Abstract: In this presentation, I discuss my research project to reconcile two contrasting views of God’s power. First, I explore the philosophical arguments that support Aquinas's defence of divine impassibility and immutability, resulting in the position that God has no “real relations” with the world. Second, I explore Alfred Whitehead's contrasting view, insisting that God is really related to the world and is capable to have feelings for the world. After this discussion, I evaluate Norris Clarke’s attempts to integrate Aquinas and Whitehead’s metaphysics into a new Thomistic personalism.

 

Drawing from Aquinas’s definition of Dynamic Being, Norris Clarke's personalism constructs a re-affirmative thesis, stating that God has a real relationship with the world. Whitehead's notion of divine polarity affirms that divine nature is primordially mental and immutable, as well as consequently physical and mutable. My research project will discuss how compatible and incompatible Clarke’s metaphysical constructs are, with respect to the Whiteheadian understanding of divine polarity.

 

In this presentation, I mention an objection against Clarke’s definition of personhood. Is Clarke’s definition of the self-communicative aspect of personhood adequately articulated, to respond to the challenge against divine freedom? Must God necessarily, rather than freely, communicate divine self in the creation?  I point the way towards a solution and it is to accentuate the theme of Divine Faithfulness, a theme that could be fundamental in a theology of time and could be included in a new Trinitarian Christology.

Venue

Room: 
E219, Forgan Smith