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Classical and revisionary theism on the divine as personal: a rapprochement?

Citation: Burns, Elizabeth (2014) Classical and revisionary theism on the divine as personal: a rapprochement? International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, 78 (2). pp. 151-165. ISSN 0020-7047

5. Burns The Divine as Personal IJPR 12 14.pdf

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To claim that the divine is a person or personal is, according to Richard Swinburne, ‘the most elementary claim of theism’ (1993, 101). I argue that, whether the classical theist’s concept of the divine as a person or personal is construed as an analogy or a metaphor, or a combination of the two, analysis necessitates qualification of that concept such that any differences between the classical theist’s concept of the divine as a person or personal and revisionary interpretations of that concept are merely superficial. Thus, either the classical theist has more in common with revisionary theism than he/she might care to admit, or classical theism is a multi-faceted position which encompasses interpretations which some might regard as revisionist. This article also explores and employs the use of a gender-neutral pronoun in talk about God.

Creators: Burns, Elizabeth (0000-0001-7009-9948) and
Official URL:
Subjects: Philosophy
Keywords: divine personhood, divine agency, analogy, metaphor, Classical theism, revisionary theism, revisionist theism, gender-neutral pronoun
Divisions: University of London International Academy
  • 12 September 2014 (accepted)
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