The Concept of God: The Intersection of Classical Theism and Relational Theism

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Theologies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 17 June 2024 | Viewed by 2499

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Theology and Christian Philosophy, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI 49104, USA
Interests: systematic theology; philosophical theology; doctrine of God; problem of evil; theological method

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce an upcoming issue of Religions that will focus on the concept of God: the intersection of classical theism and relational theism. This topic is garnering increasing attention in contemporary systematic and philosophical theology.

Recent decades have seen a significant increase in discussion of the doctrine of God, with considerable discussion of classical theism, open theism, process theism, and alternatives to such conceptions. This Special Issue takes up prominent questions regarding the nature and attributes of God, with focus on models of God that are at the intersection between classical and relational theism. Such models are both classical (in affirming the Creator–creature distinction) and relational (in affirming that God is genuinely related to the world), while distinct from (strict) classical theism as well as process (and similar) views.

This Issue focuses particularly on concepts of God that are sometimes referred to as neo-classical theism or moderate classical theism. Such concepts of God align with classical concepts in that they affirm some core tenets of classical theism (divine perfection, necessity, aseity, self-sufficiency, unity, eternity, immutability, omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence). Yet, such conceptions are relational in that they affirm God is genuinely related to the world and they depart from one or more attributes of (strict) classical theism such as divine timelessness, strict simplicity, strict immutability, and/or strict impassibility.

Articles in this issue might consist of constructive proposals or discussion and analysis of existing proposals that focus on any aspect(s) of the nature and attributes of God, the God–world relationship, or discussions of the Trinity doctrine that relate to current debates at the intersection of classical theism and relational theism. Both original research articles and review articles along these lines would be welcome.

We request that, prior to submitting a manuscript, interested authors initially submit a proposed title and an abstract of 200–300 words summarizing their intended contribution. Please send it to the guest editor (jpeckham@andrews.edu) or to Religions editorial office (religions@mdpi.com). Abstracts will be reviewed by the guest editors for the purposes of ensuring proper fit within the scope of the Special Issue. Full manuscripts will undergo double-blind peer-review.

Prof. Dr. John C. Peckham
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • doctrine of God
  • God–world relationship
  • classical theism
  • relational theism
  • neo-classical theism
  • attributes of God
  • nature of God
  • creator–creature distinction
  • theology proper
  • Christianity

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 564 KiB  
Article
God and Space
by William Lane Craig
Religions 2024, 15(3), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15030276 - 23 Feb 2024
Viewed by 857
Abstract
This paper inquires into the nature of God’s relationship to space. It explores two different views, one that God transcends space or exists aspatially and the other that God exists throughout space and so is spatially extended. It seeks to adjudicate the debate [...] Read more.
This paper inquires into the nature of God’s relationship to space. It explores two different views, one that God transcends space or exists aspatially and the other that God exists throughout space and so is spatially extended. It seeks to adjudicate the debate between these competing perspectives by weighing the principal arguments for and against each view. Full article
12 pages, 214 KiB  
Article
The Eternal Relations of Origin, Causality, and Implications for Models of God
by Andrew Hollingsworth
Religions 2024, 15(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15010035 - 25 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1244
Abstract
The classical doctrine of the eternal relations or origin (ERO) claims that these relations are (1) atemporal and (2) causal. In this paper, I investigate the casual nature of the ERO, highlighting that the patristic and medieval Christian thinkers who developed this doctrine [...] Read more.
The classical doctrine of the eternal relations or origin (ERO) claims that these relations are (1) atemporal and (2) causal. In this paper, I investigate the casual nature of the ERO, highlighting that the patristic and medieval Christian thinkers who developed this doctrine understood causality in terms of Aristotle’s efficient causality, highlighting that these are casual acts that produce an effect. I then provide an analysis of some of the major theories of efficient causation on offer in contemporary metaphysics to see which theory best comports with how the ancient and medieval Christian thinkers understood the efficient–causal aspect of the ERO, concluding that a powers theory of causation seems to work best. I conclude by discussing the implications the classical doctrine of the ERO has for models of God, arguing that they are compatible only with classical theism and neoclassical theism. Full article
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