What does it mean to say that God is omnipotent? Is there anything that God cannot do, and if so, does this count against the claim that God is omnipotent? If there are things that God could do, but has not done, nor ever will do, does this mean that there is potency in God? In this seminar, we will examine key texts of Thomas Aquinas that consider the question of divine omnipotence, particularly Question 1 of the Quæstiones disputatæ de potentiaand Summa theologiæ I.25, as well as select quodlibetal questions relevant to the question of divine power. We will also consider contemporary considerations of divine omnipotence, especially as they confront the claims and arguments of Aquinas. A reading knowledge of Latin is highly recommended, although not required, for this seminar.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: THOMAS AQUINAS, Quæstiones disputatæ de potentia1 and Summa theologiæ I.25; PETER T. GEACH, “Omnipotence,” Philosophy 48:183 (1973): 7-20 [reprinted in Providence and Evil, Cambridge University Press, 1977, 3-28]; J. HOFFMAN and G.S. ROSENKRANTZ, “Omnipotence,” in: A Companion to Philosophy of Religion, 2nd edition, ed. by C. Taliafero, P. Draper, and P.L. Quinn, 243-250, Wiley-Blackwell, 2010; BRIAN LEFTOW, “Omnipotence,” in: The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology, ed. by T.P. Flint and M. Rea, 167-198, Oxford University Press, 2009; RALPH McINERNY, “Aquinas on Divine Omnipotence,” in: L’homme et son univers au Moyen Age, Actes du septième congrès international de philosophie médiévale (30 août – 4 septembre 1982), Philosophes Médiévaux tome XXVI, ed. by Christian Wenin, Editions de l’Institut supérieur de philosophie, 1986; JOHN F. WIPPEL, “Thomas Aquinas on demonstrating God’s Omnipotence,” Revue Internationale de Philosophie 52:204/2 (1998): 227-247