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180132 PS The Theorem of the analogy of being and its discussion in the 20th century (2016S)

4.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 45 participants
Language: German


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Friday 18.03. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Friday 08.04. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Friday 15.04. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Friday 22.04. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Friday 29.04. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Friday 06.05. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Friday 13.05. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Friday 20.05. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Friday 27.05. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Friday 03.06. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Friday 10.06. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Friday 17.06. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Friday 24.06. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock


Aims, contents and method of the course


The seminar aims at a solid understanding of the problems connected to the theorem of the analogy of being. This includes the introduction to its intellectual history (Aristotle, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas) and the philosophical perspectives referring to it, with a special regard at the criticism of Duns Scotus that initiated modern nominalism. In addition, the relevance of the problem of analogia entis for current ontological and political-ontological discussions should become transparent. In this context, the seminar will mainly refer to authors of the 20th and 21st Century is to discuss.


Scholastic theology developed the theorem of the analogy of being in order to determine the relation between absolute, eternal being (God) on the one side and finite being on the other. In 20th century thought the problem of ontological analogy reappeared in the confrontation between the Catholic theologian Erich Przywara and the Protestant theologian Karl Barth. While Przywara referred to analogia entis in order develop a dynamical understanding of human existence, Barth disqualified it as an invention of the Antichrist that concealed the infinite difference between God and man.
In an indirect, imparted way the confrontation between Przywara’s new metaphysics of analogy and Barth's dialectical theology left traces in the philosophical inverse theologies of Theodor W. Adorno, Walter Benjamin and Jacob Taubes, but also in Gilles Deleuze's reflections on the univocity of being in Difference and Repetition, which are based on Duns Scotus.
The task of the seminar is to reconstruct the problem analogia entis with regard of the thinking of the 20th century. The following basic, ontological questions are connected to this: Is being monistic, dualistic or pluralist? What is difference? Is being an immanent complex or does it open up to transcendence? What, actually, is the ontological meaning of immanence resp. transcendence?
A look at some of the seminar’s reference authors shows that these issues are also relevant for political-ontological questions. Accordingly, they reappeared in recent years, especially in the theology of John Milbank and in the writings of Jürgen Habermas who recently discovered the importance of the Scotist concept of univocity for the genealogy of modernity.


The seminar will focus on close reading and discussion.

Assessment and permitted materials

Conditions for the successful completion of the seminar: regular participation, careful preparation of the texts to be read, final paper (4000-6000 words, Times New Roman, font size 12 pts., line spacing 1.5).

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Minimum requirement: Regular and focused participation.
Performance scale: preparation of the relevant texts, willingness to discuss, level of final paper.

Examination topics

Final paper on the basis of the relevant seminar texts.

Reading list

As for the primary sources the exact program will be announced in the first session, but will not be significantly different from the titles listed here.

Primary Sources

Adorno, Theodor W.: Negative Dialektik, in: Theodor W. Adorno: Gesammelte Schriften, Bd. 6, Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp 1970
Aristoteles: Metaphysik, Griechisch-deutsch, Neubearbeitung der Übersetzung von Hermann Bonitz. Mit Einleitung und Kommentar herausgegeben von Horst Seidl. Griechischer Text in der Edition von Wilhelm Christ, 2 Bände (Erster Halbband (Bücher I-VI) und Zweiter Halbband (Bücher VII-XIV)), Hamburg: Meiner Verlag 1989 bzw. 1991.
Barth, Karl: Der Römerbrief. Zweite Fassung (1922), Zürich: Theologischer Verlag 1999.
Benjamin, Walter: Theologisch-politisches Fragment, in: Walter Benjamin: Gesammelte Schriften in sieben Bänden, Bd. II/1, S. 203-204.
Ders.: Über den Begriff der Geschichte, in: Walter Benjamin: Gesammelte Schriften in sieben Bänden, Bd. I/2, S. 692 ff.
Deleuze, Gilles: Differenz und Wiederholung, München: Fink 1992.
Duns Scotus: Über die Erkennbarkeit Gottes, lat.-dt., Hamburg: Meiner 2002.
Ders.: Die Univozität des Seienden. Texte zur Metaphysik, mit Studienkommentar und zwei Registern, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck u. Ruprecht 2002.
Habermas, Jürgen: Nachmetaphysisches Denken II, Berlin: Suhrkamp 2012.
Milbank, J. 2006: Theology and Social Theory. Beyond Secular Reason. Second edition. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Milbank, J. 2013: Beyond Secular Order. The Representation of Being and the Representation of the People. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Przywara, Erich: Analogia Entis, Einsiedeln: Johannes Verlag 1962.
Taubes, Jacob: Dialektik und Analogie, in: Ders.: Vom Kult zur Kultur, München: Fink Verlag, S. 199-211.
Ders.: Die politische Theologie des Paulus, München: Wilhelm Fink 2003 (3., verbesserte Auflage).
Thomas von Aquin: Summa Theologiae, Qu. XII und XIII.
Ders.: De Ente et Essentia, Stuttgart: Reclam 1987.

Secondary Sources (Selection)

Betz, John: Metaphysics and Theology: An Introduction to Erich Przywara's Analogia Entis; in Analogia Entis: Metaphysicsby Erich Przywara, Cambridge: Eerdmans 2014, S. 1-115.
Ders.: Erich Przywara and Karl Barth: On the Analogia Entis as a Formal Principle of Catholic Theology; in The Analogy of Being: Invention of the Anti-Christ or the Wisdom of God, ed. Thomas Joseph White, O.P., Grand Rapids: Eerdmans 2010, S. 35-87.
Gilson, Etienne: L'être et l'essence, Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin 1948. 3
Heintel, Erich: Hegel und die Analogia entis, Bonn: Bouvier 1958.
Honnefelder, Ludger: Duns Scotus, Beck: München 2005.
Ders.: Woher kommen wir? Ursprünge der Moderne im Denken des Mittelalters, Berlin 2008.
Lazier, Benjamin: God Interrupted: Heresy and the European Imagination between the World Wars, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press 2012.
Long, Stephen A.: On the Analogy of Being, Metaphysics, and the Act of Faith, University of Notre Dame Press 2011.
Marion, Jean-Luc: Sur la théologie blanche de Descartes. Analogie, création des vérités éternelles et fondement, Presses Univ. De France 1991.
Müller, Klaus: Thomas von Aquins Theorie und Praxis der Analogia entis, Frankfurt/Main: P. Lang Verlag 1983.
Schönberger, Rolf: Die Transformation des klassischen Seinsverständnisses, Berlin, New York: De Gruyter 1986.
Siewerth, Gustav: Die Analogie des Seienden, Einsiedeln: Johannes Verlag 1965.
Welte, Bernhard: Zum Seinsbegriff des Thomas von Aquin, in: Ders.: Auf der Spur des Ewigen, Freiburg/Br.: Herder 1965.
White, Thomas Joseph: The Analogy of Being. Invention of the Antichrist or Wisdom of God?, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 2010.
Zechmeister, Martha: Gottes-Nacht. Erich Przywaras Weg negativer Theologie, Münster: Lit-Verlag 1997.

Association in the course directory

BA M 5.1, BA 09, PP 57.3.2,

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:36