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. Other important medieval treatments include those of ibn Sina (Morewedge 1973) and and Maimonides (Maimonides et al 1904). More recent systematic treatments of the divine attributes include Ross 1969, Mann 1975, Swinburne 1977, Kenny & 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. The God Who Trusts: A Relational Theology of Divine Faith, Hope, and Love. [REVIEW]Charles Duke - forthcoming - Reading Religion.
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  2. Sketching a Theology Based on Historical Science.Robert W. P. Luk - 2022 - Science and Philosophy 10 (1):21-44.
    St. Thomas Aquinas envisaged theology to be a kind of scientia which was considered as a kind of first cause science. However, science of that time is different from “modern” science. Recently, a theory of scientific study is developed, which outlines science by a theory and some models similar to knowledge in physics. According to this theory, sciences organize their knowledge consisting of theories, models and experiments interacting with physical situations. Perhaps, it is possible to organize knowledge of Christian theology (...)
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  3. A Falsifiable Ontological Argument for the Existence of (Any) God(s) and Why the Universe Exists.David Angell - manuscript
    Absolute nothing is the absence of our universe and its laws. Without these rules, nothingness has infinite potential. This implies that within the infinite probability of nothing, infinity can emerge. This would be expressed through infinite universes like our own. Infinite of these universes will differ by several particles, appearing and disappearing for no reason other than fulfilling every possibility. This universe is the product of a greater realisation of infinity and we can test this theory via the measurement of (...)
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  4. What Socrates Should Have Said.Benjamin Elmore - manuscript
    In this thesis, William Alston’s influential defense of divine command theory is critically evaluated. It is argued that Alston, in positing evaluative particularism, undermines his defense because moral particularism, a rival theory of moral obligation, follows from evaluative particularism. Furthermore, the moral particularist need not deny that God has moral obligations. Even if evaluative particularism did not entail moral particularism, it fails to makes God’s commands non-arbitrary, contrary to Alston’s claims. On divine command theory, God does not make commands for (...)
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  5. Зеркало Клио: Метафизическое Постижение Истории.Алексей Владиславович Халапсис - 2017 - Днипро, Днепропетровская область, Украина, 49000:
    В монографии представлены несколько смысловых блоков, связанных с восприятием и интерпретацией человеком исторического бытия. Ранние греческие мыслители пытались получить доступ к исходникам (началам) бытия, и эти интенции легли в основу научного знания, а также привели к появлению метафизики. В классической (и в неклассической) метафизике за основу была принята догма Пифагора и Платона о неизменности подлинной реальности, из чего следовало отрицание бытийного характера времени. Автор монографии отказывается от этой догмы и предлагает стратегию обновления метафизики и перехода ее к новому — постнеклассическому (...)
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  6. Reseña de la ‘Religión Explicada--los orígenes evolutivos del pensamiento religioso’(Religion Explained—the evolutionary origins of religious thought) por Pascal Boyer (2002) (revisión revisada 2019).Michael Richard Starks - 2019 - In Delirios Utópicos Suicidas en el Siglo 21 La filosofía, la naturaleza humana y el colapso de la civilización Artículos y reseñas 2006-2019 4a Edición. Las Vegas, NV , USA: Reality Press. pp. 300-312.
    Puede obtener un resumen rápido de este libro en p 135 o 326. Si no estás a la velocidad de la psicología evolutiva, primero debe leer uno de los numerosos textos recientes con este término en el título. Uno de los mejores es "el manual de la psicología evolutiva" 2Nd Ed por Buss. Hasta hace unos 15 años, las explicaciones del comportamiento no han sido realmente explicaciones de los procesos mentales, sino descripciones vagas y en gran medida inútiles de lo (...)
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  7. The Anticlaudianus and the 'Proper' Language of Theology.Eileen C. Sweeney - 1987 - Essays in Medieval Studies 4:45-55.
  8. The Big Questions: God, & God: All That Matters Both by Mark Vernon. [REVIEW]Ian Robinson - 2013 - Philosophy Now 99:48-49.
  9. Eschatological Ultimacy and the Best Possible Hereafter.John J. Davenport - 2002 - Ultimate Reality and Meaning 25 (1):36-67.
    This paper argues that the eschatological dimension of religion is distinct from other fundamental dimensions, including moral grounding, the ontological basis of reality, and the constitution of persons. It responds in particular to Tibor Horvath's conception of the category of ultimate reality. It also argues that eschatological hereafters imply something akin to an higher-time A-series, in that the hereafter can be conceived as a temporal order beyond currently existing time.
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  10. 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.
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  11. The Quest of the Divine.D. S. - 1956 - Review of Metaphysics 10 (2):369-370.
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Divine Eternity
  1. God’s Eternity and Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity.Louis Caruana - 2005 - Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 61:89-112.
    Max Jammer has recently proposed a model of God’s eternity based on the special theory of relativity, offering it as an example of how theologians should take into account what physicists say about the world. I start evaluating this proposal by a quick look at the classic Boethius-Aquinas model of divine eternity. The major objec-tion I advance against Jammer refers to Einstein’s subtle kind of realism. I offer var-ious reasons to show that Einstein’s realism was minimal. Moreover, even this min-imal (...)
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  2. An Introduction to Thinking About Personal and A-Personal Aspects of the Divine.Simon Kittle & Georg Gasser - 2022 - In Simon Kittle & Georg Gasser (eds.), The Divine Nature. New York: Routledge. pp. 1-20.
  3. The Divine Nature: Personal and A-Personal Perspectives.Simon Kittle & Georg Gasser (eds.) - 2022 - Routledge.
    This book is the first systematic treatment of the strengths and limitations of personal and a-personal conceptions of the divine. It features contributions from Jewish, Islamic, Chinese, Indian and naturalistic backgrounds in addition to those working within a decidedly Christian framework. This book discusses whether the concept of God in classical theism is coherent at all and whether the traditional understanding of some of the divine attributes need to be modified. The contributors explore what the proposed spiritual and practical merits (...)
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  4. Le divin, les dieux et le mouvement éternel dans l’univers d’Anaximandre.Luan Reboredo - 2021 - In Rossella Saetta Cottone (ed.), Penser les dieux avec les présocratiques. Paris: Rue D’Ulm. pp. 97-111.
    On propose ici de clarifier ce qu’Anaximandre entendait par « le divin » et ce qu’il appelait des « dieux ». À partir d’une réévaluation des sources anciennes, on soutient que cette enquête peut aider à comprendre son modèle cosmologique et le problème des cataclysmes dans son système. Trois hypothèses sont avancées à cette fin : [i] que dans Physique, III, 4, 203b3 15, le syntagme τὸ ἄπειρον renvoie à une notion concrète de substrat infini ; [ii] que dans ce (...)
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  5. Revisiting Anselm on Time and Divine Eternity.Christopher A. Bobier - 2021 - Heythrop Journal 62 (4):665-679.
    How to understand Saint Anselm of Canterbury on time and divine eternity is subject to debate. Katherin Rogers argues that Anselm is a four‐dimensionalist, whereas Brian Leftow argues that he is a presentist. Despite the disagreement, both scholars assume that Anselm has a positive account of time and divine eternity to offer. I challenge this assumption, arguing that Anselm is not interested in offering an account of the metaphysics of time and divine eternity. The reading defended here is deflationary in (...)
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  6. Toward an Inclusive Conception of Eternity.William W. Young - 2020 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 89 (2):171-187.
    Philosophical and theological conceptions of eternity frequently define it through a contrast with time’s transience. These conceptions reflect the widespread influence of Augustine’s idea of eternity, where eternity stands atemporally in opposition to time. Such conceptions are problematic for both divine and human relations to the world. However, the work of Plotinus and Boethius shows that eternity can be conceived more inclusively—as transcending time, but nonetheless including temporal change and dynamism within its presence. This facilitates Boethius’ views of divine knowledge (...)
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  7. Nature, God, and Creation: A Necessitarian Case.Yasin Ramazan Basaran - 2018 - Dissertation, Indiana University Bloomington
    The theistic doctrine of creation highlights the significance of the world's dependence on God. For this doctrine, a variety of justifications have been offered based on the ontological and epistemological commitments of a philosopher or theologian. In this dissertation, I defend the thesis that the theistic doctrine of creation is strongly justified when on the one hand the integrity of nature is established by affirming causal necessity while on the other hand the sovereignty of God is maintained by affirming divine (...)
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  8. Despair or the loss of selfhood in Kierkegaard’s Sickness unto Death.Gabriel Leiva Rubio - 2020 - XLinguae (European Scientific Language Journal) 13 (3):63-77.
    The present text sets out to determine the relationships between the concepts of despair and selfhood in Søren Kierkegaard's Sikness unto Death. For this, a hermeneutic, as exhaustive as possible, is applied to the discernment of the concept itself, to later relate it to what the Danish calls despair. After clarifying the relationship between both concepts, examples of the desperate Kierkegaardian man abound in order to verify the irremediable discordance between the constituent elements of the self-given, his unresolved relationship with (...)
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  9. An Eternal Society Paradox.Wade A. Tisthammer - 2020 - Aporia 30 (1):49-58.
    An eternal society with the abilities of ordinary humans in each year of its existence would have had the ability to actualize a logical contradiction. This fact casts doubt on the metaphysical possibility of an infinite past. In addition to using this paradox in an argument against an infinite past, one can also use the paradox mutatis mutandis as a decisive argument against the sempiternality of God.
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  10. The ‘Divine Names’ and the ‘Attributes of Deity’: On the (Infinite) Analogical Interval in Forty‐Six Aphorisms.Oliver Tromans - 2020 - Modern Theology 36 (3):629-640.
  11. Allgegenwart, Zeitlichkeit und Unveränderlichkeit.Oliver J. Wiertz - 2019 - In Klaus Viertbauer & Georg Gasser (eds.), Handbuch Analytische Religionsphilosophie. Akteure – Diskurse – Perspektiven. Metzler. pp. 159-174.
    Basis der Behandlung der Frage nach der Allgegenwart, Zeitlichkeit und Unveränderlichkeit Gottes ist die sogenannte Vollkommenheitstheologie, nach der es logisch unmöglich ist, dass etwas vollkommener als Gott ist.
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  12. Editorial preface.R. L. Hall - 2020 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 87 (2):135-136.
  13. Indifference and the World: Schelling’s Pantheism of Bliss.Kirill Chepurin - 2019 - Sophia 58 (4):613-630.
    Although largely neglected in Schelling scholarship, the concept of bliss assumes central importance throughout Schelling’s oeuvre. Focusing on his 1810–11 texts, the Stuttgart Seminars and the beginning of the Ages of the World, this paper traces the logic of bliss, in its connection with other key concepts such as indifference, the world or the system, at a crucial point in Schelling’s thinking. Bliss is shown, at once, to mark the zero point of the developmental narrative that Schelling constructs here and (...)
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  14. Atemporalism and Dependence.Taylor W. Cyr - 2020 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 87 (2):149-164.
    It is widely thought that Atemporalism—the view that, because God is “outside” of time, he does not foreknow anything —constitutes a unique solution to the problem of freedom and foreknowledge. However, as I argue here, in order for Atemporalism to escape certain worries, the view must appeal to the dependence of God’s timeless knowledge on our actions. I then argue that, because it must appeal to such dependence, Atemporalism is crucially similar to the recent sempiternalist accounts proposed by Trenton Merricks, (...)
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  15. Ultima ratio deorum.Alex V. Halapsis - 2016 - Anthropological Measurements of Philosophical Research 10:100-106.
    Purpose of this article is to investigate the role that the "miraculous" – that is, everything that goes beyond “natural” – plays in the worldview of Western man. Methodology. I do not consider “miracles” as the facts of nature, but as the facts of culture, so in this article I am not talking about specific cases of violation of “laws of nature”, but about the place of “miraculous” in the view of the world of Western man and those transformations, that (...)
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  16. Miracles and the Perfection of Being: The Theological Roots of Scientific Concepts.Alex V. Halapsis - 2016 - Anthropological Measurements of Philosophical Research 9:70-77.
    Purpose of the article is to study the Western worldview as a framework of beliefs in probable supernatural encroachment into the objective reality. Methodology underpins the idea that every cultural-historical community envisions the reality principles according to the beliefs inherent to it which accounts for the formation of the unique “universes of meanings”. The space of history acquires the Non-Euclidean properties that determine the specific cultural attitudes as well as part and parcel mythology of the corresponding communities. Novelty consists in (...)
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  17. A Note on Eternity.Ciro De Florio & Aldo Frigerio - 2017 - Topoi 36 (4):685-692.
    The timeless solution to the problem of divine foreknowledge and human freedom has many advantages. Still, the relationship between a timeless God and temporal beings is problematic in a number of ways. In this paper, we focus on the specific problems the timeless view has to deal with when certain assumptions on the metaphysics of time are taken on board. It is shown that on static conception of time God’s omniscience is easily accounted for, but human freedom is threatened, while (...)
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  18. Computus, in Christendom.Paul Bali - manuscript
    on calculating Apocalypse, awakening the Avatar, and related.
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  19. 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 (...)
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  20. 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 (...)
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  21. 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 (...)
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  22. 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.
    According to classical theism, impassibility is said to be systematically connected to divine attributes like timelessness, immutability, simplicity, aseity, and self-sufficiency. In some interesting way, these attributes are meant to explain why the impassible God cannot suffer. I shall argue that these attributes do not explain why the impassible God cannot suffer. In order to understand why the impassible God cannot suffer, one must examine the emotional life of the impassible God. I shall argue that the necessarily happy emotional life (...)
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  23. God and Time.Natalja Deng - 2019 - Cambridge University Press.
    The God of Western religion is said to be eternal. But what does that mean? Is God somehow beyond time, living a life that does not involve one thing after another? Or is God's relationship to time much more like ours, so that God's eternality just consists in there being no time at which God doesn't exist? Even for non-believers, these issues have interesting implications for the relation between historical and scientific findings on the one hand, and religion on the (...)
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  24. 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 (...)
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  25. 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.
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  26. 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 (...)
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  27. 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 (...)
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  28. Theological Methodology, Classical Theism, and “Lived Time” in Antje Jackelén's Time and Eternity.James M. Byrne - 2009 - Zygon 44 (4):951-964.
    . Antje Jackelén's Time and Eternity successfully employs the method of correlation and a close study of the question of time to enter the dialogue between science and theology. Hermeneutical attention to language is a central element of this dialogue, but we must be aware that much science is untranslatable into ordinary language; it is when we get to the bigger metaphysical assumptions of science that true dialogue begins to happen. Thus, although the method of correlation is a useful way (...)
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  29. Divine Sempiternity and Atemporality: J. L. TOMKINSON.J. L. Tomkinson - 1982 - Religious Studies 18 (2):177-189.
    Notable among the current fashions in philosophical theology is the movement away from the view that the mode of being properly attributable to God is some form of atemporal eternity. It sometimes seems almost to be the case that a consensus is in process of formation in support of the contention that the only rationally defensible interpretation of the divine eternity is in terms of sempiternity, i.e. of beginingless and endless temporal duration. This is true not only of the so-called (...)
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  30. The Problem of the Divine Eternity: R. L. STURCH.R. L. Sturch - 1974 - Religious Studies 10 (4):487-493.
    The ‘traditional’ view among philosophical theologians, that God is eternal not merely in the sense of being everlasting but in the sense of being outside time altogether, has come under sharp criticism in recent years, both from biblical theologians and from philosophers. It is against the latter form of attack, particularly as represented by the detailed criticisms of Professor Nelson Pike, that I wish to try and defend the notion of a divine timelessness.
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  31. Of Time and Eternity In Kierkegaard’s Concept of Anxiety.Louis Dupré - 1984 - Faith and Philosophy 1 (2):160-176.
  32. Omniscience and Time, One More Time: A Reply to Craig.Edward Wierenga - 2004 - Faith and Philosophy 21 (1):90-97.
  33. The Quest for Eternity: An Outline of the Philosophy of Religion. [REVIEW]Thomas V. Morris - 1986 - Faith and Philosophy 3 (3):328-336.
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  34. Omniscience and Eternity: A Reply to Craig.Jonathan L. Kvanvig - 2001 - Faith and Philosophy 18 (3):369-376.
  35. Providence, Eternity, and Human Freedom: A Reply to Stump and Kretzmann.David Widerker - 1994 - Faith and Philosophy 11 (2):242-254.
  36. Al-Ghazālī’s Argument for the Eternity of the World in Tahāfut Al-Falāsifa (Discussion One, Proofs 1 and 2a) and the Problem of Divine Immutability and Timelessness.Harold Chad Hillier - 2005 - Journal of Islamic Philosophy 1 (1):62-84.
  37. Classical Christian Philosophy and Temporality: Correcting a Misunderstanding.F. F. Centore - 1992 - The Monist 75 (3):393-405.
    CCP is not, generally speaking, well-respected today. This is not so much because CCP is impure, being, as it is, all mixed up with dogmatic statements drawn from Scripture, Church teachings, and so on, but because CCP is impure in a certain way. All philosophies are always and everywhere impure in the sense of always and everywhere being embedded in some particular time and culture. Philosophies are written by philosophers, each of whom is taught many things at his mother’s knee (...)
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  38. Maximus the Confessor's ‘Aeon’ as a Distinct Mode of Temporality.Sotiris Mitralexis - 2017 - Heythrop Journal 58 (5).
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  39. La soluzione di Boezio nel dibattito contemporaneo sull’onniscienza divina: un bilancio.Damiano Migliorini - 2016 - Rassegna di Teologia 57:19-53.
    The author analyzes the interpretation of Boethius’ “timelessness solution” developed in contemporary Analytic Philosophy of Religion, and the main objections that have been moved to it, trying to draw some conclusions about its effectiveness (a) in solving the antinomy between omniscience and human freedom; (b) in weakening the argument of Open Theism. La nuova prospettiva teoretica proposta dall’Open Theism impone un approfondimento e una rivalutazione delle soluzioni “classiche” all’antinomia tra onniscienza divina e libertà umana. Tra queste “soluzioni” vi è, com’è (...)
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