Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2014 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Deus Absconditus

  • Meredith LisagorEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_164

Evolution and Variants of a Theological Concept

Ancient Egyptian and classical Western mystery religions can be said to rest upon the inscrutability of deity, but a concept of god as partially knowable yet ultimately inaccessible by any sort of mediation is the fruit of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Variously detailed by different theologians as early as Clement of Alexandria (ca. 150–215), notions about god as hidden, or Deus Absconditus, generally take their biblical warrant from Isaiah 45:15, “Truly, you are a God who hides himself.” Old Testament injunctions against seeing or looking upon god and New Testament recapitulations (e.g., “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, hath declared Him.” John 1:18) may also have influenced discussions of deity’s purposeful invisibility. But the crafting of theology based on the hiddenness of God would not occur until the Protestant Reformation.

Cited chiefly in context of the...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Bibliography

  1. Augustine (1993). City of God, Book X (trans: Dods, D.D.M.). New York: Modern Library.Google Scholar
  2. Chrysostom, J. (1984). On the incomprehensible nature of God, Homilies I-V. In The fathers of the church (Vol. 72) (trans: Harkins, P.W.). Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press.Google Scholar
  3. Clement of Alexandria. (1885). Stromata, Books II & V. In A. Roberts & J. Donaldson (Eds.), The ante-Nicene fathers (Vol. 2). Online edition. Retrieved from http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/02105.htm. Accessed 6 Oct 2005.
  4. Cusanus, N. (1997). Dialogue on the hidden God. Nicholas of Cusa: Selected spiritual writings (trans: Bond, H.L.). New York: Paulist Press.Google Scholar
  5. Dillenberger, J. (1953). God hidden and revealed. Philadelphia, PA: Muhlenberg Press.Google Scholar
  6. Erikson, E. (1962). Young man Luther. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
  7. Freud, S. (1957). Totem and taboo. In J. Strachey (Ed. & Trans.), SE (Vol. 13). London: Hogarth Press.Google Scholar
  8. Gerrish, B. A. (1973). “To the unknown God”: Luther and Calvin on the hiddenness of God. The Journal of Religion, 53(3), 263–292.Google Scholar
  9. Guntrip, H. (1992). Schizoid phenomena, object-relations and the self. Madison, CT: International Universities Press.Google Scholar
  10. Jung, C. G. (1953). Psychology and alchemy (trans: Hull, R.F.C.), CW (Vol. 12). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Jung, C. G. (1989). Psychology and religion: West and east (trans: Hull, R.F.C.), CW (Vol. 11). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Luther, M. (1972). Bondage of the will. In S. Philip (Ed.), LW (Vol. 33). Philadelphia, PA: Watson.Google Scholar
  13. Norris, R. A. (1995, Fall). Lectures. New York: Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York.Google Scholar
  14. Origen. (1979). De principiis, Books III & IV (trans: Butterworth, G.W.). Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith.Google Scholar
  15. Origen. (2001). Origen spirit & fire. (H. U. von Balthasar, Ed.). Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press.Google Scholar
  16. Otto, R. (1958). The idea of the holy (trans: Harvey, J.W.). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Pascal, B. (1995). Pensées (trans: Krailsheimer, J.). London: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Pinomaa, L. (2001). Faith victorious: An introduction to Luther's theology. Lima, OH: Academic Renewal Press.Google Scholar
  19. Pseudo-Dionysius. (1987). The mystical theology. (trans: Luibheid, C.), Pseudo-Dionysius: The complete works. New York: Paulist Press.Google Scholar
  20. Schore, A. N. (1994). Affect regulation and the origin of the self: Neurobiology of emotional development. Hillsdale, NJ/Hove, England: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  21. Winnicott, D. W. (1994). The maturational processes and the facilitating environment. Madison, CT: International Universities Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New YorkUSA