The Presence and Absence of God: Claremont Studies in the Philosophy of Religion, Conference 2008
Ingolf U. Dalferth
Mohr Siebeck, 2009 - Philosophy - 236 pages
Safeguarding the distinction between God and world has always been a basic interest of negative theology. But sometimes it has overemphasized divine transcendence in a way that made it difficult to account for the sense of God's present activity and experienced actuality. Criticisms of the Western metaphysics of presence have made this even more difficult to conceive. On the other hand, there has been a widespread attempt in recent years to base all theology on (religious) experience; the Christian church celebrates God's presence in its central sacraments of baptism and Eucharist; process thought has re-conceptualized God's presence in panentheistic terms; and some have argued that God might be poly-present, not omnipresent. But what does it mean to say that God is present or absent? For Jews, Christians, and Moslems alike God is not an inference, an absentee entity of which we can detect only faint traces in our world. On the contrary, God is present reality, indeed the most present of all realities. However, belief in God's presence cannot ignore the widespread experience of God's absence. Moreover, there is little sense in speaking of God's absence if it cannot be distinguished from God's non-presence or non-existence. So how are we to understand the sense of divine presence and absence in religious and everyday life? This is what the essays in this volume explore in the biblical traditions, in Jewish and Christian theology and philosophy, and in contemporary philosophy of religion.
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A.N. Whitehead appears argued becoming present believe biblical body Book of Esther Christian claims Claremont Claremont Graduate University concept creation creative creatures Dalferth deity Derrida distinction distrust divine presence ence epistemic essence Establishment Clause Esther eternal evil experience Faber faith father finite finitude Franz Rosenzweig Free Exercise Clause God's absence God's existence God's love God's presence Gospel of Luke Hasidic Hebrew Bible Heidegger hidden hiding human Ibid idea immanent infinite insofar interpretation knowledge liberal lives means metaphysics metaphysics of presence mode narrates narrative nature neutrality object Old Greek one's ontological Ousia panentheism person possible prayer precisely presence and absence problem Process and Reality rape relation religious revealed Rosenzweig Schellenberg scheme of orientation secular self-presence sense of God's signs speak Spinoza spirit story substance temporal Theology things tion transcendence trust truths understand University Press Whitehead words York