Thomas Aquinas Omnipotence

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During the years following the Patristic era, Christian theologians and philosophers began to move away from mysticism and Neo-Platonism in order to synthesize Christian doctrine with systematic Aristotelian philosophy. This movement would be come known as Scholasticism, and it would become the principle school of thought throughout the medieval period. During this period, the line between philosophy and theology was blurred, and the problems of, psychology, metaphysics, and ethics were admitted into theological discourse (Scholasticism). Philosophers such as Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, William of Ockham and others began to join creedal teachings with philosophical truths in order to defend their Catholic faith against the attacks of secular …show more content…
Throughout the medieval period, philosophers attempted to define this omnipotence by determining what is necessarily possible and what is not. In his Summa Theologica, Thomas Aquinas attempts to define omnipotence as the attribute of God wherein “God can do all things that are possible” (ST I, Q.25. A.3). Building on Aquinas’ definition, Duns Scotus qualifies God’s omnipotence by arguing that God is omnipotent if and only if the power of God cannot be surpassed. For Scotus, for God to have infinite power, it is both necessary and sufficient for no other power to exist in the mind or in reality that would be greater then God’s (159). In his treatise on God and the Creatures, Scotus states, “No power could be greater than the infinite. One could not ever think of anything greater. If a power could be surpassed, it would not be infinite. But every power which is not omnipotent could be thought of as surpassed by a power which is omnipotent” (161). God’s power may be said to be omnipotent if and only if he can do all that is possible, and it is both necessary and sufficient for God’s power to be

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