Repost of my insight in 1989-90

Blogger Comment: This is an evaluation of the minds of Norris Clarke and myself on accounting for the Theology of the Trinity of Persons as Relations. Having been aware of an article of Fr. Clarke from 1959 of the Thomistic notion that act tends to be infinite unless limited by subjective potency, and having stumbled on Cardinal Ratzinger’s notion of Trinitarian Person as pure relation as act: Father as pure act of engendering Son; Son pure act of obedience and glorification of Father; and Spirit as the personification of the two Relationalities, it occurred to me that the perfect candidate to account for this pure streaming forth of act that must be the divine Persons would be the thomistic Esse. I went to Clarke and showed him Ratzinger’s work up on pp. 131-132 of the 1990 eidition of “Introduction to Christianity,” Ignatius Press.
He was not impressed at first. But within a week, he called me and thought I was “on to something.” His interest at the time was the energeia of the aristotelian form, but saw a melding of thought here. To make a long story short, we never came to agreement since I felt that the radical nature of St. Thomas’s esse could carry the ontological burden of being throughout the whole range of being from uncreated Creator to the totality of creation. He demurred because it would come down to giving up the notion of substance. I realized early on that I was working in a different epistemological horizon than he, and ultimately, he did not want to give up the notion of substance since it would  lead us into reality as process, and nothing in itself. I immediately thought that the metaphysic of substance was tied to the way we know (conceptually), and not the way things are. We never resolved, and he went on to publish brilliantly until he died about 10 years ago.
I continue to think that person/being from God to the lowest level of creation that is always connected to person, is constitutively relational (as does Ratzinger) and it can only be understood if we understand reality phenomenologically according to the criterion of experience. That is, the only way to understand reality is to understand Christ at the center.
   Jennifer Herrick used the few things published on this to develop her 5th chapter which I offer. The topic is apposite to the year of mercy that we are in at the moment because mercy is the personal characteristic of an esse that will tend to be infinite unless limited by a potency. Robert Barron also has much to say on this topic.


Chapter 5 of A Dissertation by Jennifer Anne Herrick, M. Th. [Hons] 1997
Sydney College of Divinity

Parkland, FL • USA • 2003

Does God Change?
Reconciling the Immutable God with the God of Love



Conscious of the need to find a way forward to adequately reconcile the demands of tradition, biblical revelation and personal religious experience when considering the notion of God’s immutability, we turn now, in particular, to the work of the neo-Thomist William Norris Clarke to examine a contemporary reinterpretation of the Classical viewpoint of God’s immutability. Norris Clarke’s work is independently supported by another neo-Thomist Robert A. Connor. Through their work, supported by others, we offer a reinterpretation of the Classical viewpoint on God’s immutability that, we believe, offers reconciliation between tradition and Scripture without betrayal to a supportable metaphysics.


at the cutting edge of classical metaphysics

Substance as dynamic and relational

It is our contention that the insights and thoughts of William Norris Clarke and Robert A. Connor, together, offer contemporary theistic metaphysics an ability to recover and express authentically Thomas Aquinas’ understanding of substance in respect to God. At the heart of this recovered understanding lies the notion that substance is dynamic and relational. Such an understanding of substance is the key to a more adequate understanding of the notion of God’s immutability. Such an understanding lends itself to being convivial to and harmonious with, both biblical understanding of the nature of God and contemporary protest at the traditional interpretation of the immutability of God.

William Norris Clarke Responding to Process thought:
Creative adaptation

Emerging from the immutability debate then, cones a neo-Thomist theologian who, writing extensively on the issue of, and surrounding, the immutability of God, forges links with Process philosopher/theologians such as Lewis Ford, earning their respect whilst not relinquishing his own tradition. We have already noted that William Norris Clarke stands out in taking time and energy to grapple with Process thought, using it as a springboard to reinterpret, without betrayal, Classical thought on the immutability of God. Of those who are endeavouring to reinterpret the Classical viewpoint, Norris Clarke’s work stands out as systematically rigorous. Its rigour attends both to dealing with Process objections and alternatives to the Classical view of God’s immutability and developing, in response, a coherent reinterpretation of the Classical viewpoint. We explore Norris Clarke’s contentions by drawing from a range of his writings, together with writings of those upon whom he has drawn, of those with whom he has dialogued, and of those with which his fall into line.

Norris Clarke’s reinterpretation of the Classical view, in conjunction with the philosophic thought of Robert Connor, seems best able to provide the means, from within the neo-Thomist tradition, of working towards reconciling traditional understanding of God’s immutability with that of biblical revelation and personal religious experience. His work takes seriously the need for this reconciliation. To this end he recovers the notion of substance as dynamic and relational, he utilizes the distinction between the nature and the personhood of God, and he explores the correlative aspects of communication and receptivity within the latter.

The fundamental underlying problem for Norris Clarke is that Whitehead, father of Process thought, gives no evidence of familiarity with the dynamic Aristotelian¬Thomistic version of substance, only with the versions of the self-sufficient type of Descartes and the static type of Locke336. On the other hand, the major contribution offered by Process thought3 7, in Norris Clarke’s eyes, is its insistence that philosophical concepts do justice to the biblical revelation of God as involved in personal, mutual relations of love and responsiveness with humankind. This requires the recognition that God is really related and really affected. It calls for a new concept of divine perfection, one that would include mutability and mutual real relations.

In an effort to meet this challenge thrown out to traditional Catholic thinking, Norris Clarke offers an exciting response338. He considers that the main contribution of Process thought may turn out to be, not the displacement of theistic metaphysics but the stimulation given towards creative adaptations of the theistic system from within its own latent resources. This certainly is what he himself attempts. Norris Clarke actually contends that, in order to make intelligible the belief that what happens in the world does make a significant, conscious difference to God, the Thomistic metaphysical doctrine of no real relations in God to the world should be quietly shelved because it is no longer illuminating. Norris Clarke explains that the term `real relations’ carries a narrow technical meaning for Aquinas, one implying intrinsic change in the real intrinsic, nonrelative perfection of the subject of relation and the independent existence of the other term. Since neither of these requirements can be applied to God, Aquinas allows ‘intentionality relations’, in the purely relational order of knowledge and love in God towards the world, but technically refuses to call these `real relations’. Whilst defensible on technical grounds, Norris Clarke believes this perspective to be so narrow and incomplete, so difficult to convey, that this point of conflict with Process thought should be dropped. Norris Clarke affirms that it should be unambiguously stated that God is truly, `really’, personally related to the world by relations of knowledge and mutual love and affected in consciousness, but not in abiding intrinsic perfection of nature, by what happens in the world.

Two approaches of Norris Clarke

To explicate this contention Norris Clarke offers two possible approaches 339. The more traditional approach proposes that, while God’s consciousness is different for every response humankind makes, there is no requirement that God change over time. These differences in God’s consciousness could be present in God without temporal succession in God. God knows in God’s Now, seeing it taking place, but since God’s Now is incommensurable with any created vows, the two `vows’ are equivocal and their meanings cannot be interchanged. His other approach, whilst not traditional, is nevertheless open to being an orthodox Catholic position. Within this approach he distinguishes two kinds of immutability. The traditional interpretation of immutability implies no alteration or difference of any kind, even in the relative sphere of God’s knowledge and love of others, as in the Prime Mover of Aristotle or the Plotinian One. Clearly, this immutability would be inappropriate to the fullness of perfection proper to a truly personal, loving being. Hence, it must be argued, it is inappropriate to the concept of the Christian God. Another kind of immutability however, would be appropriate to God as the infinite perfection of personal being. This would be an immutability in God’s own intrinsic, absolute, nonrelative perfection of nature, the eternally faithful God of Revelation, that allows a mutability in the relative dimension of knowledge, love, compassion, joy. Hence, in this approach God is seen to be immutable in the absolute order, mutable in the relative order. The difference to the Whiteheadian God, which is immutable in the Primordial nature and mutable in the Consequent nature is that, in this approach of Norris Clarke’s, the world is not needed for God’s completion. All the novelty of knowledge, love, joy would be only new finite participations and expressions of God’s infinite fullness of being. It is significant that Norris Clarke’s approach perceives that the logic of the infinite transcends Aristotelian categories of change modeled on the physical and biological. More on this will be discussed later.

Norris Clarke – Creative Thomistic Metaphysician /// Etienne Gilson -Forerunner

Preceding William Norris Clarke, Etienne Gilson, a French Canadian philosopher [French historian/philosopher], recovers the authentic Thomistic idea of substance as dynamic and relational. Gilson writes in his book, “Being and Some Philosophers”340 that essential possibility is not sufficient reason for existential possibility. Since the essence of a being is what a being is going to become if it exists, then existence itself necessarily enters the calculation of its essential possibility. Essences may well represent fulfilled essential possibilities, but actual existences are their very fulfilling. This is why essences are actually becoming in time; this despite the fact that a time-transcending knowledge eternally sees them as already fulfilled.

Actual and individual essences then, following Gilson 341 are not static, because their own becoming is presupposed by their very definitions. Their progressive self-determination through acting and operating, through change, of which time is but the numbering, is not extraneous to their eternal ideas but eternally included in them.
God is an immobile knowledge of becoming qua becoming. If it is so, says Gilson, there is no antinomy between eternity and existence in time. For God Who Is, there is no time, because God is to God’s self God’s own essence, so that God’s own `now’ is God’s own `is’. God, being `Is’ cannot `become’, God is eternity. If God is esse, God’s ‘to be’ constitutes God’s own essence, both in unicity and singularity. As such, fully posited by its `to be’, essence here entails neither limitation nor determination. In contrast, finite essences entail limitation and determination. Yet, even in the order of finite being, maintains Gilson, the primacy of existence still obtains. Its act of existing is what insures its unity. Matter, form, substance, accidents, operations, everything in it, directly or indirectly, shares in the act of existing. Temporal existence is progressive achievement through becoming. Becoming through esse is the road to fully determined being, just as time is the road to eternity.342

From the above, a characteristic of existential being, noted by Gilson343 and of particular pertinence to us, is its intrinsic dynamism. Because abstract essence is static, while existence is dynamic, such a metaphysics of being needs to be a dynamic one. The very existence of finite essence is the first and immediate effect of the first and absolute existential Act. Born of an existential act, `to be’ is itself an existential act, and just as it is effect so is it cause. As noted by Aquinas in his Summa Contra Gentiles III, 69, not `to be’ then, `to act’, but `to be is to act’. Thus with natural essence each of them is the progressive becoming of its own end. The actual perfecting of essences is the final cause of their existences and it takes many operations to achieve it. Existence can perform those operations. Because `to be’ is `to be act’, it also is `to be able to act’. As an act is, so will be its operation. Because God is pure act of existence, God’s first effect is existence.344 From this, in any relation of efficient causality, something of the esse, `to be’, of the cause, is imparted to its effect. Such a relation is an existential one.

We pursue the philosophical implications of understanding God as pure act of existing in existential relation when we examine the work of Robert Connor. With Gilson’s thought acknowledged however, we return to the theistic work of Norris Clarke, self-called Thomistically inspired metaphysician.

Personalist Theism of Norris Clarke

Norris Clarke’s earlier writings, such as “A New Look at the Immutability of God” and “Christian Theism and Whiteheadian Process Philosophy: Are They Compatible?”, show rapid development of thought, largely as a result of concerted dialogue with Process philosopher/theologians.34 Norris Clarke’s intention in these earlier writings is to explore the resources of the Thomistic metaphysical system, to gauge the extent to which it can accommodate a God able to enter truly personal relations with humankind. With Thomistic metaphysicians traditionally being content to assert and defend the absolute immutability of God by relegating all change and diversity to the side of humankind, they have not been able to explain how God can enter into truly personal dialogue with created persons. They have not been able to explain how God’s loving of us and our response to God, in the particular continent ways proper to a free exchange between persons, can make a difference to God.346 Against this background, Norris Clarke rightly has no doubt that the primary positive contribution of Process thinkers to the philosophical elucidation of the Christian, and indeed any personalist, conception of God, is their notion of God as profoundly involved in, and personally responsive to, the ongoing events of creation. This is particularly so with respect to the conscious life of created persons as expressed in the mutuality, the mutual giving and receiving, that is proper to interpersonal relations. All metaphysical explanations must accommodate these exigencies in any form of personalist theism.347

Real and Intentional Being

Accordingly, and to this end, Norris Clarke writes in his article, “A New Look at the Immutability of God,” that it seems quite possible to draw upon the latent resources of the Thomistic system, so that the loving dialogue of God with human kind becomes truly intelligible. This seems to Norris Clarke, and to ourselves, a wiser strategy than substituting a totally new metaphysical framework of Process philosophy which would appear to be based on faulty suppositions and itself introduces a host of new difficulties. The strategy of drawing upon latent Thomistic resources is allowing creative Thomistic metaphysics to adapt an incomparably rich and profound metaphysical system to newly felt and better understood exigencies of the domain of inter-personal being. 348 This is done by developing the traditional distinction between the orders of real and intentional being in order to adapt the notion of immutability to fit the perfection appropriate to personal being. In both his article mentioned above and his follow-up, expanded and emended article, “Christian Theism and Whiteheadian Process Philosophy,” Norris Clarke tries to mitigate opposition to the traditional Thomistic position on God’s immutability by distinguishing between these two orders of God: 349 the order of real being, esse naturale, which is God’s intrinsic, real perfection, remaining Infinite Plenitude, and the order of intentional being, esse intentionale, which takes in the contents of the divine field of consciousness as related to humankind. Even for Aquinas, God’s consciousness is contingently different in content in correspondence to God’s decision to create this particular world as opposed to any other, and also differs according to what actually happens in this particular created world, especially with respect to the free responses of rational humankind.

By making this distinction between the two orders in God it can be seen that the world can and does make a difference to the conscious anad hence personal, life of God. For since the divine consciousness, as knowing and loving, is truly related, by distinct and determinate relations in the intentional order, to humankind, relations which are based on Dos’s distinct ideas of them, it follows then that God is truly, personally related to the world. Whilst such relations are true and authentic it remains tha tin Aquinas’ strict terminology and theoretical framework such relations cannot be called `real relatinss,’ since real relations for Aquinas require as their foundation some change or difference in the real intrinsic `absolute’ being of the subject related. This would not be compatible with the divine infinity, which allows no increatse or diminution of its intrinsic plenitude of real perfecton. For Aquinas, difference in the divine consciousness, as intentionally related to humankind, does not entail any change in the divine consciousness, let alone any change in the intrinsic real being of God. These relatins are simply present, without change, in the ternal Now of God which itself is present to all points of time. This eternal Now is outside the flow of our motin-dependent time, but present in its own time-transcending way to all points of time, without internal succession in God. The all important point is that difference: this rather than that, does not logically imply change: this after that.
Shifting Frameworks

With respect to the Thomistic understanding that God’s intentional relations to the world are true and yet not real, we note the significant emendation Norris Clarke offers in his follow-up paper.350 Whilst still willing to defend in theory the position as outlined above, Norris Clarke believes that for such adherence the price has become too high, the returns too diminishing. The wiser strategy is to shift frameworks. The doctrine of an absence of real relations between God and the world is highly technical and narrow in meaning, it leaves so much unsaid. To tell people that God is truly personally related to the world but still not really related strikes them as counterintuitive. It is in conflict with the meaning of religious and revelationary language. People generally, are not disposed to make the effort to enter into a difficult technical doctrine that opens a chasm between technical and ordinary language, that opens a chasm between the assertions of metaphysics and those of religious devotion. 351 Accordingly, Norris Clarke goes on record at this point as saying that the doctrine should be quietly dropped, that we should say that “God is really and truly related to the world in the order of personal consciousness”.

This framework shift involves a fundamental shift in the primary models from which metaphysical concepts are drawn. The shift is from the model of the physical and biological world, the prime analogates of the metaphysical concepts for Aristotle and Aquinas, to the model of the person and interpersonal relations, the prime analogates of the metaphysical concepts for the Contemporary Western metaphysician.”‘ In this shift, Norris Clarke acknowledges the support and convergence, as we too have noted, of contemporary Thomists such as Anthony Kelly, William Hill, and John Wright. This support is thus for toning down Aquinas’ doctrine on the absence of real relations between God and the world. Most try to show that one can loosen the strict interpretation of Aquinas and enrich his doctrine, by saying more than he does.’” Only then can the traditional doctrine of immutability be reconciled adequately with biblical revelation and personal religious experience.

God is Perfectly Loving Personal Being

What is significant about Norris Clarke’s stance as a creative Neo-Thomist or, self called, “Thomistically inspired metaphysician”, is that he believes our metaphysics of God must allow us to say that, in some real and genuine way, God is affected positively by what we do, that God receives love from us and experiences joy because of our responses; that God’s consciousness is contingently and qualitatively different because of what we do. It is our belief as well, that this is what is called for, if we are to find a metaphysical way to reconcile what to date has remained at odds; the traditional notions about God’s immutability and the biblical revelation and personal experience of God’s personal love of, and loving relations with, humankind. On the point of God being affected by what we do, Norris Clarke rejects the contemporary Process philosopher, Lewis Ford’s interpretation of his position. In Ford’s paper “The Immutable God and Fr Clarke”, 354 Ford says, “it is clear that the contents of God’s intentional consciousness are not derived from the external world”. In response to this, Norris Clarke asserts that God’s knowledge of the actions of human persons, especially their free action, is due to, is determined by, and is derived from, human persons. This occurs by God’s acting with them.355 However, this difference remains on the level of God’s relational consciousness and does not involve increase or decrease in the infinite Plenitude of God’s intrinsic inner being and perfection, that which Aquinas calls the absolute, non-relative, aspect of God’s perfection. This said, the mutual giving and receiving that is part of God’s relational consciousness, as knowing and loving that which is other than God’s-self, is the appropriate expression of the intrinsic perfection proper to a perfect, hence perfectly loving, personal being.356
God is the Supreme Receiver

In terms of this giving and receiving, to receive love as a person is precisely a dimension of the perfection of personal being as lovingly responsive. On this point Norris Clarke makes a further concession to, in his own words, his Whiteheadian friends. He writes that it has long been a special claim by Ford and other Whiteheadians that God is not just the supreme Cause of the world but the supreme Effect, in the sense of being the supreme receiver from all things that exist, and this is one of God’s supreme perfections. Such language, whilst foreign to Thomistic and other traditional ways of speaking about God, can nevertheless be understood in the light of Norris Clarke’s concession, that in God’s consciousness God is different and is affected because of what humankind does. Understood in this way, God is the supreme Receiver. God knows the acts of human persons by acting along with them. 57 Not only can the Process view thus be accommodated Thomistically but in addition, the Thomistic interior symbiosis of divine and human act avoids the serious problems of Process’ passive and extrinsic conception of divine receiving.358

Divine relational consciousness

We now must ask ourselves the pivotal question. Does all this mean that God undergoes change, that God is mutable? Does contingent difference in God’s relational consciousness necessarily imply change, i.e. temporally successive states in that consciousness? Process thinkers insist on this as necessarily following from the admission that God is really related to the changing world and positively affected by what happens in it. Norris Clarke’s answer is two-fold: firstly, it is not clear that contingent difference in the divine relational consciousness of the world necessarily involves temporally successive states in God. Norris Clarke does not see, and nor do we, how Process thinkers have ruled out the possibility that the divine consciousness is present to the contingent changing world in a mode of presence that transcends our time¬succession.359 This, to our mind, is the fundamental issue. For our time succession is based, not principally on the pure succession of contents of consciousness of intentional being, but on change in our real, physical and psychic being. In God there is only the succession in the order of relational consciousness of intentional being 360 A Thomist would say that God knows and responds to the world in God’s eternal Now. The key point is that our ‘nows’ exclude each other whereas the divine Now includes all others.361 No time adverb can be applied to situate God’s knowledge in our time¬ sequence. The above notwithstanding, an alternative to a non-temporal view of the divine relational consciousness, a version of the Process view of God as changing, is considered by Norris Clarke to be possible as an orthodox Christian view, provided that change is restricted to the relational dimension of God’s consciousness. 62 In either case the crux of the issue is that we need to come to understand God’s immutability in terms of a personal loving relatedness to humankind.

Implications for God’s immutability
To this end of understanding God’s immutability in terms of personal loving relatedness to humankind and in line with Norris Clarke, it would seem that one may not have to compromise Thomistic principles to accept that some kinds of mutability and some kinds of immutability are appropriate to a perfect person, and some are not. This understanding is supported by the German Catholic theologian, Heribert Muehlen, writing prior to Norris Clarke, but from whom Norris Clarke’s writing remained independent.363 Muehlen claims that the immutability attributed to God must be proper to a perfect personal being having an immutable intention to love and to save. Such an immutability must carry all those adaptations and responses necessary for this intention to be expressed in personal dialogue with humankind.

The key point is that personal immutability here seems to include relational mutability. How are we to understand this? Perhaps we need to remember again our framework shift; a shift that involves deriving our metaphysical principles from personal rather than physical analogates. Norris Clarke364 agrees with Lewis Ford365, that in a personalist interpretation of infinite perfection, we must say that the infinite can be enriched by the finite. The old correlation that infinite equals no enrichment is too simplistic. It is not suited to the unique characteristics of infinite perfection of personal being as truly loving. Norris Clarke insists however, that this enrichment can only be new determinate modalities of expression of the already infinite intensity of actual interior joy in God, never rising higher in qualitative intensity of perfection than the already infinite Source, of which all finite modalities are only limited participations. In admitting that God can be affected by new modalities of joy Norris Clarke recognizes too that we must also have the courage to be consistent and admit in the divine consciousness something corresponding to compassion but purified of all genuine imperfection 366

Connected with this matter of God’s loving relations, Process thinkers have enormous difficulty with Aquinas’ doctrine of divine simplicity. Hartshorne, Ford, Griffin and others, all feel that this doctrine renders void the religious concept of God as involved in mutual loving relations. Norris Clarke’s reply is that Process thinkers fail to recognize the profound transformation that the attribute of divine simplicity has undergone in medieval Christian metaphysical thought, culminating in Aquinas. The simplicity of the divine being, properly understood, means that there are no really distinct ontological parts making up divine being itself. Simplicity thus postulated is restricted to the absolute intrinsic being of God. It is explicitly compatible with the triple relational distinctness of the three divine Persons. It is clear that for Aquinas and all traditional Christian metaphysicians, divine simplicity of nature does not exclude real multiplicity in the order of relations. Relation is unique in that its addition to a being does not necessarily add or subtract anything from its absolute real being and perfection. It relates the subject to its term but does not necessarily change or modify it internally in any non¬relative way. In concession to his Process friends however, Norris Clarke admits that interpretation of the simplicity attribute of God has remained too rigid. It too is in need of further qualification and distinction similar to that proposed for the notions of real relatedness to humankind, relational mutability and enrichment in God. An adjustment is needed to fit simplicity properly to the perfection of a loving personal being367 whose relations to humankind needs to be taken seriously by metaphysicians.

Reciprocal relations

It needs finally to be noted that, in distinguishing the relational and intentional aspects of the divine consciousness from the intrinsic real perfection of God, with the accompanying acceptance that the latter does not undergo a strict Aristotelian type of change involving a movement to a qualitatively higher level of inner perfection, Norris Clarke admits that this does not of itself deny that God’s inner being is genuinely affected in a truly personal, conscious, relational way by relations with humankind. As Norris Clarke points out, it may well be that Hegel’s original dialectical conception of the Infinite as intrinsically related to the finite, with the notion, as Rahner puts it, that God changes in the other, is more adapted to handling this question of reciprocal relations of finite and Infinite than is the more Aristotelian language of Aquinas.368

* * * * * *

Contentions of Robert A. Connor
Act of existence is relational and substantial

Resting with the acknowledgment, from the work of Norris Clarke, that God’s inner being is genuinely affected in a truly personal relational way by relations with humankind we feel it is timely to turn and consider the thought of a contemporary Thomistic philosopher, Robert A. Connor. Connor examines the relationship between the act of existence, esse, and the person, in his paper “Relational Esse and the Person”.369 He proposes that the Thomistic act of existence is the explanation of the relational dimension of person as well as the explanation of its unique substantiality. In Connor’s proposal, both relation and substantiality are equal dimensions of the act of existence. Relation is not considered as the predicamental accident but as the constitutive expansiveness of the act of existence, understood intensively. According to Connor, this act of existence, when it is intensively intellectual, is the person .370 Thus can we infer, if God is both personal perfection and the ground of act of existence, the profound ramifications this proposal has for understanding the nature of God’s immutability in teens of both God’s substantiality and God’s relationality.

Rethinking the notion of Person

In an important insight, Connor sees that, just as the act of existence may involve the revealed notion of creation, so also the notion of person involves the revelation of the Trinity of three Persons in one God. If the One God is considered substantial Being, then the Three Persons, revealing themselves in dialogue, can only be subsistent relationalities, dialogue being a relational ontologic,371 As Cardinal Ratzinger comments in his book “Introduction to Christianity”372, when the First Person begets the Second Person it is an act of begetting. Only as this act is it person. What is being affirmed here is the notion of person as constitutively expansive as relation.

Accordingly, the notion of person needs to be rethought and reformulated in the dyadic teens of substance or intrinsic existence, and its constitutive relationality.373 As William Hill notes in “The Historicity of God”374, in God’s personhood we are dealing with God’s being in its freely chosen self-relating to others, in that inter-subjective disposing of the self that is self-enactment and self-positing. Aquinas’ understanding, with Aristotelian roots, that all relations of God to the world are rational not real relations, rests upon an understanding of real as implying causal dependence. Hill points out that such relations nonetheless remain actual ones and in this sense there is no problem in designating such relations as real. Aquinas is simply avoiding any notion of ontic relations accidentally accruing to God’s being.375

As Walter Kasper, in “Postmodern Dogmatics”, discerns, theology needs a metaphysics which has been developed precisely within theology. Without a transcendent ground and point of reference, statements of faith are finally only subjective projections of social and ecclesial ideologies.376 As long as the metaphysical model for describing a person is Aristotelian substance, and relation is always an accident, then being as relation will never be able to pass from its immanentized domestication within the Trinity to humankind and thereon to all reality as relational being.377 Thus Connor’s proposal is to accept the theological elaboration of person as constitutively relational as expansive and to offer the Thomistic esse as the ontological explanation of that expansiveness.

Connor assumes the dynamic character of the Thomistic esse as expounded by Gerard Phelan in his paper “Being, Order and Knowledge”. The latter comments on his joy at reading in the first article of Aquinas’ Quaestio Disputata De Veritate that reality, unity, truth and all transcendentals are general modes of being, not properties or attributes of beings, and that substance, quantity, quality, relation and the like are also modes of being.378 Hill indeed, recognizes that the whole metaphysical system of Aquinas pivots on the real distinction between essence and esse. The former explains nature and is the potential towards existence, the latter is its actus essendi. The ultimate source of such exercise is the hypostasis379

Principle of Person

The proposal then is to see this “to be”, esse, not as an actuality of a substance but as an intensive act in its own right, of which substantiality is a mode. By intensive, Connor means that esse is expansive as an agere, and expansiveness as an agere is another mode of that same esse. Agere is “esse-becoming” and so constitutive of “esse ‘s fulfillment”. Thus there is proposed here a transference of agency from essence to esse. When esse is intelligere the agent is the person. 380

In establishing the priority of esse as origin and source of all reality, we take time to flesh out Connor’s thought. Connor is considering what kind of act esse is; that it might be a constitutive relationality because of its intensity as intelligible act. As such it would be a worthy candidate for the ontological category of person. Where there is intensity there is relationality. Relationality means intensity. If personality is defined by relationality, as offered in Trinitarian theology, then the principle of relationality should be the principle of personality as intensity. Thus if the Thomistic esse can be shown to be intensive and therefore relational, it should be the principle of personality.381

Having considered esse as intensive act Connor goes on to consider esse as expansive. Esse as expansive and hence relational must do so as agere. Connor thereby considers the relation between esse and agere. On this, Gilson, in “Being and some Philosophers”, plumbs the mind of Aquinas: Not to be, then to act, but: to be is to act. The first thing which “to be” does is to make its own essence to be, that is, “to be a being”. Next, “to be” begins bringing its own individual essence nearer its completion. Gilson makes it clear that the primacy of esse as dynamism radically transforms the Aristotelian dynamism of form. To be, esse, is to act, agere, and to act is to tend, tendere, to an end wherein achieved being may ultimately rest.382

This is a critical point of the proposal because expanding esse, that is, relational esse, which is implied in the magisterial formulations concerning the Trinity, is axiomatic to Thomistic metaphysics. To see substance as a subject receiving, specifying and exercising esse with agere and intelligere as accidents of it is to miss the intensive character of the Thomistic esse.383 If Phelan is correct in his evaluation of De Veritate, 1,1, then substance is a mode of being, a limited way of seeing esse.384 Instead of seeing agere as the manifestation of the nature of a substance and hence an accident of the substance, it would be truer to see it as esse itself, at various levels of limitation.

Where there is no limitation, esse is agere, as in the person of Christ and the inner life of the Trinity. Seen in this light esse and agere are thereby connected as states of one another, perfectly identified only where they reach infinity.385 The union of action and its agent is therefore much closer than that of subject and its accidents. Is there a perfect existential unity? Does the same esse bring about the substance and its act at the same time? It seems so. Operation, agere, will truly be more being, not another being.386

Thus it is that esse / agere correspond to the two states of esse itself intrinsic existence and relationality. Up to this point, the positive aspect of the proposal has consisted in highlighting the intensive character of esse as well as its expansive tendency as agere. The negative side of the proposal is to suggest that essence be downgraded from its traditional role as limiting and exercising subject to be restricted to the lesser role as limit of esse. Two theories of essence as limit exist. The “thin” theory propounded by G.B. Phelan, William Carlo, 387 and W. Norris Clarke, 388 maintains that essence is an intrinsic principle of limitation only, making no positive contribution of its own but merely limits or contracts what would otherwise be the de se plenitude of existence. 389 The traditional or “thick” Thomistic notion of essence as the limitation of esse consists in esse limiting itself mediately, through essence which in this case is positive, distinct from esse but derived from it. Esse autodetermines itself, both conferring and limiting a perfection. The thin theory is coherent with the vision that esse is all the act there is in being. It fails to explain though, what limits esse to be this “chunk” of esse, and to explain the “tending” of esse. By denying the reality of a distinct potency, it introduces, without warrant, potency into else. The thick theory, even when essence is not presumed real, affords the awkward situation of esse limiting itself, awkward because it has recourse to distinct levels of causality. On the positive side, it does give an explanation of limit of esse and potency of being. The point for us is that in both cases, Connor maintains that essence, as limit, should be disqualified as the ontological candidate for personality because person derives from its theological origin as an expansive dynamic, not as a limiting principle. Hence if essence is only a limit of expanding esse, it cannot be the principle of personality 390

Connor’s proposal thus presents the act of existence positively as intensive and expansive and essence as reduced to limit and specification of that act. This gives way to a Thomistically heterodox but crucial conclusion. If esse is intensive, intelligere is relational, and person is characterized by relationality, then esse should be the principle of personality. Essence as the principle of limit of act and therefore of limit of relationality should be rejected as subject of being and hence person.-191 This pinpointing of esse as the intersection of intensiveness and relationality is made clear by Josef Pieper in his book “Living the Truth”. wherein he comments on Aquinas’ Summa contra Gentiles 4,11. Here he shows the direct proportionality between esse as intrinsic existence and its outreach agere, as relation; the greater the relationality of the agere the more intensive the esse. Commenting on Aquinas, who states that the higher the nature the more intimate to the nature is that which flows from it, Pieper states that the notion of having an intrinsic existence. k -corresponds to being able to relate. The most comprehensive ability to relate, that is, the power to conform to all that is, implies the highest form of intrinsic existence, of selfness.392

Personal relational energy in God

The principle that Connor is being faithful to is the principle which sees person both, as the relational energy in God, and the image and likeness of God in humankind.393 The ramifications of such a proposal as Connor’s are many. Esse as person subject is the principle of expansion and relation, not the principle of limit. If relation is a dimension constitutive of being itself, then love and ultimately relation to others will not be accidental but constitutive. The migration of subject and person from the limiting essence to the expanding esse redefines the relationship between God, humankind, and reality. It provides the common ontological ground: infinite esse and expanding esse. Being has become love.394 The ramifications of this proposal are profound for a renewed understanding of the nature of God’s relatedness to humankind and thus for the nature and design of God’s immutability.

William Norris Clarke: further contentions
God is perfectly personal being & intrinsically relational.

Robert Connor’s work allows us to more fully appreciate the import of Norris Clarke’s contention, made in his later paper, “Person, Being, and St Thomas”, 395 that the perfection of being, and therefore of the person, is dyadic, culminating in communion. With this noted, it is a suitable point at which to take up again with recent thought of William Norris Clarke.

Quoting Aquinas, that person is that which is most perfect in all of nature, 396 Norris Clarke recognizes that personal being then, is the highest mode of being. It often fails to be recognized that Aquinas has an explicit, powerful dynamic notion of being, intrinsically self-communicative and relational through action. Not only is activity, which is active self-communication, the natural consequence for Aquinas, of possessing an act of existence, esse, but he maintains further, self-expression through action is the whole point, the natural perfection of being itself, the goal of its very presence in the universe. Operation is the ultimate perfection of each thing.397 Unfortunately Aquinas does not apply this understanding explicitly and thematically to his philosophical notion of person. So Norris Clarke combines Aquinas’ explicitly developed dynamic relational notion of being as active, with the notion of person, which is rooted by Aquinas in the act of existence. In so doing Norris Clarke brings out the intrinsically relational character of the person precisely as the highest mode of being.398 Following Norris Clarke then, God, as perfect personal being, must be intrinsically relational. Any notion of immutability must be able to accommodate this intrinsic relatedness.

To be is to be substance in relation

In his considerations, Norris Clarke acknowledges the role of Etienne Gilson in rediscovering the centrality and dynamism of the act of existence in contemporary Thomism. To be is to act.399 Gerald Phelan, following on from Gilson, also exhibits in his paper, “The Existentialism of St Thomas”, this sensitivity to the expansive character of being through action. Esse is dynamic, the act of being is the consubstantial urge of nature carrying each being, ens, forward from within the depths of its own reality to its full self-achievement.° Aquinas speaks of an intrinsic dynamism in every being to be self-communicative. This is what Jacques Maritain, in his book, “Existence and the Existent”, has aptly called the basic generosity of existence. 401

Existence itself, esse, becomes for Aquinas the ultimate root of all perfection with unity and goodness its transcendental properties or attributes, facets of the inexhaustible richness of being itself. Aquinas’ Supreme Being, the pure subsistent Act of Existence, can become identically Intelligence and Will, and the intrinsic self-diffusiveness of the Good, Love, self-communicative Love. Herein lies the ultimate reason why all beings, by the very fact that they are, possess this natural dynamism toward action and self-¬communication. They are all diverse modes of participation in the infinite goodness of the one Source, whose very being is identically self-communicative Love. Existence is power-full, energy-filled presence. The corollary is that relationality is a primordial dimension of every real being, inseparable from its substantiality, just as action is from existence. Action, passion, relations, are inseparably tied together even in Aristotelian categories. All action and passion necessarily generate relations. Relationality and substantiality go together as two distinct but inseparable modes of reality. Substance is seen here as the primary mode in that relations depend on it as their ground. Being as substance flows over into being as relational. To be is to be substance-in-relation. Within the divine being, substantiality and relationality are equally primordial and necessary dimensions of being itself at its highest intensity.402

The primordial existence of substantiality and relationality is taken up in debate between David Schindler and Norris Clarke. We address this a little later. First however, we observe how it is that this understanding has only been recovered in recent times. This dynamic polarity between substance and action-plus-relations has become submerged since Descartes in the post-medieval period Three major distortions of the classical notion of substance broke the connection between the dynamic polarity. These distortions were: the Cartesian notion of the isolated, unrelated substance; the Lockean static substance, the inert substratum needed to support accidents but unknowable in itself; and the separable substance of Hume, which, if it existed, would have to be empirically observable as separated from all its accidents. These versions of substance from classical moder n philosophy, tending to be the only ones available,have led modern and contemporary thinkers such as Bergson, Collingwood, Whitehead, Dewey, Heidegger, phenomenologists in general and others, to reject substance as a viable mode of being. Viewed this way, person is in danger of being reduced to nothing but a relation or set of relations. This creates the difficulty then, that if the substance, or in-itself pole of being, is dropped, the person has no inner self to share.4os Clearly this view would impact adversely on how one views God as person and hence God’s personal immutability.As Norris Clarke states there is no need for this either/or dichotomy between substance and relation, once the notion of substance as centre of activity and receptivity has been retrieved. To be is to be substance-in-relation. This opens the way to a more adequate understanding of God as personal being, source of activity and receptivity, and thereby contextualizes the notion of God’s immutability.

To be fully is to be Personally

In fleshing out the notion of substance in relation, it should be acknowledged that for Aquinas, when being is allowed to be fully itself as active presence, it becomes self¬presence, self-awareness, self-consciousness, the primary attribute of person. To be fully is to be personally. A significant implication follows. Being is active presence. To be a person is to be a being that tends by nature to pour into active, conscious self-¬manifestation and self-communication to others, through intellect and will, working together. To be a person is to be a bi-polar being that is both present in itself, actively possessing itself by its self-consciousness, this is its substantial pole and actively oriented towards others, toward active loving self-communication to others, this is its relational pole.404 Following this understanding then, God as perfect personal being must be substance-in-relation, must be both present in God’s self, actively possessing God’s self by God’s self-consciousness and actively oriented towards others, toward active loving self-communication to others.

Anticipated objections

We take a moment at this point, to observe how Norris Clarke sees fit to deal with an anticipated objection to his proposal.405 The objection would run thus: if being is intrinsically self-communicative and relational at all levels, including the divine, then it would follow that either God must necessarily, rather than freely, communicate God’s self in creation, which Aquinas as a Christian thinker does not subscribe to, for such a proposal would seem to deny the absolute freedom of God in creation; or 2] God’s own inner being must be intrinsically relational, thus affording a philosophical deduction of the doctrine of the Trinity of distinct Persons, whereas the doctrine is held by Christian tradition to be inaccessible to any arguments of natural or purely philosophical reason, being known only by divine revelation.

In answer to the objection concerning freedom of creation, Norris Clarke believes that Aquinas has exercised over-caution, failing to follow through consistently on his own principles 406 In his philosophical expositions, Aquinas habitually puts forward the strong interpretation of the self-diffusiveness of being.407 Norris Clarke offers two ways Aquinas could have handled this objection.408 First, if, as Christian Revelation declares, God carries out a self-communication within God’s own being among the three Persons, then further self-communication to finite beings can be purely gratuitous. Second, the creation of any particular finite world by an infinite cause must be free. There can be no necessary connection between a source of infinite power and any finite effect, only a contingent one. Norris Clarke takes a step further however, contending that the self¬diffusiveness of the divine goodness does necessarily have to manifest itself in some finite universe, albeit with qualifications. Given an infinitely good and loving personal being, one can say it is inevitable, as opposed to necessary, that it will pour over in some way to share its goodness outside itself. This inevitability is the very logic, the special logic, of a loving nature. In the case of God, as Hegel and others have said, in a certain sense freedom and necessity come together in a transcendent synthesis, proper only to the nature of love.

In answer to the objection concerning deduction of the Trinity occurring from natural reason, a deduction of the need for some kind of interpersonal relationship on the divine level, Norris Clarke does not think we are forced into an either/or confrontation between faith and reason. In the twelfth century Richard of St Victor proposed a kind of deduction of a suasive argument from natural reason showing why, if God is personal at all, God must have some other person to relate to in love 409 Richard tried also to show that the plurality had to be precisely three. Norris Clarke contends that this latter point remains open, and as such, deduction from reason as to the precise Triune God has not occurred.410 We can say further, that any natural reasoning regarding relatedness being a necessary implication of what it means to say that God is personal, in no way anticipates the precise revelation of the nature of the Trinity.

Norris Clarke at the Cutting Edge
Substance as centre of activity and receptivity.

Norris Clarke seeks to develop further this notion of bi-polar being in an effort to find the best way to understand being as substance-in-relation. Specifically, there is an effort to do justice to the notion of substance as centre of activity and receptivity. In so doing we can better understand God’s relatedness to humankind and hence the nature of God’s immutability.

Receptivity as perfection

To complete his creative retrieval of Aquinas’ metaphysics Norris Clarke turns to the Swiss theologian, Hans Urs von Balthasar411, whom he finds profound and daringly speculative in his deliberation of receptivity as a perfection of being and person. Receptivity has been regarded too long in Classical theology as passivity, associated with the inferior status of potentiality, and completed by actuality as the perfecting principle. John Cobb, following on from Charles Hartshorne, seeks objection to this longstanding notion. The counter proposal is that welcoming, active receptivity is a mode of actuality and perfection, not of potentiality and imperfection, as seen clearly in the intra-Trinitarian life of God, an eternal, ever-actualized process.

With regard to this, Norris Clarke notes412 von Balthasar’s creative rethinking on God’s immutability. In this von Balthasar not only allows in the Trinity an eternal dynamic process or event of interpersonal communication beyond time and change, but of which change and time in our world are an imperfect image, but he calls also for an adequate notion of the perfection of love wherein receptivity is the necessary complement of active self-communication, a complementarity belonging to the perfection of the love relationship. von Balthasar shows that in God there is an active receptivity which is the original image of passive potency in the created realm. He believes this can be understood as perfection when it is allowed that the omnipotence of God is primarily the absolute power of love, involving the giving and receiving of Trinitarian exchange and mutuality in which we participate”

Norris Clarke’s exploration of the place of receptivity in being as substance-in-relation is furthered too, by the thought of philosopher David Schindler. In a paper, “Norris Clarke on Person, Being, and St Thomas”, Schindler comments on Norris Clarke’s book, “Person and Being”414, an expansion of the latter’s article, “Person, Being and St Thomas”. The comment engenders in turn, a response from Norris Clarke. 415

Primordial substantiality and relationality

Schindler endeavours to gently push Norris Clarke further down his chosen path, by first questioning Norris Clarke’s way of distinguishing between esse as the source of a being’s presence to itself and agere as the source of a being’s opening to the other. Schindler asks how, in this scenario, can relationality be equally Primordial as a dimension of being, to substantiality. In response, Norris Clarke416 points out a fundamental misunderstanding of his position with respect to the relationality dimension of any real being.417 He states that the relationality dimension, with its dynamic tendency towards self-communicative action, is rooted in the very substantial act of esse itself; expansive by its very nature as act of existence. Hence he affirms that relationality is equally primordial with substantiality and that it is also necessary for this dynamic tendency to find expression in some actual relation. Being and self-expression in action are so intimately intertwined that the intelligibility of each is incomplete without the other. In this sense the two orders are equally primordial. Substance is first in the order of origin, action is first in the order of self-fulfillment.

Relationality as Communicative and Receptive

Schindler pushes Norris Clarke still further in commenting secondly, on the latter’s statements that initial relationality of the human person is primarily receptive, with the active, freely initiated, response side then emerging.418 Schindler questions whether this discloses ambiguity in Norris Clarke’s affirmation, made elsewhere419, of receptivity being a positive perfection of being.420 Schindler himself turns to the thought of Hans Urs von Balthasar, whose notion of receptivity as a perfection lies in the Trinitarian understanding of God, with humankind’s being-from imaging Christ’s own being-from the First Person. As already noted, von Balthasar is a theologian from whom Norris Clarke himself draws421. Schindler gives consideration as to how von Balthasar’s notion of perfection translates in metaphysical terms. What does von Balthasar’s sense of perfection entail with respect to Norris Clarke’s metaphysics of relation and receptivity? 422 If humans image God in God’s Trinitarian meaning as revealed in Jesus Christ, then, Schindler maintains, this seems to indicate in metaphysical terms, that both a relation begins in the constitution of the being of the human person, and the relation is primarily receptive in nature. This requires that relation be inscribed in esse and that receptivity signifies the first meaning of relation in the human person. Schindler thus proposes that receptivity be rooted in esse, ontologically prior to communicativity, this being so in the human person. Being-receptive, esse-ab, is the anterior for first possessing being, esse-in; and for being-for-others, esse-ad Norris Clarke responds positively to this challenge by Schindler to be pushed further down his relationality path, in opening up to an understanding of a deeper level of primordial relationality linked to receptivity, as it belongs to created esse.

In terms of the absolute order of things Norris Clarke does agree with Schindler that first comes active self-communication with relations flowing from it and then comes receptivity with corresponding relations. The very meaning of receptivity as gift implies a relation to an active giver as primary in the order of origin. In the Trinity the First Person, the Unoriginated One, must be first in the ultimate order of being itself, from whom the Second Person eternally originates. In the order of the human person the situation reverses. The absolutely primary status of our being, of our substantial esse, is receptivity. It is a gift received from God, our Creator, generating in us an absolutely primordial relation of receptivity and dependence. Thus, first comes receptivity with the primordial relation flowing therefrom, then comes our taking possession of this gift, then our out-pouring of active self-communication of the gift. Norris Clarke concedes thus, that rather than the dyadic structure of being that he formerly proposed, which is being in itself and being turned toward the other, it is more accurate to propose a triadic structure of: being from another, being in oneself, being turned toward the other.423

In this Norris Clarke, with Schindler, is proceeding further into the theological dimension opened by Christian revelation, in suggesting that the very receptivity of our being from God is a positive image of the status of the second Person within the Divine Being itself. The Second Person’s distinctive personality is Subsistent Receptivity and Gratitude, a purely positive perfection of being itself.424
Being then is primordially substantial and relational, the latter involving both communicativity and receptivity. In God, all subsist as positive perfection of being. God’s relation to humankind is rooted in this perfection of being. God’s immutability is the expression of this perfection

310 Kelly, “God: How near a Relation”, 205.
311 Ibid, 205.
312 Ibid, 216-17.
313 Ibid, 218, 219, 220.
311 Whitney, “Divine Immutability”, 58. 31s ST I, 8, 1.
316 Kelly, “God: How near a Relation”, 223, 227. 317 Hill, “Does the world”, 146.
318 Hill, “Does the world”, 151; William Hill, “Does God know the future”, Theological Studies, 36, 1975,13; ST 1, 3, 4, ad 2m; cf. 1, 14,’-1 & 2.
319 Johannes B. Metz, “The Theological world and the Metaphysical World”, Philosophy Today, 10, no.4, 1966, 259.
320 Hill, “Does the world”, 152, 163.
321 Hill, “Does God know the future”, 14-15. 322 Kelly, “Does the world”, 163.
323 Schubert Ogden, “The Temporality of God”, The Reality of God, Harper and Row, New York, 1963, 144-163.
324 Heidegger, Being and Time, SCM, London, New York, 1962, 499, note 13.
321 William Hill, “Historicity of God”, Theological Studies, 45, no. 2, June, 1984, 321, 327. 326 ST. 1, 3,3; 9; 10.
327 Hill, “Historicity of God”, 328-329. 328 ST 1, q.4, a. 1, ad 3; De veritate, 2, 3 329 Hill, “Historicity of God”, 331-333.
330 Walter E. Stokes, “Is God Really Related to the world?”, Proceedings of The American Catholic
Philosophical Association, 39, 1965.
331 J. Metz, Christliche Anthropozentrik, Munich, 1962, in Stokes, 147. 332 Stokes, “Is God really related?”, 147-148. 333 Ibid, 149, 150.
334 Ibid, 151, 152.
331 Martin D’Arcy, “The Immutability of God”, Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical
Association, 41, 1967, 19, 20, 21.
336 William Norris Clarke, “Theism and Process Thought”, New Catholic Encyclopedia 17, 646-647.
337 Ibid, 648. 338 Ibid
339 Ibid 648-649.
340 Etienne Gilson, Being and Some Philosophers, ed.2 Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, Toronto,
Canada, 1952,182-183. 341 Ibid, 183.
342 Ibid, 184.

343 Ibid, 184-185.
344 See SCG, 1, 10; 1, 13; 11, 15.
345 See William Norris Clarke, “A New Look at the Immutability of God”, God Knowable and Unknowable, Ed. Robert J. Roth, Fordham University, 1973, and “Christian Theism and Whiteheadian Process Philosophy: Are they Compatible?”, The Philosophical Approach to God. A Neo-Thomistic Perspective. [Fordham University] Ed. W.E. Ray, Wake Forest University, North Carolina, 1979; see in particular note 1, 105, “The present lecture is a follow up to my previous essay and taking into account some recent developments in process philosophy”; and p89, “What I shall say is a follow-up of my previous paper, 1973, continued reflection and discussion with process thinkers have led me to a significant rethinking of some of my positions there and a notable emendation of one of them in particular- namely, the real relatedness of God to the world.”
341, Clarke, “A New Look”, 45.
347 Clarke, “Christian Theism”, 89.
348 Clarke, “A New Look”, 45-46.
3411 Clarke, “ChristiattTheism”, 90; the following discourse of these two orders is Norris Clarke’s own summation of his previous article “A New Look at the Immutability of God”, 1973, as expounded in his follow-up article “Christian Theism and Whiteheadian Process Philosophy: Are They Compatible?”, 1979, 90.
35° Ibid, 90-104
3s1 Ibid, 91.
35′ Ibid.
353 See Anthony Kelly, “God: How Near a Relation?”, Thomist, 34, no. 2, April, 1970,191-229; William Hill, “Does the world make a -difference to God?”, Thomist, 38, no. 1, Jan, 1974, 148-164, “Does God know the Future? Aquinas and some modern Theologians”, Theological Studies, 36, 1975, 3-18; and John Wright, “Divine Knowledge and Human Freedom: The God who Dialogues,” Theological Studies. 38, 1977, 450-477.
354 Lewis Ford, “The Immutable God and Fr. Clarke”, New Scholasticism, 49, 1975, 194. 355 Clarke, “Christian Theism”, note 41, 108.
351, [bid, 92.
357 Ibid, 93.
358 [bid, 97.
35″ See Merold Westphal, “Temporality and Finitude in Hartshorne’s Theism”, Review ofMeta
physics, 19,
1966, 550-64; and discussion on it in David Brown, Richard James, and Gene Reeves, Eds-Process
Philosophy and Christian Thought, Bobbs-Merrill, Indianapolis, 1971,44-46. 360 Clarke, “Christian Theism”, 93-94.
361 See John Wright, “Divine Knowledge and Human Freedom”. 36z Clarke, “Christian Theism”, 95.
363 Heribert Moehlen, Die Veranderlichkeit Gottes als Horizont einer zukunftigen Christologie, Aschendorff, Munster, 1969 in Clarke, Ibid, 108..

364 Clarke, “Christian Theism”, 97-98.
365 Ford, “Immutable God”, 193 ff.
366 Clarke, “Christian Theism”, 99-100.
367 Ibid, 100-102.
368 Ibid, 104.
369 Robert A. Connor, “Relational Esse and the Person”, American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly annual ACPA Proceedings, 65,199t, 253-267.
370 Ibid, 253.
371 Ibid
372 Joseph Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity Herder & Herder, New York, 1970, 131-132.
373 Connor notes, “Relational Esse”, 264, note 4, that Gregory of Nyssa complained against Eunomius, the Arian, because “he suppresses the names of “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost”, and speaks of a “Supreme and Absolute Being” instead of the Father of ; and of “another existing through it, but after it”, instead of the Son; and of a “third ranking with neither of these two”, instead of the Holy Ghost”. He complains that this substitution robbed the revelation of the Trinity of its constitutive relational dimension. Gregory of Nyssa, “Against Eunomius”, Bk I, par. 14, from A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ed. P. Schaff and H. Wace, Eerdmans, Michigan, 1892, 51-52, 132.
374 William J Hill, “The Historicity of God”, Theological Studies, 45, no.2, June 1984333.
375 Ibid, 331-32.
376 Walter Kasper, “Postmodern Dogmatics”, Communio, 17, Summer 1990,189-190. 377 Connor, “Relational Esse”, 254.
378 Gerald B. Phelan, “Being, Order and Knowledge”, Selected Papers, Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, Toronto, 1967, 127.
379 Hill, “The Historicity of God”, 331.
380 Connor, “Relational Esse”, 255.
381 Ibid, 256.
382 Etienne Gilson, Being and Some Philosophers, Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, Toronto, 1949, 184-186.
383 Connor, “Relational Esse”, 259.
384 Phelan, “Being, Order, and Knowledge”, 126.
385 Connor, “Relational Esse”, 260.
386 J. de Finance, Tr. R. Connor, Etre et Agir Dans la Philosophie de Saint Thomas, Librarie Editrice de l’Universite Gregorienne, Roma, 1060, 248-249, in Connor, 266.
387 William Carlo, The Ultimate Reducibility of Essence to Existence in Existential Metaphysics, Martinus
Nijhoff, The Hague, 1966,1003-1004. also, Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophic Association, 1957,127-128, in Connor, 266.
388 William Norris Clarke, “The Role of Essence within St Thomas’ Essence-Existence Doctrine: Positive or Negative Principle? A Dispute within Thomism” Atti del Congresso Internazionale, no. 6: “L’Essere”, in Connor, 266.
3×9 Ibid, 112.
390 Connor, “Relational Esse”, 260-261.
39t [bid, 261.
392 Josef Pieper, Living the Truth, Ignatius, San Francisco, 1989, 81. 393 Connor, “Relational Esse”, 261. 394 [bid, 263-264.
395 William. Norris Clarke, “Person, Being and St. Thomas”, Comnaunio, 19, spring 1992
3’0 ST, 1, 29,3
397 SCG, 111, ch. 113.
398 Clarke, “Person, Being”, 603.
399 Gilson, “Being”, 184.
400 Gerald B. Phelan, “The Existentialism of St Thomas”, Selected Papers, Pontifical Institute of Medieval
Studies, Toronto, 1967, 77.
401 Jacques Maritain, existence and the Existent, Doubleday, Garden City, 1957, 90.
402 Clarke, “Person, Being”, 606-607. 403 Ibid, 608.
404 Ibid, 609, 610. 405 )bid, 614-617.
406 Ibid, 615.
407 See De t ‘er, 21, 1, 4.
408 Clarke, “Person, Being”, 615-617.
409 Ewert Cousins, “A Theology of Interpersonal Relations”, Thought, 45, 1970,56-82. 410 Clarke, “Person, Being”, 617.
411 Gerard O’Hanlon, The Immutability of God in the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar. Cambridge University, 1990.
412 Clarke, “Person, Being,”, 612, 613.
413 von Balthasar, Homo creates, 138-40, in O’Hanlon, 124, note 41, 204.
414 William Norris Clarke, Person and Being, Marquette University Press, 1993.
415 David L. Schindler, “Norris Clarke on Person, Being and St Thomas”, Comrnunio, 20, no.3, fall, 1993, 580-591. and William. Norris Clarke, “Response to David Schindler’s Comments”, Communio, 592-598. 416 Clarke “Response to”, 593-596.
417 [bid, 593-595.
418 Clarke, Person and Being, 72,73.
419 Ibid, 82ffand “Person, Being, 420 Schindler, “Norris Clarke ” 582.
421 Clarke, “Person, Being”, 86; Person and Being, 612. 422 Schindler, 583, 584.
423 Ibid. 593-594. 424 Ibid, 594.
3×9 Ibid, 112.
390 Connor, “Relational Esse”, 260-261.
39t [bid, 261.
392 Josef Pieper, Living the Truth, Ignatius, San Francisco, 1989, 81. 393 Connor, “Relational Esse”, 261. 394 [bid, 263-264.
395 William. Norris Clarke, “Person, Being and St. Thomas”, Comnaunio, 19, spring 1992
3’0 ST, 1, 29,3
397 SCG, 111, ch. 113.
398 Clarke, “Person, Being”, 603.
399 Gilson, “Being”, 184.
400 Gerald B. Phelan, “The Existentialism of St Thomas”, Selected Papers, Pontifical Institute of Medieval
Studies, Toronto, 1967, 77.
401 Jacques Maritain, existence and the Existent, Doubleday, Garden City, 1957, 90.
402 Clarke, “Person, Being”, 606-607. 403 Ibid, 608.
404 Ibid, 609, 610. 405 )bid, 614-617.
406 Ibid, 615.
407 See De t ‘er, 21, 1, 4.
408 Clarke, “Person, Being”, 615-617.
409 Ewert Cousins, “A Theology of Interpersonal Relations”, Thought, 45, 1970,56-82. 410 Clarke, “Person, Being”, 617.
411 Gerard O’Hanlon, The Immutability of God in the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar. Cambridge University, 1990.
412 Clarke, “Person, Being,”, 612, 613.
413 von Balthasar, Homo creates, 138-40, in O’Hanlon, 124, note 41, 204.
414 William Norris Clarke, Person and Being, Marquette University Press, 1993.
415 David L. Schindler, “Norris Clarke on Person, Being and St Thomas”, Comrnunio, 20, no.3, fall, 1993, 580-591. and William. Norris Clarke, “Response to David Schindler’s Comments”, Communio, 592-598. 416 Clarke “Response to”, 593-596.
417 [bid, 593-595.
418 Clarke, Person and Being, 72,73.
419 Ibid, 82ffand “Person, Being, 420 Schindler, “Norris Clarke ” 582.
421 Clarke, “Person, Being”, 86; Person and Being, 612. 422 Schindler, 583, 584.
423 Ibid. 593-594. 424 Ibid, 594

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