Augustinian perfect being theology and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

Article

Abstract

All of the ingredients for what has become known as “Anselmian perfect being theology” were present already in the thought of St. Augustine. This paper develops that thesis by calling attention to various claims Augustine makes. It then asks whether there are principled reasons for determining which properties the greatest possible being has and whether an account of what contributes to greatness can settle the question whether the greatest possible being is the same as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The paper develops Augustine’s answer to the first question by extracting several principles he endorses that generate a hierarchy of greatness. It addresses the second question by discussing the requirements of worship and of creation.

Keywords

Perfect being theology Augustine Greatness Worship 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Religion and ClassicsUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA

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