In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

BOOK REVIEWS 503 sufferings of Job, which she finds instructively different from the sort of account which would come naturally to people of our own time. We are apt to wonder how a good God could possibly permit the many and frightful evils which infest the world. Aquinas, however, believed that all human beings are afflicted with "a terminal cancer of soul," for which pain and suffering are the divinely-appointed remedies (340). If we are not cured, we will lose for ever the ultimate bliss of communion with God. At this rate we are to expect that the best people are precisely those who are liable to suffer the most (342). Aquinas would agree with Pope Gregory, who says that it is frequently difficult to understand the ways of providence, but never more so than "when things go ill with good people and well with bad people" (343). Stump concludes that what Aquinas's interpretation of Job, and his overall account of evil, has to show us is "that our approach to the problem of evil is a consequence of our attitude towards much larger issues, such as the nature of human happiness and the goal of human life" (356). The reader will have inferred that this is a remarkable volume. None of the contributions is to be sneezed at, and some are very impressive indeed. HUGO MEYNELL University of Calgary Calgary, Alberta, Canada Christ the 'Name' ofGod: Thomas Aquinas on Naming Christ. By HENK J. M. SCHOOT. Nijmegen: Peeters Leuven, 1993. Pp. 231 (Paper). The hiddenness of God in Christ and "the relation between the Word Incarnate and human words for this Word" animate this study of Aquinas's christological epistemology; it is a study of Aquinas's understanding of "the mystery of Christ, and [of] human ways of signifying him" (1). And because "all human understanding and signification fails [sic] to reach Christ as he is," Schoot believes that all christological knowledge is primarily negative and heavily reliant on analogy (1). He applies to the names of Christ what another author (Mark Jordan) has applied to the divine names: "the surest approach to the divine is by the scrutiny of linguistic failure" (153). The structure of the book reflects these insights. In the first chapter the author stresses the negative character of christological language by reflecting upon Aquinas's use of mysterium in christology. The second chapter is an analysis of his use of "the concepts of signification , supposition, predication and reduplication," in the context of the most current knowledge of medieval grammar and logic (7). It is here that the author stresses Aquinas's strongly linguistic approach to christology, as well as the distinction between supposition ("standing for") and predication ("sig- 504 BOOK REVIEWS nification"), which will be crucial to his analysis of the hypostatic union in later chapters. In fact, "the whole of christology is built on the distinction between signification and supposition" (55). Schoot believes that Aquinas, following medieval "modist" grammarians, thought that "a fundamental parallel exists between different modes of signification, modes of understanding and modes of being" (43), and hence a linguistic approach is often a decisive entry into questions of theological (and christologiocal) epistemology and metaphysics. In this context, the author examines the distinction Aquinas made between a number of modes of signification. Chapter Three is devoted to Aquinas as a biblical theologian. His use of biblical names of Christ {over ninety in his commentary on Isaiah alone) suggests that "a large part of Aquinas' treatment of the person and life of the Word Incarnate is devoted to a discussion of names" (104), and that the fact that Christ is a mystery "is rooted in (his] being the 'name' of God" (105). Schoot finds that "Aquinas employs the same rules concerning signification examining those names as he does concerning the divine names" (193). Chapter Four applies the key insights of Aquinas's "theory of supposition to the theology of Christ incarnate" (194). Following an analysis of such key concepts as first and second substance, esse, suppositum, singularis, particularis , and individuum, Schoot concludes that The subject-term having both signification and supposition expresses a linguistic unity that Aquinas deems analogous to the...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 503-506
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.