Nontheistic Conceptions of the Divine

Paul J. Griffiths

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Religion

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780195331356
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Nontheistic Conceptions of the Divine

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Nontheistic conceptions of the divine could be classified and discussed in many ways. One approach would be to construct a typology of possible nontheistic understandings, but this would be tedious and not terribly useful. A second approach—the one followed here—would collect some representative instances of nontheistic understandings of the divine and would comment on the concepts and argumentative strategies that inform them. Because most theistic understandings of the divine will be related in one way or another to Judaism, Christianity, or Islam, it will be easiest and most useful for purposes of contrast to take the examples from traditions of thought and practice largely or completely uninfluenced by the concepts familiar to these Abrahamic religions.

Keywords: nontheism; the divine; Abrahamic religions; argumentative strategies; religious concepts; Islam

Article.  10018 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Religion ; Non-Western Philosophy

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