Aquinas on the Universal Dependence of All Creation on God

H/T Michael Bradley

From Aquinas’ Quaestiones Disputatae De Potentia, Question 3, Article 1 co. –

On the other hand God is all act,—both in comparison with himself, since he is pure act without any admixture of potentiality,—and in comparison with the things that are in act, because in him is the source of all things, wherefore by his action he produces the whole subsistent being, without anything having existed before (since he is the source of all being), and in respect of his totality. For this reason he can make a thing from nothing, and this action of his is called creation. Wherefore it is stated in De Causis (prop. xviii) that being is by creation, whereas life and the like are by information: for all causation of absolute being is, traced to the first universal cause, while the causation of all that is in addition to being, or specific of being, belongs to second causes which act by information, on the presupposition as it were of the effect of the first cause. Hence no thing gives being except in so far as it partakes of the divine power. For this reason it is said again in De Causis (prop. iii) that the soul, by giving us being, has a divine operation.

This is strikingly similar to Dooyeweerd’s doctrine that “Meaning is the being of all created things”, although Dooyeweerd explicitly rejected Scholastic philosophy as an option for Christian scholars. Anyhow, it would be interesting to compare Dooyeweerd’s thought with Aquinas’.


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