Bonaventure,arguments for the necessity of the trinity,and the notion of fecundity Dennis Bray August, 2012
Bonaventure & Fecundity ►Introduction Historical context The notion o f fe c u n d i t y A rg u m e n t s fo r Tr i n i t y T h e a rg u m e n t f ro m go o d n e s s
Bonaventure & Fecundity ► B o n a v e n t u r e ’s T h e o l o g y The Man• Early 13th c.• The Angelic Doctor• Teacher, thinker, preacherScholasticism• Wed rationality to faith• Incorporated natural philosophy• Moved towards systematization
Bonaventure & Fecundity ► B o n a v e n t u r e ’s T h e o l o g y The MissionBeatitude• “Ecstatic Union” with God• Sanctification• GlorificationFides Quaeren Intellectum• “Faith Seeking Understanding”• Anselm: “I think so that I may believe”Necessary Reasons• God is eternal → truths about God are eternal• Faith informs reason• Reason informs faith
Bonaventure & Fecundity ► B o n a v e n t u r e ’s T h e o l o g y The MeansFides Quaeren Intellectum• “Faith Seeking Understanding”• Anselm: “I think so that I may believe”Necessary Reasons• God is eternal → truths about God are eternal• Faith informs reason• Reason informs faith
Bonaventure & Fecundity ►The Argument ►Overview Necessity of the TrinityThe Goal – Give arguments for why God must be a Trinity of divine persons► Give necessary reasons for a plurality of persons ► Present necessary truths relevant to God and the divine emmanations ► Show (i) why a truth is necessary, and (ii) why it is relevant to God and the divine emmanations2 Main Arguments – (1) Priority & (2) Goodness
Bonaventure & Fecundity ►The Argument ►Fecundity THE NOTION OF FECUNDITYThe Conceptual NeighborhoodThink :• Production• Generation• Creation• MultiplicationGod & Fecundity• The One God is three persons The Divine Emanations:• From the Father comes the Son- “generation”• From the Father and Son comes the Spirit- “spiration” This is happening from eternity; are there eternal (necessary) reasons why it is so?
Bonaventure & Fecundity ►Detour : Processions Why Divine Processions?Plato, the Good & the God of the philosophers• Platonic forms – Eternal Ideas• The form the Good is fundamental: all other forms, and thereforeparticulars, participate in the good.• The Good is the goal of all desires, the end of all things. It must, then, alsobe the beginning.• The Good taken up by Aristotle: perfect good, absolute one, first principle.• Takeaway: the Good is perfect and self sufficient. BUT… there is a whole cosmos of mundane, imperfect things…The Big Questions – Why is there creation? How can there be creation?
Bonaventure & Fecundity ►The Argument ►GoodnessAn Answer from Bonaventure• God is perfectly good (is goodness itself).• Goodness is self diffusive.• Therefore, God is self diffusive. Thus we get things like creation and the TrinityAn Argument from Bonaventure1) Perfect goodness is perfectly self diffusive2) God is perfectly good3) Therefore, God is perfectly self diffusive4) Creation does not partake in the full sharing of God5) Therefore God must share himself with another divine being6) Therefore there is a plurality of divine persons
Bonaventure & Fecundity ►The Argument ►GoodnessA Metaphysical Principle – *Goodness is self diffusive*Why should we believe this principle is true?• Plato and Aristotle were smart• The world exists, yet except for my curly hair, beagles, and Open Range, isimperfect• God is probably perfect(ly good) But…• Other really good things are not fecundGrounding Trinity• Mind, knowledge, Love• Nature of love