1st Edition

Medieval Teachers of Freedom Boethius, Peter Lombard and Aquinas on Creation from Nothing

By Marco Antonio Andreacchio Copyright 2023

    Medieval debates over "divine creation" are systematically obscured in our age by the conflict between "Intelligent Design" Creationists and Evolutionists. The present investigation cuts through the web of contemporary conflicts to examine problems seated at the heart of medieval talk about creation. From three representative authors we learn that the doctrine of divine creation is supposed to invite understanding of the relation between artistic freedom and natural necessity, of the very essence of causality, and thereby of the nexus between experience (our world of empirical determinations) and reality (the absolute indetermination of eternal being). Most importantly, medieval scholarship shows us that the problems it addresses are originally inherent in the understanding itself, whereby the question of being emerges as inseparable from the question of interpretation.

    Prefatory Remarks: The "Poetic Telos" of the Present Study


    1. "Poetic Reason" as Key to Reading Medieval Authors
    2. Theology or Philosophy? A False Dilemma
    3. A Universe from Nothing beyond Theology?
    4. Medieval Scholarship as Guide in Interpretation?
    5. Aristotle or Plato? Another false dilemma
    6. Introduction to the problem of Context
    7. Medieval Platonism Beyond Intellectual History
    8. Medieval Platonism
    9. Medieval Platonic Hermeneutics
    10. The Problem of Creation
    11. Creation from Nothing?
    12. Divine Creation as Key to Freedom
    13. What is Freedom?
    14. Emanationism vs. Voluntarism
    15. Creation and the Problem of Omnipotence
    16. Logos as Key to Creation
    17. The Essence of Human Freedom: Creation "from Nothing" as Divine Intellective Emanation
    18. Eternity and Dialogue
    19. Medieval Teachers of Freedom
    20. The Philosophical Heart of Medieval Scholarship
    21. The Problem of Voluntarism
    22. From Intelligent Design Back to Platonism
    23. Being and Nothingness
    24. Evil
    25. Creation and Platonic Ideas




    Marco Antonio Andreacchio was awarded a doctorate from the University of IIllinois for his interpretation of Sino-Japanese philosophical classics in dialogue with Western counterparts and a doctorate from Cambridge University for his work on Dante’s Platonic interpretation of religious authority. Andreacchio has taught at various higher education institutions and published systematically on problems of a political-philosophical nature.

    "Mr. Andreacchio’s book offers a sophisticated approach of both historical and contemporary interest, including a careful examination of its original sources in defense of the meaningfulness of creation and freedom. While the questions explored are certainly both timely and lasting (we were debating them one thousand years ago, and still are today), the arguments articulated on the way respond vigorously to modern philosophy’s objections to medieval scholarship, tilting the balance in the latter’s favor. The author shows himself to be eminently qualified to confront his task, giving solid evidence of outstanding scholarship as he exposes the marrow of cardinal medieval writings, and advancing illuminating interpretations devoid of any discernible errors, factual or otherwise."

    -Prof. Kenneth Hart Green, University of Toronto, Canada

    "Here we find the main thesis of the text substantiated, since in it the articulation of artistic production and ontology is manifested in its full unity, a result achieved through intense work against the backdrop of a metaphysics with a clear Platonic bent.... we can say without any hesitation that it deserves to be the object of attention by anyone interested in the topics it addresses, in particular creation and freedom, but also anyone interested in the history of ideas and the way in which the modern era confronts this other historical moment of which it is heir, even though it has not been uncommon for it to unhesitantly show profound ingratitude. For our part, we have no doubt in recommending its reading..."

    -José Guilherme B. A. Sutil, Revista Filosófica de Coimbra 33(65):165-166