Sunday, September 30, 2018

irreplaceable "thisness"

Franciscan philosopher-theologian John Duns Scotus (1266-1303) taught extensively on the absolute uniqueness of each act of creation.  His doctrine of haecceity is derived from haec, the Latin word for "this." Duns Scotus said the absolute freedom of God allows God to create, or not to create, each creature. Its existence means God has positively chosen to create that creature, precisely as it is.

Each creature is thus not merely one member of a genus and species, but a unique aspect of the infinite Mystery of God.  God is continuously choosing each created thing specifically to exist, moment by moment. This teaching alone made Scotus a favorite of mystics and poets like  Gerard Manley Hopkins and Thomas Merton, who considered themselves "Scotists" - as I do too.

 ~ Richard Rohr
from just this