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

BOOK REVIEWS 485 down in fleshing out the precise meaning of the doctrines of earlier figures such as Plotinus and Pseudo-Dionysius that the main object ofstudy is temporarily lost from view; shorter sketches of the historical background would probably have sufficed, even if at times questionable interpretations would have to be taken on matters controversial among specialists working in ancient philosophy. Furthermore, a strictly chronological order of presentation would probably have improved the clarity of the treatment since Aristotle's views had to be referred to extensively prior to their formal study in the fourth chapter. On the other hand, much more could, and should, have been made of the impact of near-contemporaries and contemporaries on Aquinas's thought; St. Bonaventure, for example, is doubtless one of the contemporary theologians with whom Thomas is in dialogue in the Sentences commentary and elsewhere, yet Bonaventure is mentioned only in passing. But, despite its faults, Boland's book remains a solid achievement. It gathers together a wealth of material, both secondary and primary, dealing with divine ideas in Aquinas and the doctrinal tradition leading to him. Any future scholar treating of the topic of divine ideas will, doubtless, benefit enormously from the study of Boland's treatment of the problems involved and his impressive command of the relevant primary literature. The Catholic University ofAmerica Washington, D.C. TIMOTHY B. NOONE Living with God: Thomas Aquinas on the Relation between Life on Earth and 'Life'afterDeath. By CARLO LEGET. Publications of the Thomas Instituut te Utrecht, n.s. 5. Leuven: Peters, 1997. Pp. 304. 1100 BEF (paper). ISBN 90-6831-966-3. Skipping directly to the author's concluding chapter is an occupational hazard for readers, but what is death for mystery novels can breathe life into academic books, and I found myself moving directly to the last of Leget's five chapters after struggling with his first. The first chapter, called "In Search of an Appropriate Perspective: Aquinas on God and Life," opens with the nature of theology (STh I, q. 1). Leget then turns to "life" and "death" as they apply to creatures. The focus of chapter 1, however, is on "life" as a divine name (STh I, q. 18), and Leget concludes by considering "life" among the Trinity of Persons in God. Two points initially made it difficult for me to follow the "search" in chapter 1. First, the presentation of the nature of theology, though clear, is too brief and lacking in argument. Leget's main conclusion is that sacra doctrina is 486 BOOK REVIEWS broader than its three distinct "parts": Scripture, the articles of faith, and theology proper, defined as "scientific reflection on the content of faith." This view is intriguing but not without problems. Leget's textual warrant to buttress the claim that theology is only "part of the sacred doctrine" is "Unde theologia quae ad sacram doctrinam pertinet differt secundum genus ab illa theologia quae pars philosophiae ponitur." But to say that theology "pertains" to sacred doctrine is not necessarily to make theology merely a part of sacred doctrine. While admitting that "Aquinas considers the Articles of Faith as the principles of theology" Leget does not draw what seems to be the logical consequence of this admission, namely, that such principles and the conclusions drawn with their aid are both contained within one Aristotelian science, the science ofsacra doctrina, for which theology is but another name, not merely a part. The second stumbling block concerned the "central question" of the book, "the relation between vita naturae and vita aeterna." Leget explains that he "will use the word 'relationship' for what Aquinas means with [by?] conversatio , 'life' in the sense of 'living together with someone'." But he neglects to give a thorough explanation of conversatio, neither appealing to Busa nor pursuing its rich relations with its linguistic twin conversio. Here is a lost opportunity. And in the explanation he does give (64 n. 151), though he correctly denies that God has a "real relationship" with creatures, he neglects to define this rather arcane Scholastic expression or explain the difference between 'real relations' and 'relations of reason' in a way that would throw light on his...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 485-490
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.