Monday, August 4, 2008

Farrer on an important distinction

"No element of theological analogy is involved in the statement of what God intends, when he intends what I should do; but analogy is involved in the statement that God intends it. God's act of intending is not identical with my act of intending, how could it be? The whole mode of divine being and action is other than the human. So in the whole statement 'God wills that . . .' analogy is involved; but attention will commonly be focussed on the part of the statement which does not involve it--the part which expresses what we have to do."

     Austin Farrer, Faith and speculation: an essay in philosophical theology (New York: New York University Press, 1967), 106-107. Meanwhile, I'm trying to determine whether Burrell disagrees: "If the only alternatives are univocity or equivocity, Scotus would be right; but ordinary language use displays terms used evaluatively (and therefore analogously), which we learn how to use in practical reasoning, as Jesus did in reminding univocally minded Pharisees that he 'came to save not the just but sinners'. So the initial step into the kingdom he announced will involve foregoing any empirical way of identifying either group, thereby suggesting quite different norms governing self-knowledge and practice, but ones intelligible to any practised agent" (David Burrell, CSC, "Maimonides, Aquinas and Ghazali: distinguishing God from the world," Scottish journal of theology 61, no. 3 (2008): 286.

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