Angelic knowledge in Aquinas and Bonaventure

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientific

Abstract

Bonaventure (1221-1274) and Thomas Aquinas (1224/5-1274) try to recast traditional Christian ideas about angels and angelic knowledge in view of the newly discovered Arab-Aristotelian theories of knowledge. Both develop their speculations about the knowledge of angels along two lines. First, the knowledge of purely spiritual beings must be demarcated from knowledge by corporeal humans. Second, the distinction between Creator and creature must absolutely be maintained. However, the two authors differ in their way of dealing with the Aristotelian legacy. Aquinas revises Aristotle’s metaphysical act-potency scheme in a fundamental and creative way, while Bonaventure remains within a paradigm of universal hylomorphism. The paper compares Aquinas’s and Bonaventur’s views on the sources and media of angelic knowledge (innate species, angelic essence, divine essence), its formal structure (non-propositional, non-discursive, not liable to error), and its objects (self-knowledge and knowledge of God, other angels, future contingencies, private thoughts, mysteries of faith and unrealized possibilities). The conclusion is that Aquinas’ transformation of basic categories in Aristotle’s metaphysics and epistemology results in an analysis of angelic knowledge that is more profound than Bonaventure’s and succeeds better in demarcating it from human and from divine knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA companion to angels in medieval philosophy
EditorsT. Hoffmann
Place of PublicationLeiden
PublisherBrill
Pages149-185
Number of pages335
ISBN (Print)9789004183469
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameBrill's companions to the Christian tradition
Number1871-6377

Fingerprint

Thomas Aquinas
Angels
Essence
Aristotelian
Paradigm
Epistemology
Metaphysical
Contingency
Metaphysics
Speculation
Creator
Innate Knowledge
Mystery
Hylomorphism
Fundamental
Theory of Knowledge
Potency
Creatures
Self-knowledge
Faith

Cite this

Goris, H. J. M. J. (2012). Angelic knowledge in Aquinas and Bonaventure. In T. Hoffmann (Ed.), A companion to angels in medieval philosophy (pp. 149-185). (Brill's companions to the Christian tradition; No. 1871-6377). Leiden: Brill.
Goris, H.J.M.J. / Angelic knowledge in Aquinas and Bonaventure. A companion to angels in medieval philosophy. editor / T. Hoffmann. Leiden : Brill, 2012. pp. 149-185 (Brill's companions to the Christian tradition; 1871-6377).
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Goris, HJMJ 2012, Angelic knowledge in Aquinas and Bonaventure. in T Hoffmann (ed.), A companion to angels in medieval philosophy. Brill's companions to the Christian tradition, no. 1871-6377, Brill, Leiden, pp. 149-185.

Angelic knowledge in Aquinas and Bonaventure. / Goris, H.J.M.J.

A companion to angels in medieval philosophy. ed. / T. Hoffmann. Leiden : Brill, 2012. p. 149-185 (Brill's companions to the Christian tradition; No. 1871-6377).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientific

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Goris HJMJ. Angelic knowledge in Aquinas and Bonaventure. In Hoffmann T, editor, A companion to angels in medieval philosophy. Leiden: Brill. 2012. p. 149-185. (Brill's companions to the Christian tradition; 1871-6377).