Aquinas on God's Relation to the World

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Abstract

Aquinas’ denial that God has a real relation with the world results in the difficulty of understanding how God creates, knows, wills, and loves the world without entering into a real relation with the world. Because of this perplexity, the contemporary philosopher William Lane Craig argues that Aquinas’ doctrine is ‘extraordinarily implausible.’ After reviewing Aquinas’ teaching in the Summa theologiae, I consider Craig's criticism and then attempt to defend Aquinas’ teaching. In this defense, I consider Aquinas’ teaching as heir to Aristotle, Lombard, and Augustine. I also look at Aquinas’ teaching in relation to his discussions of the divine immutability, knowledge, will, and love.

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