Saturday, January 15, 2011

Soskice contra Rosenzweig on the Name

"To Rosenzweig's insistence that, 'in the narrative context . . . the only justifiable translation (of the Name) is one that makes prominent not God's being eternal but his being present, his being present for and with you now and in time to come', a Maimonidean might reply (and a Thomist certainly would reply) that this intimacy, this providence, is precisely what it means for Jews and Christians, but not for the philosophers, to say that God is Eternal.  'Eternity' is thus not another idea alongside and possibly in conflict with that of providence, but is in the Jewish and the Christian understanding part of the meaning of providence or, better, part of what it means for Jews and Christians to say that God is the Creator.  God's undivided presence to everything in particular is in sharp contrast with what 'divine eternity' meant for classical Greek philosophy."

Janet M. Soskice, "Creatio ex nihilo:  its Jewish and Christian foundations," in Creation and the God of Abraham, ed. David B. Burrell, Carlo Cogliati, Janet M. Soskice, and William Stoeger (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 2010), 29-30 (24-39).

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