Burrell's Critical Thomism : Aquinas and Kant Revisited

Journal article

Norman, Jack. (2024). Burrell's Critical Thomism : Aquinas and Kant Revisited. Modern Theology. 40(2), pp. 347-372. https://doi.org/10.1111/moth.12881
AuthorsNorman, Jack

David Burrell's version of Aquinas was written with Kantian parallels in mind. This is the accusation of John Milbank that was questioned by Nicholas Lash and Paul DeHart in a series of articles. ‘Burrell's Critical Thomism’ shows beyond doubt that Milbank's claim is correct: Burrell cites Kant throughout his oeuvre and finds parallels between Aquinas and Kant's philosophies. However, this article also shows that the form of Kantianism promulgated by Burrell is not as dogmatic as Milbank argues, especially in Burrell's later writings. If Milbank's critique holds, it follows that a properly negative theology must be denied. Finally, the relationship between Milbank's participatory theology and Burrell's emphasis on divine simpleness is examined in order to critically evaluate the status of participation in God, arguing that, for Aquinas, it does not make sense to say we participate in the divine essence, only in its likeness. Direct participation in God's essence is rendered incoherent by divine simpleness.

KeywordsThomism; Aquinas; Immanuel Kant; negative theology; participatory theology; divinity; David Burell
Year01 Jan 2024
JournalModern Theology
Journal citation40 (2), pp. 347-372
PublisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd. (UK)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/moth.12881
Web address (URL)https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/moth.12881
Open accessOpen access
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range347-372
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Print12 Jul 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited04 Jul 2024
Additional information

© 2023 The Authors. Modern Theology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
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