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Is The God-World Relationship Based on Unilateral or Reciprocal Causation?

Jospeh Bracken S.J.

Abstract

In this article, I set forth my understanding of reciprocal causality between God and  finite entities in three stages, beginning with Aristotle’s  analysis of change in this world.  Afterwards, I examine the way in which Aquinas used the causal scheme of Aristotle in his Christian understanding of the God-world relationship. Finally, I indicate how  both  Aristotle’s philosophy and Aquinas’s approach to the God-world relationship should be rethought so as to be more in line with contemporary scientific understanding of the evolution of life from non-life and the emergence of  progressively higher-order life-systems out of lower-order life-systems within creation.

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