About this topic
Summary The tradition of Western philosophical theology has associated with God certain principal attributes including omnipotence, omniscience, and moral perfection. Each of these attributes raises a variety of problems which must be addressed if a philosophically robust version of theism is to be developed.
Key works Perhaps the most influential treatment of the divine attributes is to be found in Aquinas 1274. More recent systematic treatments of the divine attributes include Ross 1969, Mann 1975, Swinburne 1977, Kenny 1979, and Wierenga 1989.
Introductions Relevant selections from Aquinas, in a translation suitable for students, can be found in Leftow & Davies 2006. Morley 2002 provides an encyclopedia treatment of the divine attributes. A book-length introduction is provided by Morris 1991.
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1 — 50 / 2007
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  1. Théisme et complémentarité.Jörg Disse - 2018 - Revue de Théologie Et de Philosophie 150 (2018 III):251-265.
    The present article seeks to show, with reference to Thomas Aquinas and Richard Swinburne, that classical theism cannot reconcile the idea of divine perfection with the modern idea of a person. It then proposes a solution which consists in applying to the doctrine of God the model of complementarity which Niels Bohr first used in quantum physics in his attempt to explain (among other things) the duality between wave and particle. This model is then applied by juxtaposing the description of (...)
  2. The Divine Energies and the “End of Human Life”.Rico Vitz & Marissa Espinoza - 2017 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 91 (3):473-489.
    In this paper, we elucidate an alternative conception of the “end of human life” that Germain Grisez considers but never develops. We then defend this conception against two key objections. We conclude by explaining a few ways that this alternative conception of the “end of human life” is particularly important both theologically and philosophically.
  3. The Anticlaudianus and the 'Proper' Language of Theology.Eileen C. Sweeney - 1987 - Essays in Medieval Studies 4:45-55.
  4. Is the Divine Shorn of Its Heart? Responding to Simoni-Wastila.Donald Wayne Viney - 2001 - American Journal of Theology and Philosophy 22 (2):155 - 172.
  5. The Quest of the Divine.D. S. - 1956 - Review of Metaphysics 10 (2):369-370.
Divine Eternity
  1. Petitionary Prayer for the Dead and the Boethian Concept of a Timeless God.William M. Webb - 2019 - International Philosophical Quarterly 59 (1):65-76.
    The practice of prayer for the dead has been criticized by some Christians on the grounds that it is useless (on the assumption that a postmortem change in spiritual state is impossible) and even sinful inasmuch as it wills a state of affairs contrary to that which God has already ordained. In this article, I challenge these arguments using a Boethian or Augustinian conception of God’s relationship to time. If prayers from all times are perceived by God in a tenseless (...)
  2. Nicholas of Cusa in Ages of Transition: Essays in Honor of Gerald Christianson.Thomas Izbicki, Jason Aleksander & Donald Duclow (eds.) - 2018 - Leiden: E. J. Brill.
    Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464) was active during the Renaissance, developing adventurous ideas even while serving as a churchman. The religious issues with which he engaged – spiritual, apocalyptic and institutional – were to play out in the Reformation. These essays reflect the interests of Cusanus but also those of Gerald Christianson, who has studied church history, the Renaissance and the Reformation. The book places Nicholas into his times but also looks at his later reception. The first part addresses institutional issues, (...)
  3. Eternal God: Divine Atemporality in Thomas Aquinas.John H. Boyer - 2014 - In Darci N. Hill (ed.), News from the Raven: Essays from Sam Houston State University on Medieval and Renaissance Thought. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: pp. 262-285.
    The recent trend among many philosophers of religion has been to interpret divine eternity as an everlasting temporality in which an omnitemporal God exists in and throughout the whole of time. This is in contrast to the classical account of divine eternity as atemporal, immutable existence. In this paper, Aquinas' use of Boethius's definition of eternity as “the whole, perfect, and simultaneous possession of endless life” is analyzed and explained in contradistinction to Aristotle's definition of time. This analysis is then (...)
  4. Why the Incarnation Is Incompatible With An Atemporal Concept of God.Alin C. Cucu - manuscript
    In this essay, I argue that the Incarnation of the Son of God, understood in a traditionally orthodox way, is incompatible with an atemporalist concept of God. First, I explain what I mean by atemporalism, namely the idea that God exists outside time. I also show the main corollaries of that doctrine, most notably that all of God’s life occurs eternally simultaneously. Second, based on New Testament teaching and widely accepted creeds, I spell out philosophically what I mean by the (...)
  5. Why Can’T the Impassible God Suffer? Analytic Reflections on Divine Blessedness.R. T. Mullins - 2018 - TheoLogica: An International Journal for Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology 2 (1):3-22.
  6. Debunking The Hellenistic Myth: Why Christians Should Believe That God Is In Time.Alin C. Cucu - 2017 - Piate Pietro 2 (2):16-22.
    In this essay I will try to convince you: (1) that the question of God’s relation to time is of practical relevance for every believer (2) that the idea of God being outside time is a philosophically untenable concept which creates major clashes with Christian doctrine and therefore that every Christian should adopt some temporalist view of God To do that, I will present four arguments against the “outside time” view of God. I then briefly treat the question where the (...)
  7. SEP Entry: Eternity in Christian Thought.Natalja Deng - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2018.
    This entry provides an overview of some key positions on God and time and discusses arguments for and against divine timelessness. The final section outlines some other philosophical contexts in which the concept of eternity can play a role.
  8. Kaikkitietävä ajaton Jumala: Aikaindeksikaalien ongelma (in Finnish) ["Omniscient Timeless God: The Problem of Temporal Indexicals"].Ari Maunu - 2016 - Teologinen Aikakauskirja 2016 (2):121-127.
    Is God a timeless God? One standard argument against the supposition that He is is that it appears to be incompatible with God’s posited omniscience. If God is timeless, He cannot know truths involving temporal indexicals, such as the one I express right now by ”I am sitting now”. In this article, I discuss this argument and consider some replies to it. I focus on the denial of the view according to which knowledge expressed with temporally indexical true statements is (...)
  9. God and Eternal Boredom.Vuko Andrić & Attila Tanyi - 2017 - Religious Studies 53 (1):51-70.
    God is thought to be eternal. Does this mean that he is timeless? Or is he, rather, omnitemporal? In this paper we want to show that God cannot be omnitemporal. Our starting point, which we take from Bernard Williams’ article on the Makropulos Case, is the intuition that it is inappropriate for persons not to become bored after a sufficiently long sequence of time has passed. If God were omnitemporal, he would suffer from boredom. But God is the greatest possible (...)
  10. Maximus the Confessor's ‘Aeon’ as a Distinct Mode of Temporality.Sotiris Mitralexis - 2017 - Heythrop Journal 58 (5).
    In this paper, I shall focus on the semantic content of αἰὼν in Maximus the Confessor's works, particularly in the instances in which he employs it as a distinct form of temporality, i.e. not as simply meaning ‘eternity’. I focus on αἰὼν as a Maximian terminus technicus in spite of the diverse meanings that he himself ascribes to the word in certain cases. I will also engage with the status of time as humanity's slavery, as humanity's enemy in Maximus’ thought, (...)
  11. Philosophos Philosophy: The Intersubjectivity of Sophos, the One and the Real Self.Ulrich de Balbian - forthcoming - Academic Publishers.
    Philosophy: the intersubjectivity of Sophos, the one and the real self, of the mystic, pure consciousness..
  12. The End of the Timeless God, by R. T. Mullins.Katherin Rogers - 2016 - Faith and Philosophy 33 (4):495-500.
  13. Doing Hard Time: Is God the Prisoner of the Oldest Dimension?R. T. Mullins - 2014 - Journal of Analytic Theology 2:160-185.
    In this paper I shall consider an objection to divine temporality called “The Prisoner of Time” objection. I shall begin by distinguishing divine timelessness from divine temporality in order to clear up common misunderstandings and caricatures of divine temporality. From there I shall examine the prisoner of time objection and explain why the prisoner of time objection fails to be a problem for the Christian divine temporalist.
  14. Divine Temporality, the Trinity, and the Charge of Arianism.R. T. Mullins - 2016 - Journal of Analytic Theology 4 (1):267-290.
    Divine temporality is all the rage in certain theological circles today. Some even suggesting that the doctrine of the Trinity entails divine temporality. While I find this claim a bit strong, I do think that divine temporality can be quite useful for developing a robust model of the Trinity. However, not everyone agrees with this. Paul Helm has offered an objection to the so-called Oxford school of divine temporality based on the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. He has argued that (...)
  15. God, Time and Knowledge.Brian Leftow & William Hasker - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (2):444.
  16. God and Timelessness.William L. Rowe & Nelson Pike - 1972 - Philosophical Review 81 (3):372.
  17. The Eternal in Russian Philosophy.Valerie Nollan - 2002 - Ars Disputandi 2 (1):63-64.
  18. VII.—Timelessness.F. B. Jevons - 1906 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 6 (1):206-223.
  19. Semiclassical Theism and the Passage of Planck Times.James Goetz - 2016 - Theology and Science 14 (3):325–339.
    This paper models God and time in the framework of modern physics. God bridges and simultaneously exists in (1) a universe with infinite tenseless time and (2) a created parallel universe with tensed time and a point origin. The primary attributes of God are inexhaustible love, inexhaustible perception, and inexhaustible force. The model also incorporates modern physics theories that include relativity, the conservation of energy, quantum mechanics, and multiverse geometry. For example, creation out of nothing and divine intervention are subject (...)
  20. The Importance of God as an Idea.Michael Brodrick - 2012 - Overheard in Seville 30 (30):14-18.
  21. God, Time, and Eternity.William Lane Craig - 1978 - Religious Studies 14 (4):497.
    God is the ‘high and lofty One who inhabits eternity’, declared the prophet Isaiah, but exactly how we are to understand the notion of eternity is not clear. Traditionally, the Christian church has taken it to mean ‘timeless’. But in his classic work on this subject, Oscar Cullmann has contended that the New Testament ‘does not make a philosophical, qualitative distinction between time and eternity. It knows linear time only…’ He maintains, ‘Primitive Christianity knows nothing of a timeless God. The (...)
  22. Time After Augustine.James Wetzel - 1995 - Religious Studies 31 (3):341.
    This essay attempts to make sense of Augustine's claim that time is a mental affection. He has been criticized, by Russell for instance, for advocating a subjective theory of time, thereby confusing the issue of what time is with the issue of what it is like to experience time. I defend Augustine from this criticism. His interest in time emerges out of confessional philosophy, and when this context is taken into account, his association of time with affection implies the converse (...)
  23. The Eternal Act.Don Lodzinski - 1998 - Religious Studies 34 (3):325-352.
    As a personal agent, God's act of creation involves deliberation about His possible courses of action, a decision to act in a certain way, and the execution of that decision. In this paper, I argue that there is good reason to suppose that God's deliberation of the possible worlds cannot make Him temporal. Furthermore, whether we favour a deterministic and indeterministic version of freedom, a model can be constructed of how God timelessly decides to create this world and respond to (...)
  24. Maximus the Confessor's ‘Aeon’ as a Distinct Mode of Temporality.Sotiris Mitralexis - 2016 - Heythrop Journal 57 (6).
    In this paper, I shall focus on the semantic content of αἰὼν in Maximus the Confessor's works, particularly in the instances in which he employs it as a distinct form of temporality, i.e. not as simply meaning ‘eternity’. I focus on αἰὼν as a Maximian terminus technicus in spite of the diverse meanings that he himself ascribes to the word in certain cases. I will also engage with the status of time as humanity's slavery, as humanity's enemy in Maximus’ thought, (...)
  25. Timelessness.Emily Pemberton - unknown
    God’s temporality is still debated today by theologians and philosophers with whether God is temporal, atemporal, or some other form of temporality. The context of this paper is the topic of God’s timelessness with the idea of William Lane Craig’s idea of “omnitemporality.” The paper discusses a few of the major arguments for God’s temporality and also God’s timelessness. The paper then analyzes Craig’s article defending the omnitemporality of God declaring that God is non-temporal without creation and then becomes temporal (...)
  26. The End of the Timeless God.R. T. Mullins - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
    The End of the Timeless God considers two approaches to the philosophy of time, presentism and eternalism. It is often held that God cannot be timeless if presentism is true, but can be if eternalism is true. R. T. Mullins draws on recent work in the philosophy of time as well as the work of classical Christian thinkers such as Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas to contend that the Christian God cannot be timeless in either case.
  27. Molinism and Theological Compatibilism.Christoph Jäger - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 5 (1):71-92.
    In a series of recent papers John Martin Fischer argues that the Molinist solution to the problem of reconciling divine omniscience with human freedom does not offer such a solution at all. Instead, he maintains, Molina simply presupposes theological compatibilism. However, Fischer construes the problem in terms of sempiternalist omniscience, whereas classical Molinism adopts atemporalism. I argue that, moreover, an atemporalist reformulation of Fischer’s argument designed to show that Molinism is not even consistent is unsuccessful as well, since it employs (...)
  28. The Timelessness of God.John C. Yates - 1990 - Upa.
    This book explains the classical Christian doctrine of God's timelessness and defends it against contemporary philosophical criticism. The historical background and discussion of this concept is reviewed from Parmenides to the present, and particular note is made that the doctrine cannot be detached from the various metaphysical systems in which it is embedded.
  29. On the Relation of God and Time: A Temporalist Rebuttal of an Atemporalist View of Divine Immutability.Adam Co - 1999 - Quodlibet 1.
  30. Divine Eternity and the Nature of Time.Alan Gregory Padgett - 1989 - Dissertation, University of Oxford (United Kingdom)
    Available from UMI in association with The British Library. Requires signed TDF. ;I examine the doctrine of the timelessness of God, and develop a new concept of eternity, which I call "relative timelessness." I argue that the traditional notion of eternity, viz. that God is absolutely timeless and immutable, can only be true if the stasis theory of time is true . This argument assumes that God is active in our history, in particular that God directly sustains the universe at (...)
  31. A Critical Analysis of Divine Timelessness as a Solution to the Foreknowledge-Free Will Debate.Michael Dale Robinson - 1994 - Dissertation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
    The purpose of this dissertation was to examine whether divine timelessness solves the foreknowledge-free will dilemma. In chapter 1, I proposed that for divine timelessness to defeat the argument for the incompatibility of foreknowledge and freedom, divine timelessness must be an intelligible concept, must be coherent with key elements of the traditional Christian doctrine of God, and must not entail determinism. ;In chapter 2, I examined classical models of divine timeless-eternity. In chapter 3, I examined the nature of time, contending (...)
  32. Images of Eternity.Keith Ward - 1989 - Religious Studies 25 (3):396-399.
  33. God, Knowledge and Time.William Hasker - 1990 - Religious Studies 26 (2):295-296.
  34. God and Time. [REVIEW]Richard Gale - 2004 - Religious Studies 40 (2):229-235.
  35. Eternity has No Duration: Katherin A. Rogers.Katherin A. Rogers - 1994 - Religious Studies 30 (1):1-16.
    In 1981 Eleonore Stump and Norman Kretzmann published a landmark article aimed at exploring the classical concept of divine eternity. 1 Taking Boethius as the primary spokesman for the traditional view, they analyse God's eternity as timeless yet as possessing duration. More recently Brian Leftow has seconded Stump and Kretzmann's interpretation of the medieval position and attempted to defend the notion of a durational eternity as a useful way of expressing the sort of life God leads. 2 However, there are (...)
  36. Can History Measure Eternity? A Reply to William Craig: ALAN G. PADGETT.Alan G. Padgett - 1991 - Religious Studies 27 (3):333-335.
    I am grateful to Dr William L. Craig for his reply to an earlier article of mine in this journal, on the relationship between God and time. Craig and I agree on most points with respect to the relationship between God and time. What then is there for us to disagree about? The point Craig argues for is, eternity is ‘coincident’ with our history, i.e. the duration of our space–time is simultaneous with some duration of eternity. But I already agree (...)
  37. God and Time: Toward a New Doctrine of Divine Timeless Eternity*: ALAN G. PADGETT.Alan G. Padgett - 1989 - Religious Studies 25 (2):209-215.
    In this essay I wish to defend the intuition that God transcends time, of which he is the Creator. To do this, I will develop a new understanding of the term ‘timeless eternity’ as it applies to God. This assumes the inadequacy of the traditional notion of divine eternity, as it is found in Boethius, Anselm and Aquinas. Very briefly, the reasons for this inadequacy are as follows. God sustains the universe, which means in part that he is responsible for (...)
  38. God, Time and Freedom: ROBERT R. COOK.Robert R. Cook - 1987 - Religious Studies 23 (1):81-94.
    There seems to be a growing consensus amongst both theologians and philosophers that the classical doctrine of God as a simple, eternal being is untenable. Worries are expressed about the very notion of atemporal existence and when the examples of numbers and universals are offered, attention is drawn to the uncertain ontological status of such entities. Further, some of the traditional expressions of divine eternity are strictly speaking incoherent, bearing in mind that eternity means having neither temporal location nor duration. (...)
  39. A Reductio Ad Absurdum of Divine Temporality: STEVEN B. COWAN.Steven B. Cowan - 1996 - Religious Studies 32 (3):371-378.
    Theists believe that God is eternal, but they differ as to just what God's eternality means . The traditional, historic view of most Christian philosophers is that eternality means that God is timeless. He is ‘outside’ of time and not subject to any kind of temporal change. Indeed, God is the creator of time. Lets call this view divine timelessness.
  40. On the Time–Eternity ‘Link’: Some Aspects of Recent Christian Eschatology: Charles Stinson.Charles Stinson - 1977 - Religious Studies 13 (1):49-62.
    In Christian tradition there have been three broadly different ways in which eternity 1 has been connected with time We find a moral view: eternal life is the ‘due reward’, the ‘prize’ owed to certain states of consciousness and types of behaviour which have occurred in this life; a voluntarist theory: eternal life is the unowed and thus gratuitous gift given subsequent to the occurrence of certain conscious states and behaviour patterns; and the ‘ontological’ approach: eternal life is the final, (...)
  41. God and the Nature of Time, by Garrett J. DeWeese. [REVIEW]Marcel Sarot - 2007 - Ars Disputandi 7.
  42. The Eternal in Russian Philosophy, by Boris P. Vysheslavtsev, Trans. Penelope V. Burt. [REVIEW]Valerie Nollan - 2002 - Ars Disputandi 2.
  43. God and Time: Essays on the Divine Nature. [REVIEW]J. R. Lucas - 2003 - Faith and Philosophy 20 (3):382-384.
  44. The Moving Image: Science and Religion, Time and Eternity. [REVIEW]O. H. S. - 1968 - Review of Metaphysics 21 (3):563-563.
  45. The Timeless Rivers.Thomas J. Beary - 1956 - Renascence 8 (3):163-165.
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