David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Augustinianum 51 (1):123-146 (2011)
In Augustine's theological reflection, the biblical truth of “creation out of nothingness” becomes the dogmatic foundation of his philosophical speculation. Augustine argues that since “matter” is eternal, nothing can be derived from “nothingness”. He thus opposes the metaphysical paradigm of Christian thought which places God (“efficient cause”) and nothingness (“deficient cause”) as the origin of all existence. The “material cause” is no longer the “prime cause” of all beings but is replaced by the meontological dimension of absolute nothingness. The shifting of the metaphysical paradigm in Augustine's speculation on the revealed truth of creatio ex nihilo leads to a theoretical gain: “nothingness” becomes a philosophical foundation capable of preserving both the truth of God's absolute freedom and the negation of all pantheism
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