Chapter

Being, Salvation, and the Knowledge of God

George Pattison

in God and Being

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199588688
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191723339 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588688.003.0002
Being, Salvation, and the Knowledge of God

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In surveying the identification of God and Being in the Western theological tradition particular emphasis is placed on the use of Exodus 3 and the self-naming of God as ‘I am who I am’. The soteriological force of ontological language is explored with particular reference to Augustine and his vision of life in time as falling away from true Being into nothingness and death. In this perspective only the God who is who He is in unchanging self-sameness can save. A modern reworking of this theme can be seen in, e.g., the theology of Paul Tillich. But can the God who is Being Itself be known in any meaningful sense? The problems of the Thomist answer to this question are explored with reference both to apophatic theology and Gilson's oaccount of the relationship between the known essence and the existent being.

Keywords: God; Being; salvation; soteriology; creation; Augustine; Thomas Aquinas; Tillich

Chapter.  20635 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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