Augustinian perfect being theology and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

Edward Wierenga
University of Rochester
All of the ingredients for what has become known as Anselmian perfect being theology were present already in the thought of St. Augustine. This paper develops that thesis by calling attention to various claims Augustine makes. It then asks whether there are principled reasons for determining which properties the greatest possible being has and whether an account of what contributes to greatness can settle the question whether the greatest possible being is the same as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The paper develops Augustine’s answer to the first question by extracting several principles he endorses that generate a hierarchy of greatness. It addresses the second question by discussing the requirements of worship and of creation
Keywords Perfect being theology  Augustine  Greatness  Worship
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DOI 10.1007/s11153-010-9270-5
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The Nature of Necessity.Alvin Plantinga - 1974 - Clarendon Press.
Confessions. Augustine - 1999 - Hackett Publishing Company.
A New Defence of Anselmian Theism.Yujin Nagasawa - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (233):577-596.
The Grounds of Worship.Tim Bayne & Yujin Nagasawa - 2006 - Religious Studies 42 (3):299-313.

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