The Franciscan John Duns Scotus (c. 1266-1308) is the philosopher's theologian par excellence: more than any of his contemporaries, he is interested in arguments for their own sake.
Making use of the tools of modern philosophy, Richard Cross presents a thorough account of Duns Scotus's arguments on God and the Trinity. Providing extensive commentary on central passages from Scotus, many of which are presented in translation in this book, Cross offers clear expositions of Scotus's sometimes elliptical writing. Cross's account shows that, in addition to being a philosopher of note, Scotus is a creative and original theologian who offers new insights into many old problems.
Contents: Introduction. Part 1 The Existence of the One God: Theories of causation; The existence of a first being; Perfect-being theology; The knowledge and volition of a first being; Divine infinity; Divine simplicity; Divine unicity; Divine immutability and timelessness. Part 2 The Trinitarian Nature of the One God: The Trinity and scientific demonstration; Internal divine productions; The number of productions; Divine persons; The commonality of the divine essence; Personal properties; Persons and essence in the production of Son and Spirit; Notional and essential acts; The constitution of a divine person; Anti-subordinationist strategies. Appendix; Bibliography; Indexes.
About the Author: Richard Cross is a Tutorial Fellow at Oriel College, University of Oxford, UK.
Reviews: 'In this fine book, Professor Cross has made available to his readers a clearly written overview of Duns Scotus’s doctrine of God, in both its naturally knowable and revealed dimensions. Drawing upon contemporary discussions in the philosophy of religion, Cross carefully states Scotus’s reasoning, while exploring critically its underlying presuppositions and the likely questions of present-day readers. Cross’s achievement is simply remarkable in its clarity and rigour.'
Timothy B. Noone, Ordinary Professor of Philosophy, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C
'Cross writes as a theologian, but he is philosophically well informed and acute, and he rightly describes Scotus as the most philosophical of theologians.' Times Literary Supplement
‘… a very good book which should become a standard work of reference on its subject.’ Journal of Theological Studies
‘In this volume, Richard Cross gives us an excellent treatment of Duns Scotus's teaching on God, admirable for both its comprehensiveness and philosophical rigor. Scotus's position on God's existence and nature, and on the Trinity, are reconstructed and evaluated with close attention to their argumentative soundness… His analysis is particularly commendable for making clear that, although Scotus's demonstration is based on necessarily true premises, the notion of modality relevant here requires reference to a causal power, not to logical possiblity… Cross does a wonderful job of illuminating Scotus's rigorous application of the Augustinian insight… This monograph is a wonderful example of what the intellligent use of the analytical method can achieve for our understanding of a medieval author… The result is a complete success. This is a book that should be studied by anyone interested in late medieval philosophical theology. It may be also extremely useful to contemporary philosophers of religion.’ Journal of the History of Philosophy
‘… an extremely well-written and accessible book that students and scholars alike will find to be an invaluable resource on the thought of this much neglected and oft-maligned figure who, as Cross helps to show, nonetheless deserves his place amongst the giants of the Christian tradition.’ Theological Book Review
‘… Richard Cross offers an exceptionally clear introduction to two key aspects of Scotist thought: his metaphysics and Trinitarian theology… Cross offers an excellent presentation and analysis of the key textual arguments, he shows the relationship between Scotus's philosophy and theology, he clarifies the key role of Henry of Ghent in all these positions, and he addresses many of the questions that a contemporary reader would bring to this study.’ Franciscan Studies
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