The God of the Philosophers

The God of the Philosophers

The God of the Philosophers

The God of the Philosophers


This provocative book examines some of the principal attributestraditionally ascribed to God in western theism, particularly omniscience andomnipotence. From his discussion of a number of related topics, including acomprehensive treatment of the problem of the relations between divineforeknowledge and human freedom, Kenny concludes that there can be no such beingas the God of traditional natural theology.


From 1970 to 1972 I held the Wilde Lecturership in Natural Religion in the University of Oxford. For the general topic of my lectures I chose the attributes of God: in 1970 I lectured on omniscience, in 1971 on omnipotence, and in 1972 on benevolence. Later I had the opportunity to give modified and abbreviated versions of the same course of lectures at Princeton, at Cornell, and at Calvin College, Grand Rapids. The present volume contains a version of the lectures that has been rewritten to take account of the discussions of those earlier courses and of some of the material that others have published in the intervening years. In the process of revision I have omitted much of the material from the original lectures: in particular I found that it was impossible to treat of divine benevolence without becoming too deeply involved in matters that are the province of the historian of dogma rather than of the philosopher of religion.

I am grateful to the Universities of Oxford, Princeton, and Cornell for inviting me to give these lectures, and to all those who took part in the discussions on the occasion of their delivery: in particular I am grateful to Peter Geach, Alvin Plantinga, and Terence Penelhum who were my fellow-lecturers at Calvin College during the very happy and fruitful summer institute where they were presented.

Part of Chapter II was presented at an American Philosophical Association symposium and was published in the Journal of Philosophy in 1971.

2 August 1978 ANTHONY KENNY

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