THE NATURAL AWARENESS OF GOD ACCORDING TO "LA THEOLOGIE NATURELLE" OF YVES DE PARIS O.F.M. CAP. (1588-1678) (SKEPTICISM, CAPUCHINS, FRANCE)

ROBERT LOUIS FASTIGGI, Fordham University

Abstract

In response to the challenge of the sceptics and the fideists, Yves de Paris, a seventeenth-century Capuchin theologian, argues that all humans possess an innate consciousness of the divine (un sentiment naturel de Dieu). The author of this thesis attempts to situate Yves' theology within the intellectual climate of his day as well as within the broader currents of the history of Christian thought. Yves emerges as an eclectic thinker who combines elements of humanism, Neo-Platonism, natural philosophy and scholasticism.^ The author then proceeds to present the basic thrust of Yves' arguments for the natural awareness of God as contained in Yves' Discours apologetique and in his La theologie naturelle. Original translations of certain key passages are made and the main arguments of the text are followed so that the reader can appreciate the various modes of persuasion and reasoning employed by Yves.^ The author next provides a detailed examination of the substantive issues raised by Yves' notion of the natural awareness of God. Among these issues are Yves' methodology, his arguments for the innate consciousness of God, the quality of the natural awareness of God, the relation of the natural and the supernatural, the rapport between faith and reason and the importance of Yves' ideas for contemporary theology.^ In the conclusion, the author suggests that Yves' contribution lies in his ability to combine a cosmic unity with an awareness of God within the depths of human consciousness. Yves' system also provides an interesting model for a synthesis of faith and reason, nature and grace and the natural and the supernatural. Yves' catholicity is manifested in his ability to incorporate Augustinian, Franciscan and Thomist elements in a natural theology that not only provides a foundation for Christian spirituality but also a basis for the appreciation of the spiritual insights of other religions. ^

Subject Area

Theology

Recommended Citation

FASTIGGI, ROBERT LOUIS, "THE NATURAL AWARENESS OF GOD ACCORDING TO "LA THEOLOGIE NATURELLE" OF YVES DE PARIS O.F.M. CAP. (1588-1678) (SKEPTICISM, CAPUCHINS, FRANCE)" (1987). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8709228.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8709228

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