Divine Power, Goodness, and Knowledge

William L. Rowe

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Religion

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780195138092
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835348 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 Divine Power, Goodness, and Knowledge

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In Judaism, Christianity, and Islam God is generally understood to be an eternal being, possessing maximal power (omnipotence), maximal knowledge (omniscience), and maximal goodness. This understanding of the divine nature emerged over time as religious thinkers reflected on the qualities contributing to perfection and greatness in a conscious being. To comprehend the idea of God it is therefore necessary to understand the fundamental great-making qualities—goodness, power, and knowledge—that are aspects of the divine nature, to understand what is required from each of these qualities to have a maximal degree, and to consider whether any being can possess each of these qualities in a maximal degree.

Keywords: divine nature; eternal being; maximal goodness; maximal knowledge (omniscience); maximal power (omnipotence); perfection (divine)

Chapter.  10355 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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