Seeing Double

This essay focuses on three interpretations of Aquinas influenced by Continental philosophy, those of John Caputo, Jean-Luc Marion, and John Milbank/Catherine Pickstock. The essay considers the well-worn question, whether Aquinas is an onto-theologian in Heidegger’s sense, but looks more broadly at the point of contact common to these interpretations: Aquinas’s relationship to modernity.As Continental thought has put into question the nature of philosophy through a critical look at modern philosophy—questioning its self-representation as progress and characterizing the present as post-modern—Aquinas is of interest to Continental thought in his anti-modernity. The author considers three issues: (1) What does Continental philosophy bring to the study of Aquinas missing from analytic approaches? (2) What is highlighted about Aquinas as he is seen by Caputo, Marion, and Milbank/Pickstock? (3) Can Aquinas escape both the limitations of modernism and the deconstruction of postmodernism, as some claim, and would he want to?
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
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ISBN(s) 1051-3558
DOI 10.5840/acpq200983337
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