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A Companion to Albert the Great

Theology, Philosophy, and the Sciences


Edited by Irven Resnick

Albert the Great (Albertus Magnus; d. 1280) is one of the most prolific authors of the Middle Ages, and the only scholar to be known as “the Great” during his own lifetime. As the only Scholastic to to have commented upon all the works of Aristotle, Albert is also known as the Universal Doctor (Doctor Universalis) for his encyclopedic intellect, which enabled him to make important contributions not only to Christian theology but also to natural science and philosophy. The contributions to this omnibus volume will introduce students of philosophy, science, and theology to the current state of research and multiple perspectives on the work of Albert the Great.

Contributors include Jan A. Aertsen, Henryk Anzulewicz, Benedict M. Ashley, Miguel de Asúa, Steven Baldner, Amos Bertolacci, Thérèse Bonin, Maria Burger, Markus Führer, Dagmar Gottschall, Jeremiah Hackett, Anthony Lo Bello, Isabelle Moulin, Timothy Noone, Mikołaj Olszewski, B.B. Price, Irven M. Resnick, Francisco J. Romero Carrasquillo, H. Darrel Rutkin, Steven C. Snyder, Michael W. Tkacz, Martin J. Tracey, Bruno Tremblay, David Twetten, Rosa E. Vargas and Gilla Wöllmer

Irven Resnick


It is largely for his attack upon the Talmud that Peter the Venerable’s Adversus Iudeorum inveteratam duritiem stands out. Peter is the first medieval Latin author to name the Talmud as such. Having identified the Talmud as a principal source of Jewish error, Peter condemns its influence upon Jews. In their Talmud, Peter the Venerable insists, Jews even declare that God condemns Christians to Hell “because they do not believe in the Talmud.” Peter views the Talmud not only as a source of error for Jews, however, but also for Muslims. Muḥammad wove the Qurʾān in part, Peter insists, out of the filthy cloth of the Jews’ Talmud. Since he claims that Satan is the ultimate source for Talmudic “lies,” he attributes both the Talmud and the Qurʾān to diabolical agency. This paper examines Peter’s view of the Talmud, then, and its deleterious influence upon both Jews and Muslims.


Irven M. Resnick

Contemporary critics have argued that medieval philosophers have transmitted a concept of divine omnipotence that is unintelligible and self-contradictory: one which defines omnipotence as a power capable of producing any effect whatsoever. This study, concentrating upon the first Latin treatise explicitly devoted to omnipotence, places the concept of divine power in its patristic and early medieval context in order to demonstrate that this "traditional" concept of omnipotence was quite unknown among pre-scholastic figures.
This work illuminates the patristic and early medieval background to Damian's seminal text and its theological and philosophical concerns. It explores Damian's central argument that God can, if He wills, even annul the past. This conclusion stems from Damian's insistence that divinity's primary attribute is Goodness and not Being. As such, God's power remains constrained only by divine goodness and is able to do anything whatsoever, even effect a logical contradiction, if it is good to do so.


Edited by Irven M. Resnick