Cross Richard ,
Where the angels fear to tread: Duns Scotus and Radical Orthodoxy,
Antonianum, 76/1 (2001) p. 7-41
Summary: Radical Orthodoxy analyses the current state of theology by constructing explanatory narratives on the basis of theological tradition. One such narrative is that certain central mistakes in the past led to modernity and the consequent decline of theology into ontology. Key in this alleged process is Scotus’s claim that the concept of being is univocal to God and creatures. I show how Scotus’s claims about the univocity of being are merely claims about a concept of which there is no single extramental significate. Scotus’s claims are semantic, not metaphysical. I trace the mistaken account of Scotus to the misunderstanding that undergirds Heidegger’s analysis of onto-theo-logy. For Scotus, the scientific nature of theology and metaphysics requires the univocity of much religious language. The history of theology is of use to the theologian only if that history is accurate, so I offer too further correctives to other features of the Radical Orthodox account of Scotus.