In his Proslogion, Anselm famously contemplated God as “someone than whom none greater can be conceived.” If mere human beings, in their limited capacities, could think of something greater than God, that thing would not be worthy of worship. This concept is something the medievals took for granted. For them, the God of the Bible was the perfect God of the philosophers. God must be the absolute standard for good. But with the modern blurring of the creator/creature divide, many of these perfections have been lost or cast aside in favor of a modern notion of a more creaturely God. Going back to the Classical wisdom of the medievals, Perfect Being Theology refutes these modern revisions and asserts that there must be great making “perfections” that eliminate the possibility of God having any limitations.
In this podcast, Katherin Rogers and Matthew Barrett discuss the sheer perfection of God. With figures like Anselm, Augustine, and Aquinas as their guides, they discuss the perfection of God’s simplicity, immutability, and impassability, as they mine the depths of divine goodness.
Katherin Rogers is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Delaware. She holds a BA in Philosophy and History, Summa Cuma Laude, and an MA in Philosophy from the University of Delaware. She also received a Ph.D. in Humane Studies at St. Anselm College in Manchester NH. Rogers is the author of Perfect Being Theology (Edinburgh) and has contributed articles to numerous prestigious journals like Faith and Philosophy, International Philosophical Quarterly, and Religious Studies.
Matthew Barrett is the author of Simply Trinity: The Unmanipulated Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Baker). He is the founder and executive editor of Credo Magazine and host of the Credo podcast. He is associate professor of Christian theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.