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Maximus and Aquinas - Essay Example

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Thomas Aquinas and St. Maximus the Confessor share some of the same views on human and Divine will. The first aspect to be looked at will be the effect of knowledge on human and Divine will. When looking at knowledge, truth must also be discussed. Then a look at both…
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Will can be defined as choice or determination. Divine will is what a Divine being, God, chooses or determines. Even though it sounds clear enough, the question then becomes; who is God or what components make up God? This leads to a discussion on knowledge about God, including what is the true knowledge. Then influences on mens perception of true knowledge, like Plato or Aristotle need to be examined.
Human will, or human choice or determination, appears less complicated, but in reality is not. The reason human will is not clear cut comes down to how much Divine will influences mans thoughts. This factor is unknown. Opinions range from human will that is totally free to human will being guided by completely by Divine will. Aquinas and Maximus agree that humans have a will, or choice when dealing with issues of God.
Aquinas asserted “that for the knowledge of any truth whatsoever man needs Divine help, that the intellect may be moved by God to its act.”1 Despite this statement, Aquinas thought that humans have a natural instinct to have knowledge without Divine revelation. Aquinas also acknowledged that Divine revelation occurs from time to time, "especially in regard to faith.”2 This means that true knowledge comes from God, but humans can also reason things out with and without Divine revelation.
Through the working out of the commandments the mind puts off the passions. Through the spiritual contemplation of visible realities it puts off impassioned thoughts of things. Through the knowledge of invisible realities it puts off contemplation of visible things. And finally this it puts off through knowledge of the Holy Trinity.3
Maximus felt that knowledge comes in an abstracting from the realm of the senses into one of intellect.4 Maximus thought that any projection onto an thought of possible apprehension makes out perception of this object false.5 This ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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