God and Time: Essays on the Divine Nature / Edition 1

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Throughout the history of philosophical theology, scholars have reflected on the relationship between God and time. In the Western religious tradition, God has been thought to be eternal, in the sense that God is outside time. But many thinkers today hold that while God is everlasting, in that there was no beginning to God's existence nor will he ever cease existing, God exists within Time.

In God and Time, Gregory E. Ganssle and David Woodruff have brought together 12 previously unpublished essays from leading philosophers on God's relation to time. Including work from today's most prominent thinkers in this fascinating field, God and Time represents the current state of the discussion between those who believe God to be atemporal (experiencing everything in the "eternal now") and those who believe God to be temporal (experiencing events sequentially, somewhat as we do).

This collection highlights such issues as how the nature of time is relevant to the question of whether God is temporal and how God's other attributes are compatible with his mode of temporal being. By focusing on the metaphysical aspects of time and temporal existence, God and Time makes a unique contribution to the current resurgence of interest in philosophical theology in the analytic tradition.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[E]xibits a rich spectrum of argument concerning the many-faceted issue of God's relation to time...I found no essay in this anthology that lacked intellectual rigor. Accordingly, the volume should serve as an excellent ancillary text for courses in philosophy of religion that focus on divine attributes...I recommend this collection, and must confess that I cannot begin to do justice to its rich argumentation in such a brief review."—The Journal of Religion

"God and Time: Essays on the Divine Nature is not simply another explication of God's nature. It is a well ordered collection of essays divided into four sections: God's existence, God as a creator, his knowledge, and God's relation to the universe. The selection of essays and authors is as varied and purposeful as its divisions and includes a useful index...Ganssle quickly maps the territory for the reader and clearly demonstrates that temporality is one of the critical foci for contemporary philosophical theology...God and Time is a well balanced contribution to philosophical theology and I enthusiastically recommend this book as a primer to the ongoing God and time discussion...Congratulations to the editors for providing a timely and serviceable resource."—Philosophia Christi

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195129656
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 268
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Gregory E. Ganssle is on the faculty of Rivendell Institute for Christian Thought and Learning in New Haven, Connecticut. He has taught philosophy at Syracuse University and the International School of Theology in California, and has served as a Teaching Fellow and Lecturer at Yale University. He has published articles in International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion, Sophia, Modern Schoolman, Philosophia Christi and other journals.
David Woodruff is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Huntington College. He previously taught at Syracuse University, Northern Illinois University, and Westmont College. He has published papers in Teaching Philosophy, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, The Journal of Aesthetic Education, and other journals.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 3
Pt. I God's Eternal Nature
1 The Eternal Present 21
2 Atemporal, Sempiternal, or Omnitemporal: God's Temporal Mode of Being 49
Pt. II God, Time, and Creation
3 Divine Foreknowledge and the Arrow of Time: On the Impossibility of Retrocausation 65
4 God inside Time and before Creation 75
5 Time Was Created by a Timeless Point: An Atheist Explanation of Spacetime 95
6 The Elimination of Absolute Time by the Special Theory of Relativity 129
Pt. III The Nature of Divine Knowledge
7 Timelessness out of Mind: On the Alleged Incoherence of Divine Timelessness 153
8 Direct Awareness and God's Experience of a Temporal Now 165
9 The Absence of a Timeless God 182
Pt. IV God's Relation to the World
10 The Problem of Dialogue 207
11 Incarnation, Timelessness, and Leibniz's Law Problems 220
12 On the Incarnation of a Timeless God 236
Index 249
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