Volume 78, Issue 2, Spring 2004
Boethian Reflections on God
Between Logic and Metaphysics
This paper systematically reconstructs Boethius’s reflections on God, attempting to find the common element to which all of the variations in these reflections can be retraced. This common element is constituted by the continuous tension between kataphatic and apophatic theology. Boethius apparently both kataphatically defines God in his logical works, and maintains that God can only be defined apophatically in his theological works. This tension can, at times, cause some incoherence as one moves from one level of discourse to another: that is, from the logico-linguistic to the metaphysical-ontological level of discourse. Boethius’s thought manifests this incoherence. This incoherence is in part common to Neoplatonic thought and its sources, but would also seem to be dictated by the nature of the very operation of reflecting upon God.