Friday, October 29, 2004

anthropomorphic? theomorphic?

Julie talks about anthropomorphizing God in this post. She can take heart: Dr. Vallicella writes on the notion of imago Dei (the image of God) here, and I think she'll find his view more sympathetic to her own.

While I'm not inclined to engage in serious speculation about a personal God in whom I don't believe (though I'm willing to accept John Hick's contention that the Real can be experienced as personae by different people*), I'll say this: there's no logical or scientific resolution to this question; there's only what thinker David Tracy would call "relative adequacy," i.e., you reach a point in your speculation where you're more or less satisfied with your answers to the Big Questions. Relative adequacy doesn't imply that you stop questioning, but it does mean that, as time goes by and wisdom accumulates, you'll naturally tend to settle into a groove. If, for example, you experience God as personal, and feel that events in your life confirm your belief in such a personal God, then you'll be satisfied that you're on the right track.

*Hick speaks of divine personae and impersonae, that is, of personal and nonpersonal conceptions of ultimate reality. Personae would include Yahweh, Allah, and the triune God of Christianity. Impersonae would include the advaitic Hindu notion of nirguna brahman (brahman without qualities), the Buddhist notion of emptiness (sunyata) and the Tao of philosophical Taoism.


No comments: