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Author Topic: Scotus' moral theology superior to Aquinas'?  (Read 2771 times)

ServusIesu

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In my mediaeval philosophy class I did some reading about Duns Scotus and I developed some healthy interest in his moral theology.  What I read is that Scotus criticized Aquinas system for chaining God a little too closely to His own laws and reason.  Whereas Aquinas and the other Aristotelians put emphasis on the faculty of reason, Duns Scotus made the will pre-eminent over reason, most notably in God Himself.  Thus, in Scotus' thought, Divine Law has as its source and summit a sheer act of Divine Will.  This means that a particular act is moral or immoral only because God wills it or does not will it.

 

This perspective really spoke to my heart.  Over time my theological sympathies have shifted heavily towards the totality of God's Sovereignity over the universe.  I need to read more before I can say that I am definitively a Scotist and not a Thomist, but this is how I see things for now. 

Nobis Quoque Peccatoribus

JubilateDeo

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Scotus' moral theology superior to Aquinas'?
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2006, 04:05:am »

I tend to shy away from views that emphasize one aspect or another.

 

Although His Will might determine one thing or another in regards to His sovereignty; this flows from what He IS. But what He Is determines His Will. It is all one act of Being for God in eternity. I try to not get too wrapped up in preferring one Catholic theological system over another to the point of disdaining another. Focus on what brings you to a greater love of Him.

 

I guess I just do not like the debates on Aristotelian vs. Thomism vs. Augustinian-ism etc... Each has their place and expounds upon the unfathomable. But I find it difficult to focus too much on Something that we can never fully understand here. I always end up realizing I will never figure it out in this life.

Pax, Stephen

BlGeorgeNapper

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Scotus' moral theology superior to Aquinas'?
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2006, 09:59:am »
Scotus's emphasis on the will over the intellect is something he shares  with the other famous Franciscan theologians: St Bonaventure and  William of Ockham.  You may find their views interesting too.
 
  But can we love what we do not apprehend?  Surely we must have an intellectual grip on God first.
 
  However it would be a mistake to say Scotus wasn't an  Aristotelian.  Less faithful to Aristotle than Aquinas, certainly,  but Aristotle still sets the metaphysical framework.  (And  Augustine the theological framework, perhaps.)
 
 
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ServusIesu

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Scotus' moral theology superior to Aquinas'?
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2006, 10:50:am »

Quote from: BlGeorgeNapper
Scotus's emphasis on the will over the intellect is something he shares with the other famous Franciscan theologians: St Bonaventure and William of Ockham.  You may find their views interesting too.

But can we love what we do not apprehend?  Surely we must have an intellectual grip on God first.

However it would be a mistake to say Scotus wasn't an Aristotelian.  Less faithful to Aristotle than Aquinas, certainly, but Aristotle still sets the metaphysical framework.  (And Augustine the theological framework, perhaps.)

 

The course I took primarily focused on metaphysics.  The amazing thing was that everyone quoted Aristotle to defend their position.  William of Ockham defended his nominalism with Aristotle.  Personally, I doubt highly that Aristotle would have embraced nominalism, but who can say?

Nobis Quoque Peccatoribus