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God and BeingAn Enquiry$
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George Pattison

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199588688

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588688.001.0001

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Being, Salvation, and the Knowledge of God

Being, Salvation, and the Knowledge of God

(p.17) 1 Being, Salvation, and the Knowledge of God
God and Being

George Pattison (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

In surveying the identification of God and Being in the Western theological tradition particular emphasis is placed on the use of Exodus 3 and the self-naming of God as ‘I am who I am’. The soteriological force of ontological language is explored with particular reference to Augustine and his vision of life in time as falling away from true Being into nothingness and death. In this perspective only the God who is who He is in unchanging self-sameness can save. A modern reworking of this theme can be seen in, e.g., the theology of Paul Tillich. But can the God who is Being Itself be known in any meaningful sense? The problems of the Thomist answer to this question are explored with reference both to apophatic theology and Gilson's oaccount of the relationship between the known essence and the existent being.

Keywords:   God, Being, salvation, soteriology, creation, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Tillich

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