Avicebron on the will in "Fons vitae"
Source document: Religio. vol. 25, iss. 2, pp. -188
ISSN1210-3640 (print)2336-4475 (online)
License: Not specified license
The paper focuses on the issue of the will in the work Fons vitae devoted to metaphysics, written by the medieval Jewish thinker Avicebron. It shows how Avicebron's definitions of the divine will may be understood in different contexts throughout his work. It questions the interpretation of the divine will as desire, as presented by Sarah Pessin in her Theology of Desire opposing the doctrine of the divine will. There is no indication to be found in Avicebron's metaphysics that the notion of the divine will is used incorrectly and that the notion of desire should be used instead. On the contrary, if this notion is deprived of its mistakenly assigned Augustinian influence and is understood in the context of its Arabic foundation, then the notion of the divine will supports an emanationist reading of Avicebron’s metaphysics rather than a creationist one. Careful reading of Fons vitae shows that Avicebron had no intention of presenting a creationist view in which God creates through the intermediary of his will. The divine will as defined in Fons vitae serves as the path through which the being flows from the creator onward to the lower levels of the chain of being.