John Milbank Boethius

1 For literature see Hankey 1999a; Charles-Saget 1998; Putallaz 1991a; Putallaz 1991b are examples.

2 Hankey 1998a, Hankey 1999a and Hankey 1999b are endeavours to expose the problems and to begin the necessary corrections.

3 Hankey 1998c attempts part of this work.

4 Fouilloux 1998, 182-187.

5 For a fuller consideration of how these structures meet in Latin Christianity see Hankey


6 Boethius 1998, 9 225.10ff, where the question of prayer is not raised.

7 Porphyry 1975 c.10: All things are in all things, but everything is accommodated to the ousia of each knower: in the intellect according to noeros, in the soul rationally (logismos), etc. I owe this reference to Dr. Cristina D'Ancona-Costa whom I thank.

8 Plato, Republica 477b5ff.; on Plato, see Nicholson 1998, 15-16, 21-23; Aristotle, De Anima


9 Plato, Timaeus 28a6ff; on the role of the will of the Demiurge, see Reydams-Schils 1999, 23.

10 Plotinus Ennead 3.8.7; 3:381 Armstrong, but compare 4.4.13. See Armstrong 1990, 160-63 and Gatti 1997, 32-34.

11 "For the understanding of things is what things really are." Eriugena 1865, 2.8, 535C.

12 Boethius 1973, 3.9, p. 264, lines 10-11: Quod enim simplex est indivisumque natura, id error humanus separat...; Ibid., 3.9, p. 266, lines 45-46: quod est unum simplexque natura, pravitas humana dispertit. That this dividing is a fundamental human problem is hinted from the beginning and is indicated throughout, see the description of Philosophy's dress at Ibid., 1.1, p. 134, lines 22-24.

13 Boethius 1973, 4.1, p. 312, lines 4 and 10-12: "ego nondum penitus insiti maeroris oblitus.. .maxima nostri causa maeroris.. .vel esse omnino mala possint vel impunita praetereant "

14 Boethius 1973, 1.1, p. 132, lines 19-20: ".inter utrasque litteras in scalarum modum gradus quidam insigniti".

15 Boethius 1973, 4.6, pp. 356-58, lines 23-33: quidquidaliquo movetur modo, causas, ordinem, formas ex divinae mentis stabilitate sortitur. Haec in suae simplicitatis arce composita multiplicem rebus regendis modum statuit. Qui modus cum in ipsa divinae intellegentiae puritate conspicitur, providentia nominatur...providentia est ipsa ilia divina ratio in summo omnium principe constituta quae cuncta disponit.

16 ST 1.58.1, obj.3: "In libro De Causisdicitur quod 'intelligentia intelligit secundum modum suae substantiae'." See Aquinas. 1996, Prop. 8 and Appendix 2, p. 175. The position of Boethius he understands as requiring attention both to the object and the subject of knowing; see Aquinas 1992, Expositio Capituli Secundi (p. 133, lines 25-29): duo quia modus quo aliqua discutiuntur debet congruere et rebus et nobis: nisi enim rebus congrueret, res intelligi non possent, nisi uero congrueret nobis, nos capere non possemus and ibid., q. 6, a. 1, resp. 3, p. 162, lines 327ff. where he follows the doctrine of Boethius in the Consolatio, a doctrine which he assimilates to those of Augustine and the pseudo-Dionysius, a following he reproduced in ST1.79.8. Thomas' own position, and the one he adopts in ST, is near to the one he ascribes to Boethius; e.g. see Aquinas, 1954, prop. 8, p. 56, lines 9ff. where Thomas explains in what sense knowledge must be regarded both ex parte cognoscentis and ex parte rei cognitae.

17 See Gersh 1978, 75, 252 and e.g., Plotinus, Enneads, 6.8.18; 6.9.8; Aquinas 1992, q. 6, a. 1, resp. 3, p. 162, lines 327ff. There is also the related idea in which modes of cognition and spiritual action correspond with different geometrical figures and shapes: see Shaw 1996, 189-198.

18 The Monologion details the likeness and difference between the two. The hope for the satisfaction of the Proslogion's quest is "quia creasti in me hanc imaginem tuam, ut tui memor te cognitem, te amen" Anselm 1946, 1, p. 100, lines 12-13. It must be noted, however, that the trinity reached is that of love: Anselm 1946, 23, pp. 117, lines 12-16 and see Hankey 1997d 256-7.

19 Anselm 1946, 4, p. 104, lines 1-2: aut sine ulla aut cum aliqua extranea significatione. On forms of externality see von Balthasar 1984, 124. Bonaventure 1882-1902a, q. 1, art. 1, ad 4, p. 50 has a useful distinction between cogitatione nuda and cogitatione cum ascensu. The first is coextensive with speech (sermo).

20 That the unknown to the human seeker is the one who is properly most knowable because he dwells in light is a point very significantly elaborated in Chapter xvi (Quod haec sit"lux inaccessibilis, quam inhabitat") which immediately follows Chapter xv (Quod maior sit quam cogitari possit).

21 Shaw 1996, 65ff. & 108-9: "The "one person" that lamblichus knew himself to be...was the completely descended soul identified with its particular mortal body. Indeed, the self-consciousness of any soul was rooted in this identification." And see Hankey 1998c, 53-57.

22 Anselm 1946, 1, p. 98, line 22. What I mean by concrete is close to what leads von Balthasar 1984, 213ff., to call this "aesthetic reason." See also Moss 1999, 132.

23 Anselm 1946, 1, p. 98, line 3: Si autem ubique es, cur non video praesentem? Ibid., 16, p. 113, lines 2-3: Ubique es tota praesens, et non te video.

24 Anselm 1946, 16, p. 112, lines 21-24: non est aliud quod bane penetret, ut ibi te pervideat. Vere ideo bane non video, quia nimia mihi est...Nonpotestintellectus meus adillam.

25 Anselm 1946, 18, p. 114, lines 4 and 8: sentio me involutum in eis and quaerimus non invenimus.. .invenimus non est quod quaerimus.

26 Boethius 1973, 4.6, p. 362, line 79; "ad intellectum ratiocinatio"; see 3.11, p. 306, lines 107108, and 4.6, p. 362, lines 78-82: "Igitur uti est ad intellectum ratiocinatio, ad id quod est id quod gignitur, ad aeternitatem tempus, ad punctum medium circulus, ita est fati series mobilis ad providentiae stabilem simplicitatem" and Hankey 1997c, 246-47.

27 Anselm 1946, 19, p. 115, lines 14-15: non es tamen in loco aut tempore, sed omnia sunt in te. Anselm 1946, 20, p. 115, line 18: Tu ergo imples et complecteris omnia.

28 Anselm 1946, 23, p. 117, line 10: sic es tu simplex, ut de te non possit nasci aliud quam quod tu es. On this incomprehensibly simple plurality, see von Balthasar 1984, 218.

29 Despite this, my interpretation does not conform to that of de Lubac and his followers like von Balthasar and Moss (Moss 1999, 138-39), who find the argument of the Proslogion "deeply broken: the intellectual satisfaction at the discovery of the proof of God's existence is not at all the joy in God promised by Christ" (von Balthasar 1984, 235). The crucifixion and grace lie within the search for the unum argumentum and the consequences of thinking in accord with it, not outside.

30 However, both Anselm and Bonaventure may separate mind's self-knowledge from its knowledge of what is below it more completely than Augustine does, see Hankey 1995, 5556; Hankey 1997d, 256. On the complex, unresolved, unsystematic "dualisme" of Bonaventure as compared to Aquinas, see Wéber 1974, 140-142; Wéber 1991, 90-108 and de Libera 1993.

31 For my fullest exploration of this problematic see Hankey 1999a.

32 Plotinus Ennead 6.7.35; 7:196 lines 19-25 Armstrong; see Perczel 1997; Hankey 1999a, 115 and Bonaventure 1956, Prologus 4 and 7.4.

33 Bonaventure 1956, Prologus 2-3; 7.1, p. 96: verum etiam semetipsam; 7.2; 7.4, p. 98: oportet quodrelinquantur omnes intellectuals operationes; 7.7, p. 100: Moriamur. The elements of Augustinian love and of participation in the death of Christ are added by Latin theologians in the tradition to which Bonaventure belongs but are not found in the Pseudo-Dionysius, see Rorem 1993, 216-222.

34 Bonaventure 1882-1902b, V.24, p. 358: operatio velpotentia divina duplex est, una quae se convertit ad contuenda divina spectacula; alia quae se convertit ad degustanda divina solatio. Primum fit per intelligentiam, secundum per vim unitivam sive amativam, quae secreta est, et de qua parum vel nihil noverunt.

35 Cusa 1983, 4.12, p. 40: istud est [li non aliud] quod per oppositorum coincidentiam annis multis quaesivi. On the coincidence of opposites in Bonaventure, see Cousins 1978, passim, on his relation to Cusa, 224-26. Though Cousin's analysis is excellent, I place Bonaventure closer to Cusa than he does because I understand the coincidence above intellect in terms of the Neoplatonic One in its Dionysian form.

36 Bonaventure 1956, 1.6-8 shows this union of grace and the human exercise of its powers well. In 1882-1902c, q. IV, p. 24, he teaches that "secundum istum triplicem gradum comparationis triplex est gradus divinae cooperationis." Deus cooperatur: per modum vestigii in the mode of prindpii creativi, per modum imaginis in the mode of rationis moventis, and per modum similitudinis in the mode of doni infusi.

37 Bonaventure 1956, 7.1, p. 96: "mens nostra contuita est Deum extra se per vestigia et in vestigiis..." Ibid., 1.10, p. 44: "Relucet autem Creatoris summa potentia et sapientia et benevolentia in rebus creatis secundum quod hoc tripliciter nuntiat sensus carnis sensui interiori." And so with the other powers.


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