Brian Leftow

Brian Leftow has been Nolloth Professor of the Philosophy of the Christian Religion at Oxford University since 2002.  Prior to that he taught at Fordham University in New York.  He is the author of Time and Eternity (Cornell 1991), God and Necessity (OUP 2012), Aquinas on Metaphysics (OUP forthcoming), Anselm on God (OUP forthcoming), and almost 100 articles in philosophy of religion, medieval philosophy and metaphysics.


Perfect Being Theology and the Bible


Perfect being theology (PBT) is partly or wholly a priori. It’s a sort of abstract metaphysics. Why should we expect that a priori theorizing will yield conclusions that apply to the real God of Biblical revelation?  The Bible, I argue, teaches that God makes a general revelation available to all humans.  I argue that on a reasonable reading of how this would work, it implies that we have natural faculties which are somewhat reliable in drawing about God the sort of conclusions PBT deals in. 

Many use "perfect being theology" to denote not just a method of thinking about God, but a set of results medieval thinkers derived partly through that method.  Space permitting, I will also argue that parts of the overall Biblical narrative point to some of these results being correct, and the rest is at least compatible with them.