God, Concepts of

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GOD, CONCEPTS OF

It is very difficultperhaps impossibleto give a definition of "God" that will cover all usages of the word and of equivalent words in other languages. Even to define God generally as "a superhuman or supernatural being that controls the world" is inadequate. "Superhuman" is contradicted by the worship of divinized Roman emperors, "supernatural" by Benedict Spinoza's equation of God with Nature, and "control" by the Epicurean denial that the gods influence the lives of men. Therefore, while the above definition satisfies a wide range of usages, it is not universally applicable.

This entry will deal with five problems: the transcendence and immanence of God, his relation to the world, his chief attributes, the extent to which he is "personal," and the ways by which he can be known. In discussing these problems it will be necessary to consult the data provided by both religion and philosophy. But purely religious data (in contrast with theological speculations based on them) will be mentioned only when they are relevant to philosophical understanding.

Transcendence and Immanence

In Judaism and Christianity, God is unquestionably transcendent. He is "wholly other" than the world he made. In Judaism his transcendence was emphasized by, among other things, the prohibition of idols, the explicit teaching of Isaiah 40:1226, the sacredness of the Tetragrammaton, and the speculations of Philo who, in a typical passage, speaks of God Platonically as "the pure and unsullied Mind of the universe, transcending virtue, transcending knowledge, transcending the good itself." The New Testament, in confirming the Old Testament, repudiates the claims of Hellenistic gnosis by affirming that "no one has ever seen God" (John 1:18) and that all our knowledge of him is like a confused reflection in a mirror (1 Cor. 13:12). Among later Christian thinkers this biblical attitude was reinforced partly by the influence of Neoplatonism and partly by the experience of the mystics (especially Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite). Hence, in the Summa Contra Gentiles (I, 14), Thomas Aquinas says that "the divine substance exceeds by its immensity every form which our intellect attains," so that while we can know that God is (quod sit ) we cannot know his essence or what he is (quid sit ). In recent times divine transcendence has been stressed by Søren Kierkegaard and Karl Barth, as opposed to Hegelian attempts to obtain a rational and synoptic understanding of ultimate reality. From a phenomenological point of view, Rudolf Otto, in his Das Heilige (Marburg, 1917), defined the object of worship as a mysterium tremendum et fascinans that is revealed to a suprarational faculty of the soul.

Christian theologians claim that this transcendent God can be spoken of either negatively by the via negativa or via remotionis (the apophatic way) or positively (by the cataphatic way). According to the negative way, we deny qualities to God by the use of such adjectives as "in corporeal" and "un created." Thus we come to know him by knowing what he is not. But we also speak positively of God (for example, by predicating goodness or wisdom of him). Thomas denied that positive predicates are definable in terms of negative ones. He also denied that they simply point to God as an indeterminate cause of finite properties. In his view, they refer to God in a positive manner through an "analogy of proportionality." Thus goodness exists in God in a "supereminent" form, proportionate to his infinite mode of being. Through this theory of analogical predication, Thomas hoped to steer a middle course between the anthropomorphism of univocal predication, on the one hand, and the agnosticism of equivocal predication on the other.

According to the main tradition of Christian thought, God is also immanent. Augustine held that the light of God's presence in the human mind enables it to recognize eternal truth. Thomas, while rejecting the Augustinian theory of illumination, affirmed God's omnipresence unambiguously. "God is in all things, not, indeed, as part of their essence, or as a quality, but in the manner that an efficient cause is present to that on which it acts. Hence God is in all things, and intimately" (Summa Theologiae Ia, 8, 1). Similarly, the mystics affirm that the transcendent God is present (even when unrecognized) at the "ground" or "apex" of the soul. But some philosophers have identified God's substance either partly or wholly with the world. The clearest exponent of this concept in Western thought is Spinoza, whose identification of God with Nature a paradigm of pantheism. Such later philosophers as Edward Caird and Sir Henry Jones, who equated the Christian God with the Hegelian Absolute, approximated pantheism in varying degrees. Many modern theologians, such as Barth and Rudolf Bultmann, who have followed Kierkegaard in reaffirming God's transcendence, have either denied or ignored his immanence. Paul Tillich is a notable exception. While he spoke of God "existentially" as the transcendent Object of our "ultimate concern," he also held that we could not know God without "participating" in him.

God and the World

The degree to which God is transcendent or immanent depends on the view that is taken of his relation to the world. At least five views are possible.

god as final cause

God can be viewed as a final, though not efficient, cause of the world. This view was held by Aristotle. According to him, God is the world's "prime mover." God "moves" the world in the sense that he educes form from its material structure by inspiring it, through a series of subordinate movers or "intelligences," to love him as its end or goal. Yet Aristotle expressly denied a creation of the world; he considered matter to be ungenerated and eternal.

world as emanation from god

The world may be regarded as in some way an emanation from, or self-expression of, God. This view has taken three main forms.

According to Plotinus, the One, or "first god," is beyond all thought and being. The One's simplicity would be violated if the world were a part of it. Its unchangeability would be violated if it were to create the world by an act of will. Therefore Plotinus propounded his theory of "emanation." Mind, Soul, and the material world flow from the One (as rays flow from the sun) without impairing its self-sufficiency.

According to Spinoza, the world is God (the only substance) under his attributes of thought and extension. Everything follows from his essence by a logical necessity. "Things could not have been produced by God in any other manner or order than that in which they were produced. All things must have followed of necessity from a given nature of God, and they were determined for existence or action in a certain way by the necessity of the divine nature" (Ethics I, prop. 33). Critics of Spinoza have continually pointed out that on these premises it is very hard to account for, first, the individuality which human persons seem to have; second, their apparent freedom, which Spinoza elsewhere attempts to analyze; and third, the fact of evil, especially in its moral forms.

The same type of relation between God and the world was posited by G. W. F. Hegel. Unlike Plotinus, he regarded God or the Absolute as in its essence a self-diversifying unity. Unlike Spinoza, he conceived of God's self-expression as a dynamic process that is discoverable in historical events. Hegel's thought is not free from ambiguity. He sometimes speaks of God as an independently existing entity. But his final and distinctive view is that the Absolute Spirit does not exist apart from the human spirits in which it is progressively evolved.

world as preexistent matter set in order

The third way of relating God to the world was stated by Plato in his Timaeus. According to this dialogue (29e30), God is bounded on the one hand by the world of Forms and on the other by preexistent matter. His task is to impose the Forms on matter, and so construct a rationally ordered whole. Being wholly good, and therefore free from jealousy, he wished everything to be like himself. Since an intelligent being is superior to an unintelligent one, and since intelligence cannot be present in anything that is devoid of soul, "he put intelligence in soul, and soul in body, that he might be the creator of a work which was by nature best." (In the Republic 597, Plato implies that God creates the Forms, but this was not his usual view.)

creation ex nihilo

In contrast with all the previous views, Christian theists since Augustine have held the doctrine of creation out of nothing. This phrase is meant to exclude both the idea that the world is a necessary emanation from God's nature and the idea that matter preexists his creative act. God brings the whole world into being by an undetermined choice. He does not need the world to complete his nature, for he is wholly self-sufficient. He is not confronted with an alien Necessity, for he is the efficient cause of all that is.

This conception of the relation between the Creator and the creature can be elucidated through the contrast between necessary and contingent being. God exists necessarily. In him essence and existence are identical. He is self-existent in a unique and incomprehensible way. Creatures, on the other hand, are contingent. Their essence, while preexisting ideally in the mind of God, would not have achieved independent being if he had not chosen to grant it by a free act of love. Therefore, while they participate in him both by nature and by grace, they never lose their created status. They can be deified (as the Greek fathers taught) within their finite limits, but they cannot become divine in the sense of sharing God's aseity.

The full Christian doctrine does not restrict God's creative act to an initial moment in the cosmic process. All things owe their being continuously to his power. He is a first cause in the order of existence, not of time, for he himself is supratemporal. Hence it is irrelevant to theology whether the world did or did not have a temporal beginning. Thomas held that while such a beginning was revealed through Scripture, it could not be rationally proved. All reason knows is that God is the eternal, ever-present, and creative source of anything that does (or can) exist. Creation and preservation are identical.

However, while no creature exists from itself (a se ), every creature exists by itself (per se ) or in itself (in se ). Created substances have a relative independence, or derived autonomy. These paradoxical expressions are required in order to affirm the truth that while creatures owe their being to God as their first cause, they also act according to secondary causes that are appropriate to their natures. The distinction between these two types of cause is necessary for a true assessment of the relation between science and theology. Because finite things exist per se, their secondary causes are discoverable without the aid of faith. But the discovery of secondary causes does not, without a further, nonscientific, act of inference or intuition, either permit or prohibit belief in a first cause, God.

Yet God, as first cause, can suspend or transform secondary causes in order to perform his will. When he does so, his action is called a miracle. A miracle does not violate nature. It is a case of nature behaving in an abnormal way through a special act of the same creative power that is at work in the normal processes which can be subsumed under scientific laws. If the essence of finite being is to be dependent on God's will (and so to possess a potentia obedientialis in relation to it), miraculous acts are not less natural than nonmiraculous ones. But while the abnormal character of an event is empirically verifiable, its miraculous character as an act of God can be discerned by faith alone. (Many theologians readily admit that at least some of David Hume's skeptical objections have considerable prima-facie force.)

The relation between divine causality and the human will has been extensively discussed by theologians. The doctrine of predestination, in its rigid Augustinian form, would seem to be obviously incompatible with human freedom. Yet even those theologians who reject the doctrine are obliged to face the problem of the manner in which God acts on men both by nature (through his general providence) and by grace (through the supernatural gift of the Holy Spirit). While various attempts have been made to separate divine and human action so that, for example, the human will is left wholly autonomous in a strictly moral choice, many theologians (more recently, D. M. Baillie and A. M. Farrer) affirm, on grounds of Scripture and experience, that the divine and human wills act simultaneously throughout the Christian life, but that the manner of their interaction is a paradox, or mystery, that cannot be unraveled by the intellect.

god as final stage of cosmic process

Samuel Alexander held the eccentric view that God qua deity, so far from being the ground of the cosmic process, is (ideally) its final stage. The world evolves from space time through matter and life to mind. God exists wholly within the world, which is his "body," but he does not yet exist as deity (that is, as an infinite, transcendent, Being). Moreover, he will never so exist. Deity, as a state of infinite perfection, is a goal to which the world (or God considered as the world) continually strives but which is unattainable.

Some philosophers have combined two or more of these views. Thus A. N. Whitehead, while rejecting the idea that God is the world's efficient cause, held, as did Aristotle, that he is a final cause who (like Plato's God) brings order into the world by ensuring the ingredience of eternal objects (which, however, do not exist independently) in the realm of temporal flux. But Whitehead also shows his affinity with Alexander by asserting that it is as true to say that the world creates God as it is to say that God creates the world.

The Divine Attributes

In most systems of religion and philosophy, God is endowed with characteristics that distinguish him from other forms of being.

infinity

The infinity of the Christian God was implied above in the accounts of his transcendence and creative power, and in most systems, God's infinity makes him free, in degree, if not in kind, from at least some human limitations. But he is not strictly infinite unless he is limitless throughout the whole range of his existence. He can be wholly limitless, however, only if he is self-existent and thereby self-sufficient. If (as Hegel thought) God needs the world as the sphere of his self-development, or if (as Plato thought) he copies an independent realm of Forms, he is pro tanto limited. He is strictly infinite only if his essence is identical with existence, as Thomas held when he said that the most appropriate name for God is the one disclosed to Moses according to the Vulgate text of ExodusQui Est ("He Who Is"). If God is thus infinite, he must possess all properties in a mode that is free from every limitation. He must be one, simple, incorporeal, immutable, impassible, eternal, good, omniscient, and omnipotent.

unity

The Greek philosophers were apt to speak interchangeably of "god" and "the gods" (as may be seen, for example, from Plato's Laws 900905 and the Discourses of Epictetus 1,3,1). But in Judaism the belief that Yahweh is the only God became an unquestioned axiom that was inherited by Christians and defended by Thomas on the grounds that if there were two gods, one would possess what the other lacked, so that neither would be absolutely perfect (Summa Theologiae Ia, 11, 3). Similarly, Muslims hold as a primary article of faith that "there is no god but God." But Christians differ from Jews and Muslims in believing that the one God exists in a threefold form as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is one substance (substantia, ousia ) in three persons (personae, hypostaseis ).

simplicity

According to Christianity and Neoplatonism, God is one also in the sense that he is absolutely simple; for the distinctions (such as those between essence and existence, substance and accidents) that make a finite being composite are inapplicable to him. Plotinus interpreted this simplicity as a bare, characterless, self-identity. But Thomas held both that God actually possesses the perfections we ascribe to him and that these coalesce in an unimaginable unity. Each of God's attributes is objectively distinct, but each expresses his whole being.

incorporeality

Those philosophers who regard the world as an aspect of God or an unfolding of his essence are obliged to think of him materially. Thus the Stoics identified him with nature's basic elements, air and fire. Similarly, Augustine learned from Manichaeism that God is a bright and very subtle substance. But the immateriality of God has constantly been taught by Platonists and Christians on the ground that matter, being a principle of limitation, is incompatible with his perfection.

immutability

That God's nature cannot change (for change implies imperfection) was affirmed by Plato and the Old Testament. It was reaffirmed by Christian theologians, especially Augustine.

impassibility

Impassibility is equivalent to immutability, if it means that God cannot suffer change from either an external or an internal cause. But it has also been taken to mean that God cannot experience pain. While there is an apparent contradiction between this last meaning and Biblical descriptions of God's love, it has been maintained by some theologians (but denied by others) that, although Christ experienced pain in his human nature, God cannot experience it in himself, for, being wholly perfect, he is pure Joy.

eternity

In the Bible, God's eternity signifies an everlasting, endless time. In later Christian thought (through the influence of Platonism) it was understood as "timelessness." It is, in the famous definition of Boethius, interminabilis vitae tota simul et perfecta possessio ("eternal life possessed perfectly and simultaneously," De Consolatione Philosophiae V, vi). God, it is said, would not be perfect unless he possessed his whole being in a simultaneous act.

goodness

The moral order has sometimes been interpreted nontheistically through such abstract ideas as Rita (in India), Dao (in China), and Dike (in Greece). The gods of Greco-Roman polytheism were notoriously immoral. But in Christian thought, Plato's affirmation that God is wholly good (Republic 379) was combined with the Hebraic vision of Yahweh's righteousness. Hence Thomas considered it to be axiomatic that "God is sheer goodness, whereas other things are credited with the sort of goodness appropriate to their natures" (In Boethium de Hebdomadibus 5).

omniscience

Omniscience is entailed by infinity. But a special problem is created by the view that God now knows future freely chosen human acts. Those who hold this view urge, first, that since God is timeless it is, strictly speaking, incorrect to say that he "foreknows" events, and second, that even if we say this (speaking from our finite standpoint), we need not assume that a human act, because it is foreknown, is predeterminedby either God or any other factor outside the agent's will. To say that a human act can in principle be predicted is not to say that the agent has no control over it or is not really active and responsible for what he does; this, at any rate, is a view of human action widely held by philosophers at the present time. But other theists (notably James Ward and F. R. Tennant) consider it contradictory to say that a free choice can be known in any sense until it has been made. They affirm that God is ignorant of future human choices and that his ignorance is a "self-limitation" he deliberately incurred in granting man free will.

omnipotence

Omnipotence too is entailed by infinity. It is important to note that in the Creeds, Pantocrator and omnipotens imply that God is ruler of all things, rather than that he can do anything. He cannot act against either reason or morality. But it is extremely difficult to explain the existence of evil in a world created by a God who is both infinitely powerful and infinitely good. Various explanations have been given. Thus, evil has been traced to the fall of a first man or World Soul. Again, it is said that God permits (even if he does not inflict) unmerited suffering as a means of purifying the soul for eternal life. But many theologians would endorse Friedrich Von Hügel's frank admission that no explanation is fully satisfying. It is therefore not surprising that some philosophers (notably J. S. Mill) have tried to relieve God of apparent responsibility for evil by supposing that he is finite both in knowledge and in power. (Christians believe that God displays his omnipotence by overcoming evil through the ministry of Christ; but an exposition of this belief would involve a study in the doctrines of Incarnation and Atonement.)

Personality

In the preceding sections it has been assumed that God is personal. The assumption is justified by the fact that, while in the primitive stages of religion he has often been conceived subpersonally, philosophers (in the West, at any rate) have nearly always described his nature to some extent by analogy with the human self. Thus, according to Plato, Aristotle, and Spinoza God has mental properties. But two conditions must be fulfilled if God is to be fully personal. First, it must be possible to speak of him as loving, or caring for, humankind. Second, it must be possible to speak of him truly through images drawn from human life. The Aristotelian and Spinozistic concepts of him fail to meet the first of these conditions. While Aristotle's First Mover contemplates himself, he does not have any knowledge of the world. Therefore, like Spinoza's God, he cannot return the love that he receives.

The second condition is not universally fulfilled either. Some thinkers have attempted to mediate between philosophy and religion by suggesting that concrete images of God are inadequate attempts to grasp a Reality that is suprapersonal. Thus Hegel held that Absolute Spirit can be adequately known only by the speculative intellect. Consequently, when he speaks of the Absolute as God he means by God (as Aristotle meant) self-thinking Thought. The personal God of theism is a prerational and imperfect representation (Vorstellung ) of the Absolute. On the ascending scale of truth, religion occupies an intermediate place between art and philosophy.

This contrast between religion and philosophy becomes even more acute when the Absolute is equated with a suprarational Unity. Here there is a striking parallel between Indian monism and the thought of F. H. Bradley. Some Hindu scriptures (notably the Bhagavad-Gita ) describe God as a personal being, the Lord of the universe, whose "grace" (prasada ) requires the "loving devotion" (bhakti ) of his worshipers. The Gita is especially significant. Through the theophany in the eleventh chapter, it declares that Krishna (the incarnate God, and friend of Arjuna) is "more to be prized even than Brahman." But Śankara, following the nondualistic strain in the Upanishads, held that the sole reality is the impersonal Absolute (Brahman) with which the soul is numerically identical. Personal concepts of the Absolute belong to the sphere of illusion (maya). They are forms under which the One appears to untutored minds. Likewise F. H. Bradley held that since Reality is nonrelational, a personal God is "but an aspect, and that must mean but an appearance, of the Absolute" (Appearance and Reality, Oxford, 1930, p. 397).

Christians, however, are obliged by revelation to identify the Absolute with a God who is fully personal, both in himself and in his dealings with humankind. Such primary images as Father, King, and Friend mediate a knowledge that cannot be surpassed by abstract speculation. During this century the personal nature of religious conviction has been stressed in varying terms by such writers as William Temple, John Oman, John Baillie, Karl Barth, Emil Brunner, Martin Buber, and the existentialists (especially Kierkegaard, Bultmann, and Gabriel Marcel). Buber's distinction between an "I-Thou" and an "I-It" relationship and Kierkegaard's contrast between subjectivity and objectivity have been widely used to express the difference between a personal and an impersonal attitude to God. At the same time, many theologians are aware that an unqualified application of personal categories to God results in anthropomorphism. Divine personality wholly transcends its finite counterpart. It is unique both because of the fact that essence and existence are identical in it and because of the mystery of its triune character.

the knowledge of god

There are three main routes to God: reason, revelation, and religious experience.

Both Plato and Aristotle claimed that reason can obtain a certain knowledge of God's existence and nature. This claim has been endorsed by many Christian theologians. Thus, St. Augustine, writing from within the Platonic tradition, affirmed that the human intellect by nature participates in eternal Truth. Furthermore, many theologians have held that God's existence can be proved. These proofs may be divided between those which take the form of a priori reasoning from God's essence and those which take the form of a posteriori reasoning from finite experience. The first type of proof is exemplified chiefly by the Ontological Argument, which was first formulated by St. Anselm and restated by René Descartes. In its Anselmic form it runs as follows: The idea of God is the idea of that than which nothing greater can be conceived; a being that exists is greater than a being that does not exist; therefore God exists. In view of the criticisms to which this proof has been subjected (especially by Thomas and Immanuel Kant), it is widely considered to be invalid by both theologians and philosophers today. The main a posteriori arguments received their classical formulation from Thomas.

He constructed five proofs based on the facts of motion, causality, contingency, relative perfection, and design. (The first, second, and third of these Five Ways are different forms of the Cosmological Argumentthe argument that the world in all its aspects shows its dependence on self-existent Being.) Kant rejected all proofs based on the use of the "speculative reason." But he maintained that the "practical reason" is obliged to postulate both God and immortality. Since World War I, natural theology has been vigorously attacked, on the one hand by Barth and, on the other, by those philosophers who deny the possibility of metaphysics. However, many twentieth-century philosophers (chiefly Roman Catholic Thomistsbut also others, such as A. E. Taylor) held that the main a posteriori proofs can be presented cogently.

Thomas affirmed that in addition to a natural knowledge of God there is a supernatural knowledge revealed by Christ and received through faith. Thus, while reason can infer that God is the Creator, it cannot discover that he is Three-in-One. John Locke reproduced this distinction in his Essay concerning Human Understanding (Book 4, Ch. 18). But in his Reasonableness of Christianity he paved the way for the deists, who held that the Gospel merely "republishes" the basic truths of natural religion and morality. The supernatural character of revelation was also denied later by those Hegelians who regarded Christ as the highest instance of the Absolute's universal presence in humanity.

Religious philosophers from Plato onward have claimed that it is possible to have a direct knowledge of divine reality. Among Christian thinkers, some hold that this knowledge is available (even if in a confused form) to everyone; others restrict it to the recipients of biblical revelation. Some regard it as the highest activity of ordinary mental powers; others assign it to a special faculty of the soul. Some describe it intellectually as an insight or intuition; others stress its volitional character by calling it a confrontation or encounter. Apart from these differences, it is necessary to distinguish between an experience that is mediated and one that is immediate. As many recent writers have stressed (notably, William Temple, John Oman, and H. D. Lewis), religious experience is normally mediated through secular experiences, including those which are formulated in the premises of the a posteriori proofs. Thus, we become aware of God as eternal through the contingency of finite things and as holy through the demands of the moral law. (Even the divinity of Christ is experienced, in the first place, through meditation on his human life and on the impact that it made on his disciples.) But there is also an immediate, purely spiritual experience that is called "mystical." While Christian and non-Christian mystics often use the same terminology, the former (when they are orthodox) differ from many of the latter at two points. First, they affirm that God is transcendent as well as immanent. Second, and as a consequence, they claim, not an absorption into the Godhead, but a union of love and will in which the distinction between the Creator and the creature is permanently retained.

See also Absolute, The; Alexander, Samuel; Aristotle; Augustine, St.; Barth, Karl; Bradley, Francis Herbert; Brunner, Emil; Buber, Martin; Bultmann, Rudolf; Caird, Edward; Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God; Descartes, René; Emanationism; God/Isvara in Indian Philosophy; Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich; Hiddenness of God; Hügel, Baron Friedrich von; Infinity in Theology and Metaphysics; Kant, Immanuel; Kierkegaard, Søren; Locke, John; Mani and Manichaeism; Marcel, Gabriel; Mill, John Stuart; Neoplatonism; Oman, John Wood; Ontological Argument for the Existence of God; Otto, Rudolf; Plato; Platonism and the Platonic Tradition; Plotinus; Pseudo-Dionysius; Spinoza, Benedict (Baruch) de; Taylor, Alfred Edward; Tennant, Frederick Robert; Thomas Aquinas, St.; Tillich, Paul; Whitehead, Alfred North.

Bibliography

A. E. Taylor's article on theism in Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, edited by J. Hastings (New York, 19081926), is still authoritative. The best single book on Greek thought about God up to and including Plato remains James Adam's The Religious Teachers of Greece (Edinburgh: Clark, 1908). On the period from Augustine to Scotus, there are admirable accounts by F. Copleston in Vol. 2 of his A History of Philosophy (London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne, 1954). This book also contains an excellent bibliography. Most of the relevant passages in Thomas are assembled in the two anthologies, Philosophical Texts and Theological Texts, selected and translated by T. Gilby (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1951 and 1955). On the modern period, there is much useful material in A. S. Pringle-Pattison's The Idea of God (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1920) and in E. L. Mascall's He Who Is (London: Longmans, Green, 1943). The latter reexamines the essentials of theism, and contains a full bibliography. See also J. Collins's very comprehensive God in Modern Philosophy (Chicago: Regnery, 1959); Illtyd Trethowan's The Basis of Belief (London: Burns and Oates, 1960), a concise summary of recent work on natural theology; and F. Ferré's Language, Logic and God (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1962), a full account of recent writing on religious subjects from an empiricist point of view. The classical analysis of religious experience remains Rudolf Otto, Das Heilige (Marburg, 1917), translated by J. W. Harvey as The Idea of the Holy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1925). The best modern defense of the miraculous element in Christianity is C. S. Lewis, Miracles (London: G. Bles, 1960). A full survey of recent writing on revelation is contained in John Baillie, The Idea of Revelation in Recent Thought (New York: Columbia University Press, 1956).

H. P. Owen (1967)