God, Eternity, and Time

Edmund Runggaldier, Christian Tapp (Hrsg.)

Buchcover"God is eternal" is a standard belief of all theistic religions. But what does it mean? If, on the one hand, "eternal" means timeless, how can God hear the prayers of the faithful at some point of time? And how can a timeless God act in order to answer the prayers? If God knows what I will do tomorrow from all eternity, how can I be free to choose what to do? If, on the other hand, "eternal" means everlasting, does that not jeopardize divine majesty? How can everlastingness be reconciled with the traditional doctrines of divine simplicity and perfection?

An outstanding group of American, UK, German, Austrian, and Swiss philosophers and theologians discuss the problem of God's relation to time. Their contributions range from analyzing and defending classical conceptions of eternity (Boethius's and Aquinas's) to vindicating everlastingness accounts, and from the foreknowledge problem to Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity.

This book tackles philosophical questions that are of utmost importance for Systematic Theology. Its highest aim is to deepen our understanding of religious faith by surveying its relations to one of the most fundamental aspects of reality: time.

Contents: Introduction; Part I In Defence of Divine Timelessness: On existing all at once, Robert Pasnau; Eternity, simplicity, and presence, Eleonore Stump; Why we need God's eternity, Thomas Schärtl. Part II Divine Omniscience and Human Freedom: Eternity and fatalism, Linda Zagzebski; Molina on foreknowledge and transfer of necessities, Christoph Jäger. Part III In Favour of a 'Third Way': Eternity and Infinity, Christian Tapp; The difference creation makes: relative timelessness reconsidered, Alan G. Padgett; Timeless action? Temporality and/or eternity in God's being and acting, Reinhold Bernhardt. Part IV In Defence of Divine Temporalism, or: In Debate with Science: Divine eternity and Einstein's special theory of relativity, William Lane Craig; Eternity in process philosophies, Hans Kraml; Bibliography; Sigla; Index.

About the Editors: Christian Tapp holds degrees in Catholic Theology, Mathematics, History of Science and Philosophy (the two latter ones doctoral degrees). He started his career as a Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter at Göttingen Philosophical Institute, spent a year as a postdoc at CMU Pittsburgh Philosophy Dept. and two years at the Institute for Christian Philosophy of Innsbruck University (Austria). Since August 2008 he is Juniorprofessor (Assistant Professor equiv.) for interdisciplinary questions of Philosophy and Theology, and Head of the research group "Infinitas Dei" at the Faculty for Catholic Theology of Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Germany). In 2009 he became a member of the Junges Kolleg of the Nordrhein-Westfälische Akademie der Wissenschaften.
Edmund Runggaldier SJ studied Philosophy at a Jesuit Faculty near Munich (Germany) and Theology at Innsbruck University (Austria). In 1977 he received his Ph.D. from Oxford University supervised by Alfred J. Ayer. He started his career the same year at Innsbruck University's Institute for Christian Philosophy, where he received his Habilitation in 1983 and became full professor in 1990. 1993-1995 Dean of the Theological Faculty in Innsbruck; Visiting Scholar at Notre Dame and Loyola University, Chicago (USA); 2003-2007 adjunct professor of analytical ontology at the Catholic University of Milano (Italy); 2007-2009 Romano Guardini Chair for Catholic Weltanschauung at the Protestant Theological Faculty at Humboldt Universität Berlin (Germany).

Reviews: 'Leading analytic philosophers are featured in this beautifully organized exploration of the range of positions and issues that link God, eternity, and time. Each chapter carefully analyzes a different dimension of the topic, seeking tight arguments rather than vague speculations. The richness of the discussion is good evidence that eternity is a timeless question'.
Philip Clayton, Claremont School of Theology , USA

'God, Eternity, and Time is an outstanding collection of essays exploring God’s relation to time, bringing together a distinguished group of philosophers of religion and philosophical theologians…' Journal of Theological Studies

'… this is an important collection of essays on divine eternality, and a must-read for those who are invested in this topic.' Themelios

'[These essays] show that the tools of the analytic philosopher are among the most valuable for exploring the nature of God. Perhaps the lasting contribution of this book is to highlight this value.' The Thomist

‘Tapp and Runggaldier have produced a stimulating… collection that should be required reading for postgraduates and specialists researching divine eternity, divine timelessness, and related fields.’ Providence, Divine Action and the Church

Farnham, Burlington: Ashgate 2011.