AUC Theologica is a peer-reviewed journal for theology published twice a year. As we publish original papers in English, German, French, and Italian, our mission is to serve as a platform both for Czech researchers, who can present their research results in these languages, and for international contributors, who are invited to enter the academic theological discussion in the heart of Europe.

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AUC THEOLOGICA, Vol 11 No 2 (2021), 33–57

The Gift of Life: The Non-Subsistence of Thomist Esse Commune in its Trinitarian Context

Martin Bieler

announced: 03. 06. 2022


This paper investigates in what way the Christian Trinity is the ‘causa et ratio’ of creation, as Thomas Aquinas states it in the prologue of his Commentary to the Sentences of Peter Lombard. Of particular importance for this project is a better understanding of the Thomist esse commune as a completum et simplex, sed non subsistens (De Potentia 1.1 c). In dialogue with the Neoplatonic tradition is shown how Aquinas absorbs all Neoplatonic intermediary principles into the esse commune and opens up the understanding of creation as a structured act of love: Creation is the giving of being (esse), by which the Creator makes himself present to his creatures, in order to grant them their subsistence. It is shown how the non-subsisting esse commune is an analogue to the divine essence which only subsists in the divine persons, starting with the Father. This explains the thoroughly personal character of metaphysics.

keywords: Trinity; Father; Being; Creation; Gift; Subsistence

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The Gift of Life: The Non-Subsistence of Thomist Esse Commune in its Trinitarian Context is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

148 x 210 mm
published: 2 x per year
print price: 100 czk
ISSN: 1804-5588
E-ISSN: 2336-3398