On Orthodox Panentheism

Religious Studies (forthcoming)
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Panentheism is the position that the world is in some sense ‘in’ God, and God ‘in’ the world, without the world being identical to God. Thus, it tries, like what I call mainstream theism and against pan- theism, to protect the transcendence of God, while giving greater emphasis to his immanence in creation than the former. I aim to explicate an approach that I call Orthodox Panentheism. The word ‘orthodox’ is to be read in two ways. First, the picture is derived from the writings of some of the most important figures in Eastern Christian thought, so that it is Orthodox in the ‘big “O” sense’. Second, I hope to show that it is a legitimate Christian picture of the God–world relation which is both distinctive and worthy of being called ‘panentheism’ – an orthodox panentheism in the ‘little “o” sense’.

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