|
Add to GoodReads

Beatific Enjoyment in Medieval Scholastic Debates

The Complex Legacy of Saint Augustine and Peter Lombard

Severin Valentinov Kitanov

Hardback
Paperback
eBook
Beatific Enjoyment in Medieval Scholastic Debates examines the religious concept of enjoyment as discussed by scholastic theologians in the Latin Middle Ages. Severin Kitanov argues that central to the concept of beatific enjoyment (fruitio beatifica) is the distinction between the terms enjoyment and use (frui et uti) found in Saint Augustine’s treatise On Christian Learning. Peter Lombard, a twelfth-century Italian theologian, chose the enjoyment of God to serve as an opening topic of his Sentences and thereby set in motion an enduring scholastic discourse. Kitanov examines the nature of volition and the relationship between volition and cognition. He also explores theological debates on the definition of enjoyment: whether there are different kinds and degrees of enjoyment, whether natural reason unassisted by divine revelation can demonstrate that beatific enjoyment is possible, whether beatific enjoyment is the same as pleasure, whether it has an intrinsic cognitive character, and whether the enjoyment of God in heaven is a free or un-free act.

Even though the concept of beatific enjoyment is essentially religious and theological, medieval scholastic authors discussed this concept by means of Aristotle’s logical and scientific apparatus and through the lens of metaphysics, physics, psychology, and virtue ethics. Bringing together Christian theological and Aristotelian scientific and philosophical approaches to enjoyment, Kitanov exposes the intricacy of the discourse and makes it intelligible for both students and scholars. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 360Size: 6 x 9
978-0-7391-7415-9 • Hardback • March 2014 • $105.00 • (£70.00)
978-1-4985-5648-4 • Paperback • March 2017 • $49.99 • (£32.95)
978-0-7391-7416-6 • eBook • March 2014 • $46.99 • (£31.95)
Severin Kitanov is assistant professor of philosophy at Salem State University.
Chapter 1. Aurelius Augustine and Peter Lombard on Beatific Enjoyment—The Starting Point of
the Debate
Chapter 2. The Thirteenth Century—Setting up the Key Issues in the Debate
Chapter 3. The Early Fourteenth-Century—The High Point of the Debate Regarding the Object and Psychology of Beatific Enjoyment
Chapter 4. Early Fourteenth-Century Views of the Enjoyment
of the Holy Trinity
Chapter 5. Early Fourteenth-Century Views of the Contingency
of Beatific Enjoyment
Kitanov’s book is a detailed, well-composed treatment; indeed, one could liken it to an encyclopedia. He presents many positions and discusses them thoroughly according to the sources. . . .He also gives summaries after almost each section, which makes it easy for the reader to grasp the essence of the sections. . . .Kitanov’s book is a good compilation of the different interpretations of Augustine’s (and Lombard’s) view of man’s final happiness in its Christian form. Any scholar interested in the history of beatific enjoyment in the Latin West during the Middle Ages would be well advised to consult Kitanov’s book.
Review of Metaphysics


The author's astute philosophical and logical treatment of its subject prevents a straight-through reading of Beatific Enjoyment from becoming a paralyzing ordeal, rendering instead merely a difficult and careful journey that is well worthwhile. . . .The author's treatment of his subject is an unusual achievement of both historical research and discerning insight into a subject that requires both. Beatific Enjoyment in Medieval Scholastic Debates is highly recommended by this reviewer to anyone willing to persevere in Kitanov's labyrinthine treatment of this very specialized intellectual journey.
The Sixteenth Century Journal


The author's astute philosophical and logical treatment of its subject prevents a straight-through reading of Beatific Enjoyment from becoming a paralyzing ordeal, rendering instead merely a difficult and careful journey that is well worthwhile. . . .The author's treatment of his subject is an unusual achievement of both historical research and discerning insight into a subject that requires both. Beatific Enjoyment in Medieval Scholastic Debates is highly recommended by this reviewer to anyone willing to persevere in Kitanov's labyrinthine treatment of this very specialized intellectual journey.
The Sixteenth Century Journal


Beatific Enjoyment in Medieval Scholastic Debates provides a thorough and reliable analysis of the discussion of medieval beatific enjoyment, enriching our awareness of the epistemic, moral, and psychological resources of this fascinating subject.
Risto Saarinen, University of Helsinki


Severin Kitanov’s thorough analysis reveals the tremendous complexity and diversity of medieval views not just on beatitude but also on freedom, the passions, and cognition. Beatific Enjoyment in Medieval Scholastic Debates is invaluable for philosophers and medievalists alike, on topics from natural theology to moral psychology and beyond.
Eileen Sweeney, professor of philosophy, Boston College


The book not only brings together the scholarship on the topic to date but maps out whole new areas for research and investigation.
Michael Dunne, National University of Ireland, Maynooth


ALSO RECOMMENDED