Wednesday, 26 November 2014

John B. Webster’s New Essay on God’s Relation to Creatures

Andy has posted about two new Festschriften published to honour Paul Fiddes. The one that especially appeals to me is Within the Love of God: Essays on the Doctrine of God. Here are some more details from Oxford University Press’s website:

The doctrine of God is central to theology for it determines the way in which other regions of Christian doctrine are articulated, yet work on this topic in its own right has been occluded recently by treatments of the Trinity or divine passibility. This collection of specially commissioned essays presents major treatments of key themes in the doctrine of God, motivated by but not restricted to the work of Professor Paul S. Fiddes to whom it is offered as a Festschrift.

It includes invigorating discussions of the biblical and non-biblical sources for the doctrine of God, and the section on ‘Metaphysics and the Doctrine of God’ examines some of the most important conceptual questions arising in contemporary theological debate about the being and nature of God, and God’s relations to the world. The final section of the book on ‘God and Humanity’ will be highly relevant to scholars working in the fields of theological anthropology, moral and political theology, on inter-faith relations, on theology and literature, or who are interested in the impact of contemporary science on the doctrine of God. The introduction relates the essays in the book to the work of Professor Fiddes and to wider debates in Christian doctrine.

This volume brings together a team of internationally distinguished scholars from a wide range of theological, philosophical, and religious perspectives, and it will stimulate fresh thinking and new debate about this most central of topics in Christian theology.

Of note in this Festschrift is the section on metaphysics and, in particular, John Webster’s essay, ‘Non ex aequo: God’s Relation to Creatures’. I’m paying more attention these days to traditional theological metaphysics – call this phase a kind of second naïveté, if you will – and Webster’s various essays are helping me think through some of the issues. And those looking at issues such as divine impassibility should also be pleased to see contributions by Keith Ward and Paul Helm.

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