A journal of academic theology

The Creature Makes Itself: Aquinas, the De-idealization of the Eternal Ideas, and the Fate of the Individual

The Christian Platonic tradition affirmed that human flourishing involves conjunction with the realm of eternal divine ideas. The account developed by Thomas Aquinas in effect denied this, rendering ideas contingent, unknowable and impossible as direct objects of attainment. Although no longer ideals for human aspiration, a role within spiritual or ethical striving might still be envisioned for such de-idealized ideas. Through discussions of Meister Eckhart, Kierkegaard and Manfred Frank, the essay outlines such a role: one’s idea in God operates to ontologically ground personal existence, deploying the human agent as an irreducible individual entity engaged in a hermeneutical labor of self-creation.

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