Wednesday, 12 October 2005

Duns Scotus in Modern Theology

John Duns Scotus was one of the greatest of the medieval theologians. His penetrating scholastic theology earned him the nickname doctor subtilis (the subtle doctor). I myself have been very impressed by Scotus’s work on themes like freedom, volition, reason and revelation, and I have sometimes wished there were more theological engagement with Scotus today.

So I was delighted to discover that the new issue of Modern Theology is devoted to Scotus and to his relationship to modern theology (with a particular focus on Radical Orthodoxy). The journal features seven articles on Scotus, by Catherine Pickstock, Thomas Williams, Matthew Levering, Oliver Boulnois, Mary Beth Ingham, Emmanuel Perrier, and Kevin L. Hughes. All the articles are available online through Blackwell Synergy.

Since Duns Scotus and Thomas Aquinas represent two of the three great schools of medieval theology, this special issue is the perfect complement to Modern Theology’s recent issue (20:1, 2004) on Thomas Aquinas. Now the editors will have to complete the set with an issue devoted to William of Ockham.

3 Comments:

Josh M said...

It's interesting that you are fond of him because I've heard some say that he's a bit of a 'dunce' ;)

kim fabricius said...

For RO DS is not so much a dunce as a devil, the fall-guy of western theology, whose univocal ontology turns "being" itself into God, collapses transcendence into a thin and flattened immanence, and issues in the independence of reason, the autonomy of the secular, and primacy of the will (to power).

For my money, is it not rather counter-intuitive that a single schoolman can be right up there with Adam as the cause of all our ills? In any case, (a) there is at least something to be said for Scotus' teaching (against Aquinas) that there would have been an incarnation even without the fall, as it ensures a Christological mediation of creation; and (b) without his doctrine of haecceitas we may not have had the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins - and that really would be a loss!

Anonymous said...

The term "dunce" was created by the Protestants to mock Bl. John Duns Scotus. The Protestants rejected all that Scotus taught: the primacy of the Pope, the Blessed Virgin Mary, etc. Visit AirMaria.com and see what Scotus really taught and his great insight.

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