Chapter

Atemporal, Sempiternal, or Omnitemporal

Garrett Deweese

in God and Time

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780195129656
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849130 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195129656.003.0003
Atemporal, Sempiternal, or Omnitemporal

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In the literature of philosophical theology, several different terms are used to elucidate the metaphysics of “eternity” as God's temporal mode of being. This chapter offers definitions of four crucial terms: temporal, atemporal, sempiternal, and omnitemporal. Certain metaphysical implications which flow from the definitions offer philosophical theologians clear alternatives from which to choose in explicating God's eternity. First, it is suggested that the definition of atemporality has clearly detrimental implications for traditional conceptions of God's being. Next, it is argued that if God's eternity is conceived as sempiternal, then it follows that God is logically contingent, a rather unwelcome result. Finally, the chapter contends that omnitemporality, while not without some difficulties, may offer the best conceptual framework for understanding God's relation to the temporal universe and to us.

Keywords: God; metaphyics; eternity; temporality; omnitemporality; temporal universe

Chapter.  7174 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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