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BOOK REVIEWS 489 universe enjoys as an ordered whole. What happens if the model does not present a universal order, as seems to have been the case for the last three centuries ? Should we then remove the corresponding perfection from our idea of universe's perfection? Or is there some metaphysical reason for asserting that the universe is an ordered whole, regardless of any particular model? If the latter, it would be interesting to have at least a sketch of how we would arrive at this position. On the whole, certainly, the book provides an invaluable overview of the Thomistic universe for anyone working on Aquinas's cosmology, metaphysics, or even ethics. Blanchette is to be commended for his clear and orderly presentation of the material, especially the many subdivisions within the chapters . The quotations of Thomistic texts are almost all in English, well translated by Banchette himself. The placing of key phrases in Latin within parentheses helps in some measure to overcome the lack of the original text in the footnotes. Finally, the book's selected bibliography as well as its indices (index of names, analytical index, and index of citations) render the book an even more useful tool. The Catholic University ofAmerica Washington, D.C. DAVID M. GALLAGHER Freedom and Creation in Three Traditions. By DAVID B. BURRELL, C.S.C. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1993. Pp. xi + 225. $29.95 (cloth). According to the author, this book, Freedom and Creation in Three Traditions, is a comparative work designed "to illustrate the worth of explicitly tradition-directed inquiry, as well as the fruitfulness of comparative inquires in philosophical theory" (6). In addition, among other things, the author contends that, "because the pressure of comparative perspectives demands that we mine hitherto unsuspected reaches of what we have thought we know," not only the author but also the "traditional disciplines of philosophy and theology may each be enriched by the forays of such inquiry" (6). Specifically, the three traditions to which Burrell is referring are the Jewish, Islamic, and Christian; and, as the title of this book suggests, the central topics of consideration used as the basis for a comparison among these traditions are the respective notions of freedom and creation. In order to achieve his goals, Burrell places his discussion within the general context of the notion of creation, which, as he rightly observes, "is notoriously difficult to classify" (7). In so doing, he divides the work into nine chapters; which he entitles as follows: 1) "The Context: Creation"; 2) "On 490 BOOK REVIEWS Characterizing the Creator"; 3) "On Characterizing Creation"; 4) "On Characterizing the Relation: Jewish, Christian, Muslim"; 5) "God's Acting in the World God Creates"; 6) "Creatures Acting in a Created World"; 7) "On the Relations between the Two Actors"; 8) "Sin and Redemption"; 9) "The God Realized in Renewed Creation." Having placed his discussion within the general context of the notion of creation, Burrell begins his analysis by comparing and contrasting this notion in St. Thomas and Moses Maimonides vis-a-vis the necessitarianism of Aristotle as interpreted by lbn Sina. In so doing, Burrell stresses that what predominates in both Maimonides and Aquinas is a notion of God as a "free originator" of all creation not in relation to an "exegesis of the opening chapters of Genesis" but in relation "to the rest of the Bible and the subsequent tradition of Judaism and Christianity" (12). This "distillation" having been noted, Burrell then examines the distinctive features of the notion of creation as this is influenced by the "faith assertion " of the three respective religious traditions-Jewish, Christian, and Islamic. Within Judaism Burrell finds emphasis placed upon the need to interpret creation against the background of the "covenant" with Israel (19). In Aquinas and Barth he understands this activity to be interpreted against the background of the relation of the Father to His Eternal Word (19-21); and within Islam he finds the regulating theme in the conviction of God's absolute sovereignty vis-a-vis the created order. In chapter 2, Burrell goes into more precise detail regarding the specific ways in which God is characterized as a creator within the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2473-3725
Print ISSN
0040-6325
Pages
pp. 489-493
Launched on MUSE
2017-04-05
Open Access
No
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