Volume 94, 2020
The Good, the True, the Beautiful: Through and of the Ages
Joshua Hinchie, SJ
Divine Glory: Responding to Another Euthyphro Problem
An oft-neglected issue in Plato’s Euthyphro is the problem of how human beings can reciprocate the gods’ gifts if nothing we do can benefit them. This problem is relevant to a Christian faith that proposes to “serve” God in some way, while also maintaining that God is perfect and in need of nothing from human beings. In this paper I propose a solution to this problem using the concept of divine glory as suggested by several texts of St. Thomas Aquinas. I believe that Aquinas’s claim that God seeks not profit but glory from human acts explains how human beings can reciprocate God’s gifts without detracting from his perfection and self-sufficiency.