Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

From Impassibility to Self- Affectivity: the Trinitarian Metaphysics of Esse in Thomas’ Summa theologiae The Aquinas Lecture in the Department of Philosophy.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "From Impassibility to Self- Affectivity: the Trinitarian Metaphysics of Esse in Thomas’ Summa theologiae The Aquinas Lecture in the Department of Philosophy."— Presentation transcript:

1 From Impassibility to Self- Affectivity: the Trinitarian Metaphysics of Esse in Thomas’ Summa theologiae The Aquinas Lecture in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Dallas, Irving, Texas. The Feast of St Thomas Aquinas 2015 Wayne J. Hankey Department of Classics, Dalhousie University and King’s College, Halifax

2 Così vid' ïo la gloriosa rota muoversi The Moving Circles of Theology Albert, Aquinas, Siger, Solomon, Dionysius, and other doctors with Dante and Beatrice in the circle of Sun (Vellutello) Paradiso X

3 D ICITUR E XODI III, EX PERSONA D EI, EGO SUM QUI SUM In Thomas’ rightly ordered Summa theologiae, Sacred Doctrine exercises its privilege to begin treating its subject, God, with Himself. Although “Faith presupposes natural knowledge, as grace does nature,” when he sets out to demonstrate the existence of God as the first necessity of our human theology, we hear: “‘I am Who am’ said by the person of God.” 3

4 4

5 ὁδὸς ἄνω κάτω μία καὶ ὡυτή EADEM EST VIA QUA DESCENDITUR ET ASCENDITUR Thus co-ordinately and simultaneously, though differing in kind from revealed theology, philosophical theology rises from God’s effects so as to make the Divine speech intelligible to us. We are led to what is above reason by developing our natural reasoning until we reach the philosophical sciences and certain conceptual knowing. When drawing the circles described by these rising and descending movements, Aquinas quotes Heraclitus: “the way up and down are the same.” I shall think with you this evening about the encirclings in Thomas’ multilayered thearchy. Thereby I aim to show in what way Thomas’ ipsum esse subsistens is Trinitarian and Incarnational: how we are embraced within its perfect motions. Besides the circle by which philosophy ascends and God’s self-knowledge descends, we must begin with the most universal: the circle of Conversion. 5

6 6 omnis causa primaria plus est influens super causatum suum quam causa universalis secunda. The First Proposition of the Liber de causis

7 O MNIUM RERUM PRAEEXISTIT IN DIVINA ESSENTIA … OMNIS EFFECTUS CONVERTITUR AD CAUSAM A QUA PROCEDIT, UT P LATONICI DICUNT. Conversion as the structure of all except the Principle was first worked out completely by Proclus. All reality beneath the One – Good is structured by mone, proodos, epistrophe. All is in the First, proceeds from it, and is converted back towards its source when it achieves its proper good. Aquinas’ most weighty authorities for the Proclean formation are the quasi apostolic St Dionysius the Areopagite and the Liber de Causis, posing as the cap of Aristotle’s system. Augustine’s Trinitarian theology enables importing this conversion into God Himself and it structures his whole theological cosmic system and its parts. 7

8 ATTINGIT AD IPSUM D EUM The logic of the Deus in se is manifested first in the Quinque Viae to the Existence of God, and its basic structure does not vary until its completion in the Sending of the Divine Persons. There, what has come to be called “mystical experience”, enters with the language of touching, common to the tradition from Plato and Aristotle, and, crucially for Aquinas, to Plotinus and Augustine, “attingit ad ipsum Deum”: God is in all things by His essence, power and presence, according to His common mode, as the cause existing in the effects which participate in His goodness. Above and beyond this common mode, however, there is a special mode consonant with the nature of a rational being in whom God is said to be present as the known in the knower, and the beloved in the lover. And because the rational creature by its knowing and loving touches God Himself, according to this special mode, God is said not only to exist in the rational creature but also to dwell therein as in His own temple. This touching will be our goal tonight. 8

9 9 Paris BN MSS grec 437 First page of the Dionysian corpus, a gift from the Byzantine Emperor Michael II to King Louis the Pious, the Western Emperor, in 827. About 860 Eriugena translated the Greek into Latin.

10 P ERFICITUR ETIAM PER HOC QUODAMMODO TOTIUS OPERIS DIVINI UNIVERSITAS, DUM HOMO, QUI EST ULTIMO CREATUS, CIRCULO QUODAM IN SUUM REDIT PRINCIPIUM, IPSI RERUM PRINCIPIO PER OPUS INCARNATIONIS UNITUS. The fundamental logic continues into the questions on creation, and thus into the Summa as a whole. Thomas’ thearchy unrolls and rewinds by way of linked concentric circles ever more inclusive of otherness until the Summa theologiae even encircles evil within the remaining, going out, and returning of the tripartite system of God, human, and Christ as the man-God. The divine trinitarian life, as conversio, is established as containing principle and end in the First Part. The return to God as Goodness per se, takes place in the cosmos fallen in the exitus of the Second Part, the vast world constructed by humans because, as image of God, they are principles of their own works. That fall is a consequence of our pursuit of our good, happiness, and that quest contains the possibility of our return. Thus the Pars Secunda is named by motion: de motu rationalis creaturae. Each thing is moved by, indeed, convertitur ad suum bonum, implicitly at least the cause from which it proceeds, primarily and ultimately God. The human motion is given a way back: the Tertia Pars, is de Christo, qui secundum quod homo, via est nobis tendendi in Deum. 10

11 11 A Master lectures on the cosmic circles

12 The Order of the Quinque Viae M OTUS INCIPIT A CAUSA EFFICIENTE, ET TERMINATUR AD CAUSAM FINALEM. Order is on Thomas’ mind when he begins the Five Ways, and he explains his starting point: “the first and more manifest way” is from motion. Aristotle’s four causes are the deep background of the viae. Thomas uses them to structure his writing in the Summa theologiae at the beginning of the treatment of God when moving from creatures to God and at the end for moving from God to creatures. In both places the source of motion is the beginning, just as its opposed cause, the final, is end. On the way up in the viae, motion is evident to our senses and starting with it is a concession to where our knowing starts. It actualizes matter’s contingent potentiality which is raised to formal perfection as the good, or end, it lacks. On the way down, the Trinity is cause. God as the principle of all procession, i.e. the Father, knows the form by which he acts in and as the Son and loves the Son and himself as end in the Spirit. So God is cause in each of Aristotle’s four senses. Thus understood, the order Thomas uses in the viae belongs to their character as proof. 12

13 H OC DICIMUS D EUM At the end of the Five Ways, we have arrived at: 1) An articulated and ordered cosmos: from mere motion, we came to things or substances, ordered first as necessary and possible, and then as greater and less, better and worse; finally all were united into one teleological order of nature bringing it to the best. 2) A cognition which can know it: a sensing, making, judging, and intelligently ordering knower. 3) A considerable knowledge of God: The Unmoved Mover becomes a Maker who is Necessary through itself. He is the standard of the greatest and best, the Intelligence which orders the movements of nature to the best end. The physical, psyche, and divinity are mutually connected as are the knower and known. 13

14 14

15 II. The Scholarship and Thomas’ Method INTELLECTUS NON UNIVOCE INVENITUR IN D EO ET IN NOBIS. The beginning of the Summa Theologiae and its treatment of God give Aquinas’ most innovative, characteristic, enigmatic, and influential doctrines about what sacred theology is and about the relations of nature and grace, philosophy and revelation in it. The De Deo then works them out in the movement from God as One to God as Three, from God as Sent to God as Creator. In the articles the Platonic and Peripatetic traditions, pagan, Christian, Islamic and Jewish meet; positions of Plato and Aristotle, Philo and Clement of Alexandria, Plotinus and Augustine, Proclus and Dionysius, Avicenna, Averroes, and Maimonides, as well as Thomas’ contemporaries, are directly discussed or are in the background of the argument. In consequence, there is scarcely a passage in the questions we shall consider together which is not surrounded by a mountain of scholarship and controversy, historical, philosophical, and theological. 15

16 The Trinitarian Metaphysics of Esse Let me locate what I take to be Aquinas’ method in the De Deo relative to two current positions. My title declares that Aquinas’ Metaphysics of Esse is Trinitarian and, indeed, I hope to exhibit something of how this is so. I shall emphasize how esse ’s circular self-return is inclusive of difference, how the necessities and possibilities of the human are present at beginning, middle and end (we may call this Incarnational as well as Trinitarian metaphysics), and how both of these require the transcendent divine esse to be self- affective. This may lead to the impression that I have forsaken my criticism of Radical Orthodoxy, and what I take to be its collapse of reason into faith and human philosophical ratiocination into angelic intellectual intuition. The opposite is the case. The key both to Thomas’ differentiations, and the movement through them, is that the argument is step by step. Aquinas ends with God as three, but begins with God as one, which for him and Dionysius has the nature of the beginning. We pass by way of the self- reflectivity of God as knowing, but we begin with the circle described by the names of the simple substance. We end with the Trinitarian self-diremption of esse into three infinite subsistences, by way of the God’s self-knowing and self-loving. The middle term is the self-affectivity of the divine giving and receiving of itself to itself. 16

17 From Impassibility to Self-Affectivity Taking up the other side of the current academic games, my “from Impassibility to Self-Affectivity” may suggest that I have given way before the polemics of Jean-Luc Marion and his followers against Neoplatonism. Not at all! Thomas’ division of the De Deo he finds in Dionysius at his most Proclean, and the step by step movement from the simple to the divided is as fundamental to that Neoplatonism as are the divine names as primordial causes, knowing as the self-return of simple substance, and the emanations which produce the divine subsistences and finite being. Thomas’ De Deo is not to be reduced to Neoplatonism, but Proclus and Dionysius must be our guides when following many of its steps. Aquinas repeats the same content under different perspectives. The interplay of form and content enables both the transition from one perspective to another and our acceptance of the change to the immutable content consequent on these transitions. While we cannot start with being as Trinitarian or God as Incarnate, step by step our reasoning about it and its representation to us are more conformed as the differentiated multiplicity within the simplicity is more manifest. 17

18 18 Notre Dame with the three Scholastic requirements of system (Panofsky) 1.totality (sufficient enumeration), 2.arrangement according to a system of homologous parts and parts of parts (sufficient articulation), and 3.distinctness and deductive cogency (sufficient interrelation)

19 III. The Trinitarian metaphysics of Pure Being in St Thomas’ Summa Theologiae U NUM IGITUR EST PRIUS OMNI MULTITUDINE ET PRINCIPIUM EIUS A. The Structure By the end of the Quinque Viae a cosmos has come to birth in mind, a process which will continue after the manner of Dionysius and Eriugena in the questions leading from God’s Simplicity to his Unity. Through Physics and Cosmogony we enter Theology proper. This theology concerns not how God is but how he is not and begins with the circle proceeding from Divine to Unity. It is negative theology removing from God every kind of composition, a Metaphysics of Pure Being. With that in view we can sketch Thomas’ argument in the De Deo. 19

20 Mapping the Structure of the Ipsum Esse Subsistens, the Deus in Se of the Summa theologiae Within the joining according to the right order for learning this subject, Within the joining of the way up and the way down entailed by Sacred Doctrine’s use of philosophy, according to the right order for learning this subject, the Summa theologiae as a whole and its parts describe self-related circles of Remaining ( Remaining (mone, in Deo continentur omnia) Going-out ( Going-out (proodos, exitus) Return Return (epistrophe, reditus, ad Deum convertuntur omnia) by which all things come out from and circle back to their beginning, God. Three parts accomplish this (Summa theologiae 1.2): God Movement of the rational creature in, towards, and into God (de motu rationalis creaturae in Deum) Christ the Way uniting the two, and thus perfecting the human movement into its source. 20

21 Within these there is The Tripartite Structure of the de Deo De Deo uno. Treating the essence of God. QQ De Deo Trino. Treating the distinction of Persons. QQ Together, these constitute the Deus in se. De Deo Creante. Treating the procession, or emanation, of creatures. QQ 43ff. The De Deo uno is tripartite: Whether God is. Q 2. How God is, or better, is not. QQ The operations of the divine essence. QQ

22 III. B. From Motion to its End and on to the Circle from Simplicity to Unity O STENSUM EST AUTEM SUPRA QUOD D EUS EST PRIMUM MOVENS IMMOBILE. U NDE MANIFESTUM EST QUOD D EUS NON EST CORPUS. I n the Quinque Viae the Unmoved Mover becomes a Maker who is Necessary through itself. He causes and is the standard of the greatest and best, the Intelligence which orders the movements of the unknowing corpora naturalia to the best end. Aristotle’s Unmoved Mover, the esse in actu, et nullo modo in potentia, is the incorporeal beginning of our knowing of “How God is, or better, is not”, QQ These questions contain the Conceptual Names common to God’s essence, and their circular structure from Simplicity to Infinity and back around to Unity. The treatise, the names and its structure derive, modified, from the Divine Names of Dionysius (and thence from Proclus). Its beginning, the De Simplicitate Dei, argues from what the Five Ways established. Esse in actu must be completely without composition. By way of Aristotle’s causes, his Unmoved Mover, and his fundamental philosophical framework, we originate a Neoplatonic circle of remaining, going out, and returning. The De Deo starts, then, with the impassable God. This God is set absolutely against everything else: it moves, He is unmoved and unmovable; its potentiality makes it movable, He is nullo modo in potentia; it is composite, He is utterly simple, so simple that He is non solum sua essentia… sed etiam suum esse; these are identical in Him. Aquinas’ God begins as impassably transcendent. 22

23 Q3 De simplicitate, as simple, God is mone, remaining. Esse negates all composition, is per se forma, and thus subsistent, and identical with essentia. The entrance to thinking the divine is the Platonic / Aristotelian denial of corporeality. Q8 Existentia dei in rebus. God exists in all things “intime” and “immediate” “sicut agens adest ei in quod agit”, “ut dans eis esse et virtutem et operationem”. Depends on Aristotle’s simultaneity of cause and effect and esse creatum as the proper effect of the identity of essentia and esse. Q4 De perfectione, remaining continued. “in uno existentia omnia praehabet”. Perfection is a negation by eminence, not in a genus, ipsum esse per se subsistens, has no proper likeness, creation is participation. Q9 De immutabilitate. Picking up from the negation implicit in the distinction of the interior operations of knowing and willing from the exterior of power in Q8, Q9 begins the reditus by denying mutability of what is purus actus. Q5 De bono in communi begins the exit. Following Plato, the Good is simultaneously efficient and final cause, as the end it presupposes the other causes. Q10 De aeternitate dei. As time depends on motion, mutability denied leads to eternity, another negation. Inclusive as “tota simul”, it is “non est aliud quam ipse Deus” and the proper measure of esse itself. Q6 De bonitate dei. The Good is by nature self diffusive as established in Q5. Now this is applied to God: “omnes perfectiones…effluunt ab eo”. Q11 De unitate dei. This unity is above beings, ex eius simplicitate, in things, ex infinitate eius perfectionis, and of things “ab unitate mundi”. “The consideration of his infinity and existence in things for it belongs to God to be everywhere and in all things insofar as He is uncontainable (incircumscriptibilis) and infinite.” Q7 De infinitate: “maxime formale omnium est ipsum esse”, so is infinite and perfect as per se forma. Unity is a “second perfection” i.e. unity contains the difference between the starting simplicity and the many and varied beings which came out from it. It is the first of the gathering conclusions of esse’s emanations, others include God’s Happiness and the Mission of the Divine Persons. 23

24 24 St Thomas rightly divides the Word of Truth

25 From the Motionlessly Moving God to His Real Relations. This circle is only the first of many describing God’s inner and outer life. The next ones concern how God returns upon himself in self-knowing and self-loving. They come after two questions: “How God is Known by Us,” and “How God is Named by Us.” “How God is Known by Us,” and “How God is Named by Us.” Then follow the Internal Operations of God: 1. Knowing (14-18), and 2. Loving(19-21), 3. their combination in Providence & Predestination (22-24). Next is 4. The External Operation, God’s Power (25) 5. Gathering, Summary and Transition, God’s Happiness (26). 25

26 From the Motionlessly Moving God to His Real Relations. 5. Beginning with Q27, the Trinity, Processions within God, personal emanations based in His internal operations of Knowing and Loving. Scriptural revelation is necessary in order to know that there is real relation with the opposition of Giving and Receiving in the essence. 6. A Gathering Conclusion and Transition: the Mission of the Persons (Q43)— with which we shall terminate this lecture. 7. Beginning with Q44, the Creation, the external procession based on power. In the emanation of Creation what receives is unequal to what gives (the divine essence united in the real subsistences); the relation is not mutual but rather of creature to creator. In fact the unequal relation of dependence is what constitutes the creature as creature. 26


28 How God is Known by Us and How God is Named by Us Summation, a break, and a transition IPSA ESSENTIA D EI FIT FORMA INTELLIGIBILIS INTELLECTUS Here we find three of Aquinas’ most characteristic and determinative doctrines: created grace, his astonishingly positive version of how we name God, and his analogy of being. These sharply differ from the thinking of Dionysius who provided authority, structure, and doctrine for the circle of the Names of the Essence. In our progress to levels ever more inclusive of multiplicity and difference, we step out of Dionysius’ circle into the differentiation of self- reflexive knowing. In Thomas’ balanced system, with the questions on how God is known and named by us, and on the Divine Operations dominated by knowing, Aristotle re-emerges vis-à-vis the Neoplatonists. We come to God’s knowledge from its effect, our knowing and naming of the essence in its exitus from simplicity to its multiplication in things and return to Unity. The likeness of our created knowledge to the divine knowing is by analogy. These questions reflect on this first naming, they are therefore a break in the argument— one of several strongly marked breaks in the De Deo. Characteristically, the greater transitions are preceded by a gathering (here the name, Unity). As manifesting a created likeness, knowing and naming, in common with the Quinque viae and Thomas’ method throughout, are a further step in the ascent from effect to cause. As self-reflexive, they move us further in the descent into the Divine self- differentiation. 28

29 29

30 From the Names of the Essence to its Operations D ICITUR IN LIBRO DE CAUSIS, QUOD SCIENS ESSENTIAM SUAM, REDIT AD ESSENTIAM SUAM. I cannot list now all the Aristotelian conceptions functioning in the questions on the Divine Operations. One derived from Proclus but attributed to Aristotle by way of the Liber de causis, simple substance has perfect self-return and thus knows, must be mentioned because it is the philosophical basis for moving from Q11 to Q14. QQ 14-26: The Operations of the Essence: two perfect and internal and one imperfect and external (power). For the internal activities, the object of the act is within the action: the known is in the knower, the willed in the lover. From these alone the Trinitarian relations come. QQ 14-18: De scientia, ideis, veritate, falsitate, et vita. Consequent on the perfect return of simple esse upon itself, these questions are centered around knowing, derive from it their figure, motionless motion, with which they conclude as enabling the attribution of life to ipsum esse subsistens. Crucially, knowing has a limit; it is not ecstatic: God’s knowledge implies a relation to creatures as they are in God. In contrast, will regards creatures as they are in themselves. QQ 19-21: De voluntate, amore, iustitia et misericordia. Knowledge is attributed to the ipsum esse subsistens because it is simple and returns on itself, so willing, which is the impulse for a greater unity of subject and object than knowledge gives, follows. The impulse and the unity are two sides of the same: “the more complete the coming forth the more perfect is the unity between the origin and the term of the procession”(1.27.1ad 2). 30

31 From the Names of the Essence to its Operations G OD IS IN ALL THINGS AS THE AGENT IS IN WHAT IT EFFECTS “ UT DANS EIS ESSE ET VIRTUTEM ET OPERATIONEM Widening and strengthening of internal difference. Evidently this structure requires a thearchy with an ever widening and strengthening of differentiation which the operations effect. Their separate existence requires a distinction between the esse and the operations of the esse. Following Dionysius (mediating Proclus), Aquinas thinks this division is characteristic of spiritual beings. Second, both knowing and loving in the esse require self-relation. The self-relation of esse is self-knowledge, and the affirmation of known by the knower is the further identity given in the ecstatic impulse of love. Third, knowing is multiplied in the ideas. These are the divine essence from the perspective of the multiple creatures, but because the divine is also truth, they are more. Since truth is not in things, but is in the judgment of intellect, an act of comparison for Aquinas, to be truth the divine intellect must circle around itself to compare what goes out from it to itself as truth. 31

32 The Operations of the Essence Continued SIMUL INTELLECTUM ET VOLUNTATEM QQ 21-24: De providentia, praedistinatione, de libro vitae The third general distinction within the operations, those with intellect and will together. In order to allow ipsum esse subsistens to have its proper effect, entia, as themselves participated forms of esse, and thus substantial and proper images of the cause, causing as well as caused, Aquinas must go back to an ancient distinction between providence and fate: providence is in the cause, and governance or execution is in the governed and requires the substantial reality of second causes. “Providence is … reason in the mind of the provider. But the execution of providence, governance, is something active in the governor and something passive in the governed” (1.23.2). As secondary causes, all except the last effects are agents of government. The basis of the effect must be discernable in the cause in order for it to be known as cause. Different states within the divine correspond to, and, also consist in, states of the creature. This also requires the internal self- differentiation of Ipsum Esse Subsistens: distinctions between God’s “scientia visionis” (of what is) and “simplicis intelligentiae” (of what could be but never is) in knowing, and, most strikingly, between the love which creates irrational creatures, the ”amor quasi concupiscentiae”, and “amor amicitiae” creating rational creatures with whom God can enter into friendship. 32

33 33 Motionless Motion: Plato and Aristotle Reconciled

34 From Motionless Motion to the Self-Affectivity of Real Relations, Persons, in God L ICET MOTUS NON SIT IN DIVINIS, EST TAMEN IBI ACCIPERE 1) Will is related to things as they are in seipsis. With it, because God is moved by himself as by an other, the question of motionless motion arises again: God is not moved by another different from himself but by himself as other: “This is the way Plato said the Prime Mover moved Himself.” 2) In love God is “translated out of himself into the beloved”; thus love overcomes the division of knower and known and raises the divine self- differentiation to another level of othering. 3) “Since there is real relation in God, there is real opposition”. (1.28.3) 4) “Although there is no motion is in the Divine, there is receiving.” ( ad 3) The real opposition in God is the Divine esse as given and received. 5) “It is true to say that whatever eminence the Father has, the Son has.… For the Father and the Son have the same essence and dignity, but the Father has them in the form of giver and the Son in the form of receiver”. ( ad 2) 6) Real opposition as self-differentiation is God’s self-affectivity. 34


36 Breaks, summation, transition: From the External Operation & the Divine Happiness to the Trinitarian Relations QQ 25 & 26: De Potentia dei and Beatitudine dei We move from the internal, perfect activities or processions which become the relations of equals in the trinitarian essence to the external operation of power. Originating in what has no prior in any sense (the “Father”) it is modified in the divine intellect and will (“Word” and “Spirit”) to produce the emanation of universal being as an unequal reception; this relation of the unequal recipient to the divine esse is creation. Thomas holds that we cannot deduce real relations within divinity, the real giving and receiving of the divine essence. In this sense, although the Trinitarian real relations are formed from the internal activities of the essence, and are both necessary and natural, we need Scriptural revelation to be certain that they exist. This lack does not stem from weakness in their logical necessity but from the deficiency of human knowing. This break comes with an inclusive conclusion. We return to the beginning of the operations in knowing because happiness belongs only to knowing beings and because knowing is the origin of will and power. Comparably to the conclusion of the circle of the essential names, unity, divine happiness knows and enjoys its going forth in will and power and the happiness of the rational creatures who participate it: “It possesses a continuous and most certain contemplation of itself and of all others” (1.26.4). 36

37 From the Relations of Giving and Reception in the essence to the relation of what is received outside to its origin, i.e. creation. A UGUSTINE C OMES TO THE F ORE QQ 27 to 43: The Trinitarian processions of Ipsum esse subsistens as real relations in which the divine essence affects itself as given and received. The structure of the de deo trino in the Summa theologiae is complex, involving two circles moving in opposite directions. However, the fundamental logic is simple. Although the trinitarian relations stem from the operations of knowing and willing, they draw us back to the esse/ essentia because they are not distinguished from it by being its operations, but are rather the relations of the essence itself in which it is opposed within itself as giving and being received. And, despite this return to the origin (ipsum esse subsistens), they are the last internal stage in its fundamental logic, that of circular emanations ever more divided and ever more inclusive of the proceeding difference. Formally, they are ipsum esse subsistens completely given and received in its self encircling as knowing and willing. Because the terms of the relation are opposed, they are now subsistences in, or of, the essence. 37


39 Real Relation and Opposition in the Essence C UM IGITUR IN D EO REALITER SIT RELATIO … OPORTET QUOD REALITER SIT IBI OPPOSITIO. QQ27-28 Relation is real in God and requires internal opposition. The procession of creatures is distinguished from the procession forming the Trinitarian real relations because: “the more complete the coming forth the more perfect is the unity between the origin and the term of the procession”(1.27.1ad 2). What is implied is pushed: there is a divine esse acceptum “insofar as it has esse divinum from another” [within the divinity] (1.27.2ad3). The divine processions in the identity of essence are “by the mode of self-relation to another” (1.28.1ad1). “By definition relation implies reference to another according to which the two things stand in relative opposition. Therefore since in God there is real relation so there must be real opposition.” (1.28.3) The knowledge which belongs to the divine esse as subsisting and returning on itself is modified as producing or received. “The Son is God as generated, not as generating Deity; hence he is someone understanding, not as producing a Word, but as a Word produced.” (1.34.2ad4). The same order in divinity applies to Love. “Origin in God is both an active and a passive term” (1.40.1). 39

40 40

41 The Bond of the Ecstatic Spirit Father and Son are opposed as well as united. Their connexio duorum is the Spirit who receives his being from both as love: “If you leave out the Spirit, it is not possible to understand the unitas connexionis inter Patrem et Filium.” (1.39.8) This is the language and doctrine of Augustine. Thus the whole Trinitarian process is a conversio, an exitus and reditus, the basis of that other going out and return which is creation. The Spirit is connexio, nexus, unitas, because it is bond of love overcoming the opposition of Father and Son. The Spirit is love as ecstatic. Love is “an action passing from the lover to the beloved.” ( arg. 2) The Spirit is thus “Gift”, the love by which all graces are given. So, by the Holy Spirit, the Trinity comes in mission to humans. The Divine Love is both the bond of unity and ecstatic. The questions on the Spirit are transitional. They are both the term of the outward movement and the beginning of the return to origin. Both belong to the nature of spirit: “which seems to signify impulsion and motion.” “It is the property of love that it moves and impels the will of the lover into the beloved.” (1.36.1) So the motion and impulse of love carry both God in se and us back to unity. 41

42 The Conclusion of Real Distinction in God, the Mission of the Persons Q43, 3 The Invisible Mission of the Persons to the rational soul according to Sanctifying Grace CREATURA RATIONALIS SUA OPERATIONE ATTINGIT AD IPSUM D EUM “… God is in all things by His essence, power and presence, according to His one common mode, as the cause existing in the effects which participate in His goodness. Above and beyond this common mode, however, there is one special mode consonant with the nature of a rational being in whom God is said to be present as the known in the knower, and the beloved in the lover. And because the rational creature by its operation of knowledge and love touches God Himself, according to this special mode God is said not only to exist in the rational creature but also to dwell therein as in His own temple.” Summa theologiae : Est enim unus communis modus quo Deus est in omnibus rebus per essentiam, potentiam et praesentiam, sicut causa in effectibus participantibus bonitatem ipsius. Super istum modum autem communem, est unus specialis, qui convenit creaturae rationali, in qua Deus dicitur esse sicut cognitum in cognoscente et amatum in amante. Et quia, cognoscendo et amando, creatura rationalis sua operatione attingit ad ipsum Deum, secundum istum specialem modum Deus non solum dicitur esse in creatura rationali, sed etiam habitare in ea sicut in templo suo. 42

43 Moissac 12 th Century

44 Conclusion Thomas’ Trinitarian Metaphysics of Esse In our step by step following of our teacher from “‘I am Who am’ said by the person of God” to the Mission of the Spirit, fundamentals of his understanding of Being have been revealed. Because Esse is self-affecting, God is Trinity. The Incarnation is not added at the end of the system; its deep ground begins showing itself from the beginning in the identity of God’s existence with what he is: the highest identity contains the ultimate difference. The Divine generosity does not blind and sink us with its brilliance and immensity, but adapts itself to the modes of our reception. “ Et hoc est quod dicit Dionysius, I cap. caelestis hierarchiae, impossibile est nobis aliter lucere divinum radium, nisi varietate sacrorum velaminum circumvelatum.” (Summa theologiae co) 44

45 This Lecture Ends. The LORD rests on the seventh day.

46 Creation Q45.6 The Essential Text (English) The divine nature, although common to the three Persons, belongs to them in an order, inasmuch as the Son receives the divine nature from the Father, and the Holy Ghost from both. Likewise the power of creation, while common to the three Persons, belongs to them in an order. For the Son receives it from the Father, and the Holy Ghost from both. Hence to be the Creator is attributed to the Father as to Him Who does not receive the power of creation from another. And of the Son it is said (John 1:3), "Through Him all things were made," inasmuch as He has the same power, but from another; for this preposition "through" usually denotes a mediate cause, or "a principle from a principle." But to the Holy Ghost, Who has the same power from both, is attributed that by His sway He governs, and gives life to what is created by the Father through the Son. Again, the reason for this particular appropriation may be taken from the common notion of the appropriation of the essential attributes. For, to the Father is appropriated power which is chiefly shown in creation, and therefore it is attributed to Him to be the Creator. To the Son is appropriated wisdom, through which the intellectual agent acts; and therefore it is said: "Through Whom all things were made." And to the Holy Ghost is appropriated goodness, to which belong both government, which brings things to their proper end, and the giving of life—for life consists in a certain interior movement; and the first mover is the end, and goodness. 46


48 Aquinas’ Motionlessly Moving and Self-Affecting God The view overall of Part I De Deo ST 1.1: The nature of Sacred Doctrine ST 1.2: Does the subject matter, God, exist. ST 1.3: ST 1.3: God is Simple. ST 1.4:ST 1.4: God is Perfect. ST 1.5ST 1.5 & 1.6: Goodness & God’s Goodness ST 1.7:& 1.8ST 1.7:& 1.8 God is Infinite and Exists in all things. ST 1.9 & 1.10:ST 1.9 & 1.10: God is Unchangeable & Eternal. ST 1.11:ST 1.11: God is One. ST 1.12 How God is Known by Us, and ST 1.13 How is Named by Us, then come the internal operations of God, knowing and loving ST 1.14 God’s Knowledge ST 1.15 God’s Ideas ST 1.16 Truth ST 1.17 Falsity ST 1.18 God’s Life ST 1.19 God’s Will ST 1.20 God’s Love ST 1.21 God’s Justice and Mercy… ST 1.22,23, 24 God’s Providence, Predestination and the Book of Life (knowing and loving together) ST 1.25 God’s Power ST 1.26 God’s Happiness Beginning with ST 1.27 The Trinity, personal emanations within God based in his internal operations of Knowing and Loving. Beginning with ST 1.44 On the First Cause of all Beings we get the procession outside God’s essence, the emanation of Creation. This is the great widening of the circle which ultimately returns to its origin through Part II On the Human seeking God and Part III on Christ the Union of both. 48

49 Excursus [excerpted and modified from my Excursus [excerpted and modified from my “Ab uno simplici non est nisi unum: The Place of Natural and Necessary Emanation in Aquinas’ Doctrine of Creation”] From Trinitarian self-differentiation to Creation O PORTET PROCESSUM EMANATIONIS A D EO UNIRI QUIDEM IN IPSO PRINCIPIO, MULTIPLICARI AUTEM SECUNDUM RES INFIMAS (S UMMA C ONTRA G ENTILES 4.1 P ROEMIUM ) Commenting on the Liber de causis, Aquinas wrote: “not all things receive God’s goodness in the same mode and equally, but each according to the mode of its own potentiality.” This gives Thomas’ characteristically Platonic treatment of the emanation of creatures (the logical principles here are in the Timaeus). What proceeds out of God must be multiple, diverse, and unequal, only thus can what is outside the divine substance receive his goodness so that the universal order is both as good as it can be in itself and will also represent him as adequately as possible (perfectius participat divinam bonitatem et repraesentat eam totum universum). Creation for Aquinas requires three emanations of two distinct kinds. First, there are the internal emanations or processions within the divine essence which produce real distinctions and relations within the Principle. These two emanations are necessary (necessitate absoluta – “with an absolute necessity” (Super Sent., lib. 1, dist. 6, q. 1, art. 1) and natural. They are emanations of the primary and most simple unities from the first and most simple unity, i.e., the emanation of the Word, which is the necessary and natural result of God’s knowing himself, and the emanation of the Spirit, which is the necessary and natural result of the divine self-love. 49

50 Excursus From Trinitarian self-differentiation to Creation Aquinas tells us in Summa contra Gentiles, that “by necessity it must be that God always knows himself,” that the necessary result of this self-knowledge is the “emanation” of the Verbum conceptum, note the passive voice, and that “it must be that he proceeds naturaliter from the Father” (ScG, 4.11). Conceptio Verbi divini est naturalis (ST, ad 4). These emanations are natural precisely as determined; the natural is what is ordered to only one result (ST, : natura determinata est ad unum). If these processions were not necessary, but contingent so that they might or might not happen, what proceeds would be a creature, not a divine being. At De Potentia, 2.3, Thomas invokes Avicenna on behalf of this necessity in God: per se necesse est esse (at ST, Avicenna is quoted without being named). The same necessity of the divine nature determines the emanation of the Spirit as love, and, as with the Son, it is necessary that what proceeds be equal to its principle (De Potentia, 10.2 ad 5). Equality as a characteristic is also especially appropriated to the Word as the first emanation from the Father who is the principle of the Trinitarian processions. Aequalitas autem importat unitatem [...] Et ideo aequalitas appropriatur Filio, qui est principium de principio (ST ). 50

51 Excursus “The first thing which proceeds from unity is equality and then multiplicity proceeds. And therefore, from the Father, to whom, according to Augustine, unity is proper, the Son processes, to whom equality is appropriate, and then the creature comes forth to which inequality belongs” (ST, ad 2). The multiplication of equals is the origin of the other kind of emanation, that of “all being from the universal being” (ST, ad 1). From his Commentary on the Sentences through all his writing, as Gilles Emery has established, for Aquinas, the procession of the Son is the cause and reason of all subsequent emanations: “les processions des personnes sont la cause et la raison de la procession des créatures (dans l’exitus comme dans le reditus).” The characteristics de la procession des créatures are contrary to those of the first kind. The necessary emanations within the divine determine the character of emanation outside it (ST, ). This procession is voluntary, because the divine being is necessarily willing. Thomas’ position may be presented in words of Albert Magnus: “In the First, will and essence are the same. Thus, as the first invariable is in respect to essence, so also is the invariable according to will. It is, then, a consequence of the rule ‘from the simple one nothing comes except a unity,’ that, from a will which is not at all diversified by what it wills, there is nothing except unity. [...] Since, it follows that because [the First] knows himself as the principle of everything, he knows all which is, so also it follows that, because he wills himself as the principle of all things, he wills all which is.” (De causis et processu, ) 51

52 Excursus From Trinitarian self-differentiation to Creation For Aquinas will is essential to creation. Because it is willed and not necessary, creation is not an emanation or a real relation within God. Rather it is a relation in the creature to God (ST, ad 3; ST, ). Because creation also originates in an intellectual principle (the divine self-love is a consequence of the divine self-knowledge), which, as intellectual is filled with all the forms, the order created is of multiple, diverse and unequal beings. Far from opposing necessary emanation which is determined by the nature of the principle, Aquinas incorporates it into the very life of God. By his situation at a conclusion of a debate among the Arabic Peripatetics, he is moved to separate necessary and free emanations. In a way we do not find among the Hellenic Neoplatonists, Aquinas places one within God, the other in his relation ad extra. Avicenna’s God as necesse esse, who produces his like out of the necessity of his nature, has a very exalted place in the Thomistic theological hierarchy. Aquinas acknowledges his debt to Ibn Sina, both directly and by quoting him. The divine Henads have an equal exaltation in Thomas’ divinity. Their manner of coming forth in the One is echoed in the ab uno simplici non est nisi unum and the procession of the divine Persons. The ex uno non nisi unum is most recognizable in the procession of the Verbum as aequalitas—an idea Aquinas credits to Augustine. 52

53 Excursus From Trinitarian self-differentiation to Creation The equality of the unities within the thearchy and the ordered unity of the divine being, whose knowing and loving are self-determinations by which the essence is given and received to itself, distinguish this Christian Neoplatonism both from its pagan and from its Islamic and Jewish predecessors. Thomas’ construction also differs in many ways from the Greek Christian Platonism of Dionysius on which he is so dependent. They all, however, disclose the necessities of the logic within which all are working. Thomas understands this logic better as his knowledge of Platonism grows, and he grants a place in his system to what of its necessities each of his teachers discloses. 53

Download ppt "From Impassibility to Self- Affectivity: the Trinitarian Metaphysics of Esse in Thomas’ Summa theologiae The Aquinas Lecture in the Department of Philosophy."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google