God the Creator

On the Transcendence and Presence of God

By Robert Cummings Neville

Subjects: Religion
Paperback : 9780791408445, 320 pages, February 1992
Hardcover : 9780791408438, 320 pages, February 1992

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Table of contents



1 On the Nature of Being-Itself


A: The Analogy of Being
B: Ens Commune
C: Ens Perfectissimum
D: Being-Itself as Self-structuring Power: Hegel
E: Being-Itself as Non-generally Determinate: Royce


2. Determinations of Being


A: Determinateness
B: Real Distinctions of Determinations
C: Weiss's Theory of the One and the Many
D: Difficulties with Weiss's Theory
E: The Requirement of Transcedence and Indeterminateness


3. Creation and the Transcendence of Being-Itself


A: Proof of the Reality of Being-Itself, the Creator
B: The Logic of the Concept of Creation
C: Defense against Objections
D: Being-Itself and Non-being


4. The Transcendence and Presence of God the Creator


A: The Creator-Created Distinction
B: Creation ex Nihilo
C: Transcendence, Presence, and the "Transcendentals"



5. Cosmology and Cosmogony


A: The Distinction between Cosmology and Cosmogony
B: The Argument of Cosmology
C: Cosmological Explanations of Transcendence
D: Cosmogonic Explanations


6. Methodological Dialectic


A: Religious Experience
B: Analogy
C: Dialectic
D: Dialectic in Experience


7. Constitutive Dialectic


A: The Ideal of Explanation
B: Kinds of Explanations
C: Continuity in Explanations
D: The Order of Explanations


8. The Testimonies of Experience


A: Religious and Philosophical Interpretations
B: Abstract Philosophical Interpretations
C: Religious versus Philosophical Experience
D: Experience, Proof, and Criticism



9. The Conception of God in Religion


A: God as Individual and God as Being-Itself
B: Holiness
C: The Truth in the Alternatives
D: Power


10. The Conception of the Religious Life


A: Religion as a Way of Life
B: Man as a Determination of Being
C: The Nature of the Religious Problem


11. The Interiority of the Religious Life


A: Concern
B: Conversion
C: Faith
D: Certainty
E: Solitude
F: Bliss


12. The Public Expression of the Religious Life


A: Service
B: Liturgy and Providence
C: Evangelism
D: Dedication
E: Reconciliation


13. The Unity of the Religious Life


A: Discipleship
B: Public and Private Religion
C: Religion and the Other Things in Life
D: Freedom, Love, and Glory






God the Creator provides a detailed exposition of a conception of God as the creator of everything determinate. It does not defend an established conception such as the Thomist, the Calvinist, or the Process theological idea, but rather elaborates the ancient theme of creation ex nihilo in a new form appropriate to the contemporary world.

Part one is a rigorous philosophical development of the idea of God as creator ex nihilo, arguing that an adequate solution to the problem of the one and the many demands such a conception. This part includes a dialectical examination of contemporary and classical theories of being.

Part two asks how one can have knowledge of the kind of God described previously; it deals with experience, analogy, and dialectic.

Part three applies the conception developed in part one to fundamental religious conceptions such as the object of worship, the nature of religion, and the practices of private and public religious life. It presents theories arising from the conception of creation ex nihilo for the interpretation of religious concern, conversion, faith, certainty, solitude, bliss, service, liturgy, providence, evangelism, dedication, reconciliation, brotherhood, discipline, the integration of public and private religion relative to other dimensions of life, freedom, love, and glory.

Though the language arises from the Christian tradition and expresses an orthodox strand of that religion, the argument weaves throughout the concerns of many world religions.

Robert Cummings Neville is Professor of Philosophy, Religion, and Theology at Boston University and is Dean of the School of Theology. He is the author of Behind the Masks of God: An Essay toward Comparative Theology; The Puritan Smile: A Look toward Moral Reflection; Reconstruction of Thinking; Recovery of the Measure: Interpretation and Nature; The Tao and the Daimon; and A Theology Primer, all published by SUNY Press.