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Flashcards in Natural and Revealed Theology Deck (43):

What is natural theology?

The use of reason and philosophy to theorise about God.


What is natural theology's position in the RC church?

Comes before revelations.


Which arguments did Aquinas use to prove God's existence?

The cosmological and design arguments.


What is the cosmological argument?

The idea that the existence of the universe is strong evidence for the existence of a God.


What is the design argument?

The idea that the universe is so complicated and intricate it must have been carefully created by a divine power, thus indicating God's existence.


Do RCs prefer natural or revealed theology?

Both required to understand something of God's nature and relationship to human beings. They don't contradict each other.


What did Augustine think about reason?

Human reason is the height of creation.


McGrath; where does creation bear marks of God?

1. Human reason.
2. Ordering of the world's natural laws.
3. Beauty of the world.


What did Calvin argue was subjective natural theology?

Sense of divinity within us all.


What did Calvin argue was objective natural theology?

Experience of and reflection upon ordering of the natural world.


Did Calvin believe we could rely on natural theology alone?

No; shortcomings of general knowledge of God due to sin, so scriptural revelation still needed.


Is revealed theology authoritative over natural theology?

Reform writers would argue so, and any revelation given to the church which contradicted scripture= invalid.


What did Karl Barth say the greatest reason for rejecting Catholicism was?

The importance they give to natural theology; any knowledge comes from God alone.


For most protestants God is revealed above all in:

Jesus, the Bible, religious experience.


What are McGrath's 4 models of the ways God is revealed to humanity?

1. Doctrine.
2. Presence.
3. Experience.
4. History.


Revelation includes truths that...

reason has not discovered.


How might one experience revealed theology?

Through prayer, worship, miracles, religious experience etc.


What did Sankara believe?

Non-dualist/ monist, so complete oneness between Brahman and humanity.


What did Ramanuja believe?

Qualified non-dualism, believed in oneness yet diversity.


What did Madhva believe?

Dualist, God is the efficient cause of the universe, but not the material cause.


Define dualism.

God and the universe are entirely separate, not the material cause or contingent.


Define qualified non-dualism.

Identity in duality- Ramanuja. God is both immanent and transcendent in the world.


Define monism.

God and the world are wholly one, God pervades all- Sankara.


Define panentheism.

God and the world are interconnected, and depend on each other.


Define pantheism.

The belief that the world is a mode of God's being.


What does 'material cause' mean?

God is the matter of the universe.


What does 'efficient cause' mean?

God is the cause of the universe.


What is the holistic modern scientific model?

The idea that everything is a part of a web of relationships.


What is the dipolar modern scientific model?

The balance of opposing forces in nature, eg. entropy and order in evolutionary biology.


What is the evolutionary modern scientific model?

Everything is part of a continuing process; all is material including spirit.


What is meme theory?

The idea that religion is a unit of information that we pass on. We are colonised by our memes, so the idea we are in control is an illusion. This includes our entire mental world, so undermines the objectivity of the truth.


What is one key issue with Christian teachings on creation?

Tension between transcendence and immanence.


What are Migliore's 5 models of creation?

1. Generation.
2. Fabrication or formation.
3. Emanation.
4. Body of God.
5. Artistic expression/ play.


What did Kung say about Christian teaching on creation?

Christianity rejected neo-Plantonist dualism (ie. matter= evil) .
God radically committed to the world- Christology.
World is not God's emanation.
Model of the world as God's play.


Explain dualism and Christianity.

God is efficient cause but not material cause.
Traditional models- duality/ separation of God and the universe.
Monarchical model- God governs the world (criticisms).
Thomist- balance between immanence and transcendence.
Western- fall causes separation from God.
Rejected pantheism.


Explain qualified dualism and Christianity.

Kung- rejected neo-Platonist dualism.
God is radically committed to creation- since God is the origin, there is no evil counter force.
Dialogical model- God speaks and people respond.


Explain monism (aka pantheism) and Christianity.

Christianity rejected pantheism.


What is the process model?

Related to monism/ pantheism. God is a creative ppt in the cosmos, uses evolutionary imagery.


Explain panentheism and Christianity (ecological and feminist models).

God is one of many influences.
Humanity created holistically, integration, not domination.
Gaia hypothesis- the world is a living being which sustains life.
McFague- world is the body of God, interconnection.


How could the Hindu idea of avatars relate to ideas in Christianity?

Jesus as an incarnation of God, immanent in the earth.


How could Hindu creation stories differ from Christian ones?

Hinduism= Brahman born from the Golden Egg/ Purusha Sukta hymn, Vedic hymn of creation.
Christianity= creation stories, eg. Genesis.


How do the Hindu ideas of rta and dharma contrast with Christian ideas about the universe?

We have free will, as opposed to rta/ dharma maintaining the universe. Also ideas of stewardship/ dominion as our duty.


How do Hindu ideas of God pervading all contrast with Christian ideas about God?

Christianity- God is efficient cause but not material cause, more separation between God and humanity.