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We use language to describe God. However, Aquinas argues in Summa Theologiae that we can only make analogical statements about God, in which our language is incapable of truly grasping or describing God.

And yet, God chose to reveal Himself partly through human language. Hence we have now Church dogmas like the Trinity. Thus, how is it possible to have True Knowledge expressed in words, and simultaneously sustain Aquinas' position that all out statements about God are always and everywhere analogical? Does it mean that in the end we just cannot grasp what our dogmas mean? This is to say, that Revelation about God's nature is in the end all mystery?

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  • Let's focus comments on clarifying and improving the question, not on debating the merits of the viewpoints it asks about. Jul 9 '18 at 11:19
  • Do you want answers limited only to Aquinas era theology, or from theologians up to the present who have continued in this approach?
    – curiousdannii
    Jul 9 '18 at 12:20
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    I think his concept comes down to the fact that we can chip away at ideas of what God is not, until we come closer to the general idea of what He is like. We can say what He isn't, and therefore get SOME idea of what He is, by inference. It stands to reason that we can't know Him as He is, His essence being eternal, inexhaustible, infinite, etc. and our minds not being able to concieve of such things as yet. Jul 9 '18 at 14:11
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    This question seems more of a philosophical one than about theology or Christianity only. See: "Are analogical middle terms sufficient for a valid demonstration [(scientific inferences/conclusions)]?" on Philosophy StackExchange (cf. also this on theological conclusions).
    – Geremia
    Jul 9 '18 at 20:52
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    I came across this 1974 82-page journal article Analogy and the Knowledge of God: An Ecumenical Appraisal which on skimming looks VERY promising since it explains in detail not only the terms but also 1) at least 5 background dimensions packed into "analogy" (epistemology, metaphysics, language, analogy of being vs. analogy of faith, transcendent vs immanent) , 2) historical survey of positions from Plato/Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, post-Aquinas schools, 3) modern interpretations of the analogy of being by at least 5 theologians Mar 28 '20 at 23:01
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Remember that Aquinas wrote almost 1,000 years after the doctrine of the Trinity was formulated. Analogical language is not "incapable of truly grasping or describing." It is just a form of compromise between equivocal and univocal predication, both of which are inadequate to describe God. It's not even clear what you take "analogical language" to mean, for your link is broken.

Against this background, Aquinas asks how we are to interpret the divine names. He argues that they cannot be purely equivocal, for we could not then make intelligible claims about God. Nor can they be purely univocal, for God’s manner of existence and his relationship to his properties are sufficiently different from ours that the words must be used in somewhat different senses. Hence, the words we use of God must be analogical, used in different but related senses. To be more precise, it seems that such words as ‘good’ and ‘wise’ must involve a relationship to one prior reality, and they must be predicated in a prior and a posterior sense, for these are the marks of analogical terms.

-Aquinas on Analogy, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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