Maimonides and Aquinas on Language about God

| December 20, 2015

Maimonides and Aquinas on Language about God

Paper details:

Reading: Maimonides, Guide I chapters 50-52, 54, 57-59; Aquinas, Summa theologiae First Part Q. 13. The Aquinas can be found in the excellent Freddoso translation at this website: http://www3.nd.edu/~afreddos/summa-translation/Part%201/st1-ques13.pdf

The scriptures of many religious traditions describe God with positive attributes. God is frequently called “good,” “wise,” and “powerful,” for instance. According to Maimonides, how must we understand these terms as applied to God, and why? How must we not understand these terms?

In Summa theologiae I chapter 13, Aquinas treats the same topic. Aquinas in that text offers a criticism of the most extreme elements in Maimonides. What from Maimonides does he accept, and what does he criticize? Scholars disagree about just how much, in the end, Aquinas differs from Maimonides. In your judgment, how alike and how different are their views?

Maimodes online —- http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/gfp/

The Aquinas can be found in the excellent Freddoso translation at this website: http://www3.nd.edu/~afreddos/summa-translation/Part%201/st1-ques13.pdf

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