Divine Hiddenness: New Essays

Divine Hiddenness: New Essays

Divine Hiddenness: New Essays

Divine Hiddenness: New Essays

Synopsis

In this new collection of essays, a distinguished group of philosophers of religion explore the question of divine hiddenness in considerable detail. The issue is approached from several perspectives including Jewish, Christian, atheist, and agnostic. There is coverage of the historical treatment of divine hiddenness as found in the work of Maimonides, St. John of the Cross, Jonathan Edwards, Kierkegaard, and various Biblical writers. A substantial introduction clarifies the main problems of and leading solutions to divine hiddenness.

Excerpt

The existential problem often takes the form of a crisis of faith, sometimes leading to a collapse of trust in God. Jewish and Christian theists have committed themselves to the God who, they believe, loves them perfectly. They expect to find their greatest good, their ultimate fulfillment, in personal and social relationship with God. in the Jewish tradition, this general idea finds elaboration in God's entering into a covenant relationship with the people of Israel, who are to respond to God in faithful obedience. in the Christian tradition, the idea sometimes takes a more individualistic turn. To be sure, God enters into covenant relationship with a “people” – namely, the Church inaugurated by Jesus Christ – but Christians often emphasize the importance of each person's entering into a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. There are, of course, differences in interpretation and emphasis between and within the distinctive traditions of Judaism and Christianity. Nonetheless, the general initial expectation remains the same: God's reality, including His love for people, will be made sufficiently well known precisely because He loves them, and their flourishing as persons created in the image of God depends on their relationship with Him.

The potential for crisis arises here. Jewish and Christian theists believe that their flourishing as persons depends on their being in a personal and social relationship with God. For many such theists, however, there is no such . . .

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