning it chronologically and doctrinally. The exam of the Quaestio reveals the history of Thomas Aquinas’ renewed curiosity in Maimonides’ place at the factor and brings to mild components of Aquinas’ interpretation which are absent from his prior references to Maimonides. in addition, the chronological and doctrinal connection of the Quaestio de attributis to different Thomistic works with particular references to Maimonides allows a reconstruction of his accomplished method of Maimonides’ educating at the threat and quantity of the information of God within the Guide of the at a loss for words and highlights where of Maimonides’ philosophical teachings in Thomas’ personal proposal in matters like "Being" because the right identify of God, the multiplicity of the divine names, the beatific imaginative and prescient within the afterlife, the motives that hinder the guideline of the multitude in divine issues and the position of religion and prophecy within the acquisition of the genuine wisdom of God during this lifestyles. The final bankruptcy examines the explanations in the back of Aquinas’ silencing of Maimonides’ identify while introducing his Five methods for the information of the lifestyles of God, inspite of the obvious relation among those and Maimonides’ Four Speculations. The research is finished with an in depth appendix that comes with the textual content of the Quaestio de attributis with an English translation and the severe variation of numerous chapters of the 13th Century Latin translation of the Guide of the confused known as Dux neutrorum
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Additional info for Aquinas and Maimonides on the possibility of the knowledge of God: An examination of the quaestio de attributis
The existence 74 Ibid. Respondeo: Quantum ad primum pertinet, sciendum est, quod ratio, prout hic sumitur, nihil aliud est quam id quod apprehendit intellectus de significatione alicujus nominis: et hoc in his quae habent definitionem, est ipsa rei definitio, secundum quod Philosophus dicit: ratio quam significat nomen est definitio. Sed quaedam dicuntur habere rationem sic dictam, quae non definiuntur, sicut quantitas et qualitas et hujusmodi, quae non definiuntur, quia sunt genera generalissima.
D. 1247, vol. 4, 280-283 [ad 1243]. Cf. 280: Incipiebant magistri Theologiae, praecipue tamen praecipui Praedicatorum et Minorum lectores, disputare et disserere subtilius et celsius, quam decuit aut expedivit. Qui non verentes tangere montes, a gloria Dei opprimendi, nitebantur secreta Dei investigabilia temere perscrutari, et judicia Dei, quae sunt ‘abyssus multa’, nimis praesumptuose indagare. 35 St. 36 This widespread atmosphere of mutual accusations of teaching heretical doctrines was fueled by the irruption of a vast body of philosophical and scientific literature of Arabic and Greek origin, newly translated and previously inaccessible to the Christian West, that reached the Arts and Theology Faculties of the University of Paris and prompted the ecclesiastical authorities to take some defensive measures until the contents of these works could be assessed.
In fact, in Guide I, 53 the latter rejects the position of those who acknowledge some kind of divine attributes different from the divine essence in order to explain the different notions of God. He proposes instead reducing all attributes to God’s actions in the world and their multiplicity to that of the created beings: Rather have these attributes and names been thought of as proof of the diverse operations between God and the things created by Him. , d. 2, q. 1, a. 2, Solutio: Quidam autem dicunt, quod ista attributa non differunt nisi penes connotata in creaturis, quod non potest esse; tum quia causa non habet aliquid ab effectu, sed e converso: unde Deus non dicitur sapiens quia ab eo est sapientia, sed potius res creata dicitur sapiens inquantum imitatur divinam sapientiam.
Aquinas and Maimonides on the possibility of the knowledge of God: An examination of the quaestio de attributis by Mercedes Rubio