The Finite Supernatural: Theological Perspectives

Religious Studies 9 (3):325 - 337 (1973)

Abstract
THE ’SUPERNATURAL’ CONCEPT RAISES TWO INTERNAL PROBLEMS FOR THEOLOGY WHEN USED OF FINITE BEINGS: HOW TO DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN NATURAL AND ’SUPERNATURAL’ CREATURES OR QUALITIES? AND HOW TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN CREATION AND A ’SUPPLEMENT’ TO CREATION? AS TO THE FIRST, VARIOUS THEORIES WERE DEVELOPED: THE CAUSAL; THE EXTRINSIC ATTRIBUTE; THE SUPERNATURAL ’SUBSTANCE’; HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS. EACH OF THESE APPROACHES IS DEFECTIVE: THE FIRST DOES NOT REALLY DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN EFFECTS; THE SECOND FAILS TO ROOT THE SUPERNATURAL IN ANY NATURE--DIVINE OR CREATED; THE THIRD CONFUSES A MORAL QUALITY WITH SUBSTANTIVE BEING; THE FOURTH SIMPLY ABANDONS THE TRADITIONAL NATURE-SUPERNATURE DISTINCTION. AS TO THE IDEA OF A ’SUPPLEMENT’ TO CREATION, THAT ENDS IN A DILEMMA: EITHER THE SUPERNATURAL IS PART OF CREATION OR IT IS NOT. IF IT IS PART, THEN IT IS NATURAL; IF IT IS NOT, THEN IT IS ALIEN TO NATURE. THUS, THE CONCEPT ’FINITE SUPERNATURAL’ IS A CONFUSED ONE WITH NO REAL USE IN CONCEPTUAL THEOLOGY. (E
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DOI 10.1017/S003441250000682X
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The Supernatural and the Miraculous.Steve Clarke - 2007 - Sophia 46 (3):277 - 285.

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