Can we give God a name?

I’m publishing one of my papers that I wrote during my first year at the GTU. I tried to publish it in Nova et Vetera but did not succeed. I think it is a good stuff and that is why I decided to share it here with everybody who might be interested in the topic of analogical predication in theology. I will add my unpublished papers in the new section of my blog that you can enter clicking on “Unpublished Papers” in the main menu on the left-hand side of the home page of my blog.

Can we Give God a Name? Thomas Aquinas and Karl Barth’s Teaching on Analogy

Abstract

Man reaches the highest point of his knowledge about God when he knows that he knows Him not, inasmuch as he knows that which is God transcends whatever he conceives of Him. (St. Thomas Aquinas, De Potentia, 7, 5 ad 14)

One of the most basic linguistic tools in theology is analogy. Although many would agree that predicating in theology is of analogous nature, it is by no means easy to bring unity among different ontological and epistemological presuppositions accepted by various theologians when they speak about analogy.

In this essay I will go back to the controversy between the most prolific and influential Calvinist theologian of the 20th century Karl Barth, and the position presented by Thomas Aquinas and his followers. I will first provide the reader with a necessary outline of Aquinas’ and Barth’s respective ways of defying and understanding analogy, with an additional reference to ontological presuppositions they seem to accept. Secondly, I will analyze the philosophical and historical background of this theological controversy. Finally, I will try to present main lines of argumentation concerning possible ways of convergence and divergence between the proponents of analogia entis and analogia fidei, and express my opinion on the possibility of a reconciliation between Aquinas’ and Barth’s positions. However, the main point of this essay is to introduce new participants of the debate to its sources and course.

Link to the paper at academia.edu

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3 thoughts on “Can we give God a name?

    • I did not think about Communio. But since I have published it online – I don’t know if I can submit it now to the journal… How do you think? 🙂 btw, do I know you?

  1. No, we are not acquainted. I just read your blog – it was promoted on a Facebook page that I had liked.

    On another note, if you make revisions to the essay, I think it would be acceptable for submission. I know, for example, that Communio will republish essays (with the permission of the author) given at conferences or from another publication.

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