Re: [asa] eternal universe in Aquinas' time?

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Tue Mar 11 2008 - 19:16:41 EDT

Aquinas concludes his discussion of this issue - whether or not the world is
eternal - in the Summa Contra Gentiles as follows:

"The preceding considerations enable us to avoid various errors made by the
pagan philosophers; the assertion of the world's eternity, the assertion of
the eternity of the world's matter, out of which at a certain time the world
began to be formed, either by chance, or by some intellect, or even by love
or by strive. For in all these cases something beside God is claimed to be
eternal; and this is incompatible with the Catholic faith."

Don't believe everything you read in a blog. In fact, don't believe most of

The complete discussion of this is in Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Contra
Gentiles, Book 2: Creation (Notre Dame, 1975), pp.91-115.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Merv" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2008 7:06 PM
Subject: [asa] eternal universe in Aquinas' time?

On the 'Jesus Creed' blog that David pointed out, I found this
interesting comment...

"In the day of Thomas Aquinas, Genesis was read as pure metaphor, simply
because philosophers agreed with theologians that the universe was more
or less eternal. ‘Creation’ then, referred to an ontological dependence
of Creation on its Creator."
----someone named Daniel

Is this really true? Did theologians from a millennium ago really think
the universe was eternal? Philosophers I could understand, but I would
be interested why any theologians would reach that conclusion --- if
they really did. Perhaps I don't understand his latter comment.


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Received on Tue Mar 11 19:18:21 2008

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