Aquinas and the identity of person, nature, and relation

This is from a conversation I had with a catholic convert.   I was trying to get him to affirm the implications of absolute divine simplicity.

ME:  That’s the heart and soul of Thomas’ doctrine.  It’s found all over the place.  These are just a few:  1st Part; question 14, article 4 (identifies act and substance–keep in mind that his take on substance admits no distinctions)
First Part: Question 19; Article 1; reply to objection 3 (identifies will with essence).
First Part:  Question 28: Article 2 (he identifies relation and essence; keep in mind that the relation of opposition for thomas is the person)
First Part:  Question 40; Article 1 (he identifies person and essence)

Because of all of that–because simplicity forces all terms in Thomas to act as a great metaphysical “=” sign–all acts in God are identical.  Therefore, for him there is no difference between the Son eternally originating the spirit and eternally mediating the Spirit.  That’s why Florence identified the two concepts–given their view of God the two were the same thing, because all acts in God are the same thing.


3 comments on “Aquinas and the identity of person, nature, and relation

  1. DCF says:

    No comments eh? Well, I thought it was good. Do you own the Summa or just sections of it that have been published? When are you going to do a chapter by chapter review of The Unsettling of America by Wendell Berry?

  2. Yes. I own the Summa. I was in goodwill one day and they were selling the Great Books of the Western Tradition for fifteen dollars! I’ve since given away most of them, but I kept the Summa.

    I don’t have that book by Berry. I do have a few otherse.

    • DCF says:

      That is a steal, for sure. Have you read any of DeLubac’s stuff? Is he much of a Thomist?

      On the Berry book–you, my friend, are missing out on his best work. Instead of a bunch of excellent essays compiled into one book (Way of Ignorance and Bringing it to the Table) it is a 200 page aphorism. Simply outstanding. If someone offered me the entire Schaff hardback Nicene fathers series for my paperback–I would have to sleep on it…

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