Compare And Contrast Maimonides And St. Thomas Aquinas

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In the Jewish and Christian traditions, theologians have debated for centuries over the use of language used to describe God. The sacred scriptures reveal truths about God in the language of man. Accordingly, theologians have argued over the manner in which this language must be interpreted and understood. In the medieval period, two great philosophers and theologians from the Jewish and Christian traditions, respectively Maimonides and St. Thomas Aquinas, advanced their own theories regarding the manner in which language is used to apprehend a knowledge of God. Maimonides argues from a Jewish perspective, and claims that, excluding attributes attributed to God’s actions, it is impossible to know God through any other means besides the negation of privations. That is to say that positive attributes cannot be ascribed to God, e.g. one cannot say that “God is living”, one must instead say something to the effect of “God is not inanimate”. Maimonides holds that not only is it incorrect to ascribe positive attributes to God, but in doing so, one distances oneself from the true apprehension of the lord. St. Thomas Aquinas rejects the writings of Maimonides, and argues that by means of analogy, one may use positive attributes to understand the nature of God. Maimonides writes from a Jewish perspective and attempts to …show more content…
the quality of being hard or soft; and affection, as when you say someone is affected by something, e.g. when you say that Joe is angry. All of these attributes cannot be ascribed to God. He does not have quantity, he cannot be affected, he does not have dispositions, and he does not have states or habits pertaining to him. Thus, attributes of this kind cannot be attached to

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