Two Peas in a Single Polytheistic Pod: Richard Swinburne and John Hick

Daniel Howard-Snyder
Western Washington University
A descriptive polytheist thinks there are at least two gods. John Hick and Richard Swinburne are descriptive polytheists. In this respect, they are like Thomas Aquinas and many other theists. What sets Swinburne and Hick apart from Aquinas, however, is that unlike him they are normative polytheists. That is, Swinburne and Hick think that it is right that we, or at least some of us, worship more than one god. However, the evidence available to me shows that only Swinburne, and not Hick, is a cultic polytheist: he actually worships more than one god. I conclude that only Swinburne is a polytheist par excellence.
Keywords philosophy of religion  Richard Swinburne  John Hick  trinity  polytheism  social trinitarianism  Christian philosophy
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ISBN(s) 1053-8364
DOI 10.5840/jpr201642061
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