4 Dec 2011

Who or What is God?

Submitted by Stephen Winters
TitleWho or What is God?
Publication TypeWeb Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsHick, J
Access Year2011
Access DateDec 4, 2011
Last Update Date2001
Keywordsgod, What is God

So we have a dilemma. Can we find any way through it or beyond it? At this point I want to suggest enlarging our field of vision – or if we have emerged from the BC (Before Computers) age, extending our data base - by taking account of the other world religions as well as our own. After all, the large majority of religious people in the world are not Christians, and yet their religions involve forms of life and thought that claim to lead to a transforming relationship, of limitless value, with an eternal reality that both transcends, and in the case of the eastern traditions is also immanent within, us. But Buddhism and Taoism and Confucianism and some strands of Hinduism do not see that eternal reality as an infinite Person. Suppose then, as an experiment, we now use the word ‘God’ as our western term for the ultimate reality which some do and others do not believe to be an infinite person. We then broaden the question, Who or what is God? by not confining it at the outset to a particular concept of the religious ultimate. When we do this some prefer not to use the term ‘God’, finding it almost impossible to detach it in most peoples’ minds from the notion of an infinite divine person and use instead such terms as Ultimate Reality, or the Ultimate, or the Real. But let us for our present purpose stick with the familiar term ‘God’, reminding ourselves however from time to time that we are not now using it in a sense restricted to what are called the western monotheisms – although in fact they all originated in the Middle East.

Citation KeyctkeyWhatIsGodHick

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