By Howard P. Kainz Ph. D. (auth.)
A. "SEPARATE components" AND lOR" ANGELS"? it's attention-grabbing to notice that, in an expressly theological treatise corresponding to the Summa theologiae, St. Thomas normally makes use of the time period "angel", rather than "separate substance"; whereas in works with a much less specific theological reason - e. g. the Summa contra gentiles and the De substantiis separatis 1 - he more often than not prefers the time period "separate substance". yet at any cost there's little question that the 2 phrases, "separate sub stance" and "angel" have a definite interchangeability and equivalence within the works of St. Thomas. In different phrases, "the separate substance" is similar to "the angel, insofar as its life and attributes are knowable via human cause alone". And this has led Karl Barth 2 to cost that St. Thomas' angelology is essentially a philosophical presenta tion, with little relevance to theology. 1 we'd say that those works are "philosophical" insofar as arguments from cause are emphasised in them, instead of arguments from revelation or religion. even though, as Lescoe issues out (in the creation to his variation of the De substantUs separatis, p. 8), the treatise on separate components leads as much as theological subject-matter in Ch. 's XVII ff- particularly, an exposition of Catholic instructing as present in Sacred Scripture, the Fathers, and particularly Dionysius. And Chenu keeps that the Summa contra gentiles is essentially a theological paintings, since it not just leads as much as theological subject-matter in Bk.
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Extra info for “Active and Passive Potency” in Thomistic Angelology
Cf. , Lect. II, p. 624, Parma: "Licet ... materia prima sit in potentia ad omnes formas, tamen quodam ordine suscipit eas. Per prius enim est in potentia ad formas eiementares, et eis mediantibus secundum diversas proportiones commixtionum est in potentia ad diversas formas". 6 7 THE THOMISTIC DOCTRINE ON POTENCY B. POTENCY AS A PRINCIPLE OF 33 BEING Potency, whether it be found in material or in spiritual beings, is essentially an ordering to act, a special finite mode of participation in the pure actuality of God.
Having completed the differentiation of potency according to the main senses in which it seems to be used by St. Thomas, we might note that all the above-mentioned sub-types and aspects of potency are applicable to separate substances, with the exception of absolute and ordered potency, which seem to be strictly applicable only to God; and perhaps also of exemplary potency (St. Thomas seems to indicate that this latter is not attributable to separate substances simpliciter) 58. , other capacities-for).
And all the perfections of a particular being are proportionate to this ontological status within the realm of being. Our next consideration, therefore, in this analysis of the general Thomistic formulation of the doctrine on potency, will be given to the precise scope and extent of these fundamental types of active and passive potency. 18 Loc. , I, c : "Duplex est potentia: una activa cui respondet actus qui est operatio; alia est potentia passiva, cui respondet actus qui est forma". 14 Ibid. 15 P.
“Active and Passive Potency” in Thomistic Angelology by Howard P. Kainz Ph. D. (auth.)