An Environment Friendly God: Response to Nancy Hudson's “Divine Immanence” [Book Review]

Philosophia 35 (3-4):357-360 (2007)
This paper is a response to Professor Nancy Hudson’s paper “Divine Immanence: Nicholas of Cusa’s Understanding of Theophany and the Retrieval of a ‘New’ Model of God,” (Nancy Hudson, “Divine Immanence: Nicholas of Cusa’s Understanding of Theophany and the Retrieval of a ‘New’ Model of God,” Journal of Theological Studies 56.2 (October 2005): 450–470). The global ecological crisis has spawned intensive reflection about living in right relationship with the earth. Western Christian thought has received special scrutiny since modern alienation from nature has been traced to Christian theology. Undiscovered within the mystical theology of Nicholas of Cusa lies an ecologically promising vision of nature. The concept of divine immanence presented by this medieval thinker provides a rich spirituality that is inclusive, rather than exclusive, of the natural world. It is also far more intimate than contemporary stewardship theology. Cusanus interprets theophany as divine self-expression. A series of striking metaphors, including God’s enfolding and unfolding, God as ‘Not-other’, and Christ as the contracted maximum, reveals a holistic spirituality. Nicholas of Cusa’s concept of divine immanence infuses the world with immeasurable value and gives rise to a Christian theology that can address the current ecological crisis. This paper was delivered during the APA Pacific 2007 Mini-Conference on Models of God in response to a presentation of Nancy Hudson’s “Divine Immanence.”
Keywords God  Environment  Neoplatonism
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-007-9092-6
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