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Finding Time for God -An examination of God's relation to Time through the Metaphysics of the Incarnation

Paul, Emily Grace (2018) Finding Time for God -An examination of God's relation to Time through the Metaphysics of the Incarnation. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

In this thesis, I use the metaphysics of the incarnation as a lens for investigating how a Christian God relates to time. Parts (i)-(iii) deal in turn with a specific aspect, or element, of the incarnation. Each part examines whether and how a timeless (atemporal) and a temporal God, respectively, can account for that specific incarnational element. These elements are the Son of God ‘becoming’ incarnate; the incarnate Son being fully divine, fully human and a single person; and the Son’s glorification. I argue that a temporal God is compatible with all three of these important aspects of the incarnation. Comparably, if God is atemporal, I argue that although we can potentially make sense of the Son ‘becoming’ incarnate, we cannot account for the other two elements of the incarnation. Part (iv) takes a step back from these incarnational commitments, and considers debates about the nature of time itself: the relationism vs. substantivalism debate, and the tensed vs. tenseless time debate. I argue that in previous debates, substantival time has been assumed almost exclusively, and that construing time as relational instead looks promising for furthering the debate, because it provides us with a new and coherent sense of divine temporality. Regarding the tensed vs. tenseless time debate, I argue that atemporalists tend to assume that time itself is tenseless; and temporalists that it is tensed. I consider how God’s relation to time might look if we swap these traditional pairings around. I argue that a timeless God existing outside of tensed time is wholly untenable, but that a temporal God existing within tenseless time is perfectly coherent. This strengthens my argument in Parts (i)-(iii), because it provides the temporalist alone with the freedom to choose between tensed and tenseless time, whereas atemporalists have only tenseless time to work with.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Time, Divine Temporality, Divine Atemporality, Incarnation
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Philosophy, Religion and the History of Science
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.749428
Depositing User: Ms Emily Grace Paul
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2018 10:40
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 12:49
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/20999

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