Academic journal article Theological Studies

Henry of Ghent. Summa of Ordinary Questions: Articles 35, 36, 42, and 45

Academic journal article Theological Studies

Henry of Ghent. Summa of Ordinary Questions: Articles 35, 36, 42, and 45

Article excerpt

Henry of Ghent. Summa of Ordinary Questions: Articles 35, 36, 42, and 45. Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Roland J. Teske, S.J. Medieval Philosophical Texts in Translation. Milwaukee: Marquette University, 2013. Pp. 180. $20.

This volume is the eighth in a continuing series of English translations of Henry of Ghent (d. 1293), one of the major masters of theology in Paris during the last quarter of the 13th century. It contains four skillfully translated articles from H.'s Summa quaestionum ordinariarum regarding God's active and passive potencies (35), intellect (36), perfection (42), and will (45).

H.'s writing is challenging because of the density of his arguments and the subtlety of his distinctions; it is nevertheless lucid for a persevering reader to follow. H. developed a philosophical theology that had affinities with Augustine and Avicenna, but that was, in effect, a critical revision of Thomas Aquinas. H. seems to solve every problem in Thomas by introducing fresh distinctions.

While H.'s answers to most of the questions raised here are predictable, his manner of approaching them is distinctive. That said, his position on passive potency in God is unusual and counterintuitive. …

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