Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Durand on the yield of the prioritization of relation over procession in St. Thomas

"The yield of a nuanced analysis of the different facets of the Trinitarian relation allows Thomas to honor a properly relational conception of the person of the Father. In this he distinguishes himself from Bonaventure, and leads to term the first sketch of [the] solution supplied by Albert the Great.
"The connection between procession [(read also emanation, origin)] and relation is more subtle in Thomas than in Bonaventure because Aquinas manages to avoid a univocal solution. At the point at which the Franciscan master opted for a subordination of relation with respect to emanation, the Dominican gives priority to the relation insofar as it subsists [(en tant que'elle subsiste)], while underscoring that relation qua relation [(en tant que rapport)] is indeed founded on procession.
"This speculative tour de force leads to a theology of the Father originale, and heads off an excessive reliance on the model of emanation [(soustraite au seul modèle de l'émanation)]. The Father is no longer characterized so much as first hypostasis and fontal plenitude as Father of the Son."

Fr. Emmanuel Durand, O.P., “Le Père en sa relation constitutive au Fils selon saint Thomas d’Aquin.” Revue thomiste 107, no. 1 (2007): 60 (47-72). "The complex resolution of the relation between origin and relation finds itself thus aligned with an advanced understanding of the hypostasis of the Father. The relation of paternity is not a simple consequence of the act of generation; it is the first element of analysis appropriate to the signification of the perfection of the Father. Thus Thomas recalls in Summa theologiae [ 2] that "generation is signified as in progress [(en devenir)], but paternity signifies the achievement of generation [(Generatio . . . significatur ut in fieri: sed paternitas significat complementum generationis, generation signifies something in process of being made, while paternity signifies the complement of [(i.e. that which completes)] generation (FEDP))]. Our way of knowing is tied naturally to becoming, but we have at our disposal . . . resources for, on the one hand, purifying the concepts of movement and change that we employ and, on the other hand, completing these concepts in other registers. This is precisely the function of relation in regard to procession in the theology of St. Thomas" (61). Cf. and

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