Aquinas and ontotheology again

Abstract

ABSTRACTA number of contemporary authors have argued that Aquinas’s understanding of God is ontotheological. In this paper, I consider the charge as it is formulated by Kevin Hart in his influential book The Trespass of the Sign: Deconstruction, Theology, and Philosophy. Hart claims that three features of Aquinas’s approach to the divine make it ontotheological, namely that it privileges positive theology over negative theology, regards God as the ‘highest value’, and takes God to be the essence of beings. I argue that these features are either not to be found in Aquinas’s thinking about God or that Hart misunderstands them.

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Joseph Trabbic
Fordham University

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