In the De potentia, Thomas Aquinas runs a series of disputations on the power of God. The treatise considers ten questions related to God's power to create external things, namely the universe, angels, and human beings. His explanation of creation here is the most developed treatment found in any of his writings, but the principal purpose of the work is to analyze the internal life of Godthat is, the Trinity. According to Aquinas, we predicate the Persons of the Trinity as relations, not as absolute things, and he examines the processions of the Son and the Holy Spirit in the light of reason.
The complete De potentia is a very long document. In this new translation, Fr. Richard Regan offers an abridged version that passes over some of the full text while retaining what is most important when it comes to following the flow of Aquinas's thought.
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Richard J. Regan is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Fordham University.
Table of Contents
Question 1: Creation, The Power of God Absolutely
1. Is There Power in God?
2. Is God's Power Infinite?
3. Are Things Impossible for Nature Possible for God?
4. Should We Judge Something to Be Possible or Impossible by Lower or Higher Causes?
5. Can God Cause Things That He Does Not Cause and Abandon Things That He Causes?
6. Can God Do Things Possible for Others, Such as Sinning, Walking, and the Like?
7. Why Do We Call God Almighty?
Question 2: The Power in the Godhead to Generate
1. Is There a Power in the Godhead to Generate?
2. Do We Speak of the Generative Power in God Essentially or Notionally?
3. Does the Generative Power Proceed to the Act of Generation at the Will's Command?
4. Can There Be Several Sons in God?
5. Is the Power to Generate Included in Omnipotence?
6. Are the Power to Generate and the Power to Create the Same?
Question 3: Creation, The First Effect of Divine Power
1. Can God create Something Out of Nothing?
2. Is Creation a Change?
3. Is Creation Something Really in a Creature, or If It Is, What Is It?
4. Is the Power to Create and the Act of Creation Communicable to a Creature?
5. Can There Be Anything That God Did Not Create?
6. Is There Only One Source of Creation?
7. Is God Active in the Actions of Nature?
8. Does God Act in Nature by Creating, That Is, Is Creation Involved in Nature's Action?
9. Does Creation Bring the Rational Soul into Existence, or Does the Transmission of Semen?
10. Is the Rational Soul Created in the Body or outside It?
11. Does Semen Create or Transmit the Sensory and Vegetative Souls?
12. Is a Sensory or Vegetative Soul in the Semen at the Moment of Its Emission?
13. Can Any Being from Another Being Be Eternal?
14. Can What Essentially Differs from God Have Always Existed?
15. Did Things Proceed from God by a Natural Necessity or by a Decision of His Will?
16. Can Multiplicity Proceed from One First Thing?
17. Has the World Always Existed?
18. Were the Angels Created before the Visible World?
19. Could the Angels Have Existed before the Visible World?
Question 4: The Creation of Unformed Matter
1. Did the Creation of Unformed Matter Precede in Time the Creation of Things?
2. Was the Formation of Matter All at Once or Successively?
Question 5: The Preservation of Things in Existence by God
1. Does God Preserve Things in Existence, or Do They Remain in Existence Intrinsically, with All God's Action Circumscribed?
2. Can God Communicate to a Creature to Be Intrinsically Preserved in Exiting without God?
3. Can God Annihilate a Creature?
4. Should a Creature Be Annihilated, or Is Any?
5. Does Heavenly Motion at Some Time Cease?
6. Can a Human Being Know When the Heavenly Motion Ends?
7. Do the Elements Remain When Heavenly Motion Ceases?
8. Do Action and Being Acted Upon Remain When Heavenly Motion Ceases?
9. Do Plants, Irrational Animals, and Minerals Remain after the World's End?
10. Do Human Bodies Remain When Heavenly Motion Ceases?
Question 6: Miracles
1. Can God Do Anything in Created Things outside Natural Causes?
2. Can We Call All the Things God Does without Natural Causes or Contrary to the Course of Nature Miracles?
3. Can Spiritual Creatures by Their Natural Powers Cause Miracles?
4. Can Good Angels and Human Beings Work Miracles by a Gift of Grace?
5. Do Devils Also Act to Work Miracles?
6. Do Angels and Devils Have Bodies by Nature United to Them?
7. Can Angels or Devils Assume Bodies?
8. Can an Angel or Devil with an Assumed Body Perform the Actions of a Living Body?
9. Should We Attribute Miraculous Activity to Faith?
10. Do Certain Sensibly Perceptible and Material Things, Deeds, or Words Force Devils to Work the Miracles That Magical Skills Seem to Cause?
Question 7: The Simplicity of the Divine Essence
1. Is God Simple?
2. Is the Essence or Substance in God the Same as His Existing?
3. Is God in a Genus?
4. Do We Predicate Good, Wise, Just of God as Accidents?
5. Do the Aforementioned Terms Signify the Divine Substance?
6. Are These Terms Synonymous?
7. Do We Predicate Such Terms of God and Creatures Univocally or Equivocally?
8. Is There a Relation between God and a Creature?
9. Do Such Relations between Creatures and God Really Exist in Creatures Themselves?
10. Is God Really Related to a Creature, So That the Relation Is Something in God?
11. Are These Temporal Relations in God Conceptually?
Question 8: The Things That We Predicate of God Eternally
1. Are the Relations Predicated of God Eternally, Which the Terms Father and Son Signify, Real or Purely Conceptual Relations?
2. Is Relation in God His Substance?
3. Do the Relations Constitute and Distinguish the Persons or Hypostases?
4. Does a Hypostasis Remain When We Exclude a Relation Conceptually?
Question 9: The Divine Persons
1. How is Person Related to Essence, Subsistence, and Hypostasis?
2. What is a Person?
3. Can There Be Personhood in God?
4. Does the Word Person Signify Something Relative to Something Absolute?
5. Are There Several Persons in the Godhead?
6. Can We Properly Predicate the Word Person in the Plural in the Godhead?
7. How We Predicate Numerical Terms of Divine Persons, Namely, whether Positively or Only Negatively?
8. Is There Any Diversity in God?
9. Are There Three, or More or Less, Persons in the Godhead?
Question 10: The Procession of the Divine Persons
1. Is There Procession in the Divine Persons?
2. Are There One or More Processions in the Godhead?
3. What is the Order of Procession to Relation in the Godhead?
4. Does the Holy Spirit Proceed from the Son?
5. Would the Holy Spirit Still Be from the Son if He Were Not to Proceed from Him?