Chapter 1

  • H. P. Owen
Part of the Philosophy of Religion Series book series (PHRES)


Theism may be defined as belief in one God, the Creator, who is infinite, self-existent, incorporeal, eternal, immutable, impassible, simple, perfect, omniscient and omnipotent. I shall examine each element in this definition according to the order I have given. But first I must say something concerning the historical origins of theism.


Human Person Religious Experience Moral Evil Infinite Form Christian Theism 
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  1. 4.
    I shall quote both from the new Blackfriars edition (which I shall use unless I indicate otherwise) and from the two anthologies entitled ‘Philosophical Texts’ and ‘Theological Texts’, ed. T. Gilby (Oxford University Press, 1951 and 1955).Google Scholar
  2. 12.
    ‘New Essays in Philosophical Theology’, ed. A. Flew and A. Macintyre (S.C.M. Press, 1963) p. 68. Hick has shown that the failure to distinguish between ontological and logical necessity vitiates Malcolm’s reformulation of the ontological argument (‘The Many-Faced Argument’ Macmillan, 1968 pp. 341–56).Google Scholar
  3. 24.
    For another statement of the view that God, though in himself timeless, knows the world as a temporal succession, see G. F. Stout’s ‘God and Nature’ (Cambridge University Press, 1952) pp. 222–30.Google Scholar
  4. 30.
    Two valuable subsequent studies in the theistic use of ‘mystery’ are contained in E. L. Mascall’s ‘Words and Images’ (Darton, Longman & Todd, 1968),Google Scholar
  5. and H. D. Lewis’s essay in ‘Prospect for Metaphysics’, ed. I. T. Ramsey (Allen & Unwin, 1961).Google Scholar
  6. 35.
    On the inadequacy of Jaspers and Bultmann in this respect, see Eugene Long’s ‘Jaspers and Bultmann’ (1968).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© H. P. Owen 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. P. Owen
    • 1
  1. 1.King’s CollegeUniversity of LondonUK

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