Eleonore Stump

Eleonore Stump is the Robert J. Henle Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University, where she has taught since 1992. She has published extensively in philosophy of religion, contemporary metaphysics, and medieval philosophy. Her books include her major study Aquinas (Routledge, 2003) and her extensive treatment of the problem of evil, Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering (Oxford, 2010). She has given the Gifford Lectures (Aberdeen, 2003), the Wilde lectures (Oxford, 2006), and the Stewart lectures (Princeton, 2009). She is past president of the Society of Christian Philosophers, the American Catholic Philosophical Association, and the American Philosophical Association, Central Division; and she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


The Personal God of Classical Theism


The God of classical theism is not only omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good, but also timeless, immutable, and simple. These latter attributes have been taken as the reason for espousing a fairly radical via negative in theology. The God of classical theism is so removed from human beings that we can know only what God is not; in God’s positive attributes God is incomprehensible to us. What is hard to understand about this description of God on classical theism is why any Jewish or Christian thinker would espouse it since it seems very hard to square with texts taken by Jews or Christians to be divinely revealed. In this paper, I will examine the views of Aquinas, who is regularly presented as a primary proponent of this view, and I will argue that for Aquinas the God of classical theism is maximally present, maximally responsive, and maximally personal to human beings.