Pantheism and Saving God

Sophia 55 (3):347-355 (2016)
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In this paper, I examine Mark Johnston’s panentheistic account of the metaphysics of the divine developed in his recent book, Saving God: Religion After Idolatry. On Johnston’s account, God is the ‘Highest One’ and is identified with ‘the outpouring of Being by way of its exemplification in ordinary existents for the sake of the self-disclosure of Being’. Johnston eschews supernaturalism and takes his position to be consistent with what he calls ‘legitimate naturalism’ which he takes to be some version of ontological naturalism. But, as I will argue in what follows, Johnston’s legitimate naturalism is not clearly ontological naturalism. In what follows, given the other general features of his account, I argue that if we assume ontological naturalism, we should prefer a pantheistic conception of God over a panentheistic conception of God such as the one Johnston proffers. I take it that we can preserve everything Johnston wants in his account of divinity if we accept pantheism; but, if we wish to purge our conception of God of any supernaturalism, we should accept pantheism.



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Andrei Buckareff
Marist College

Citations of this work

Unity, ontology, and the divine mind.Andrei A. Buckareff - 2019 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 85 (3):319-333.
12 God and/as the Universe.István Aranyosi - 2024 - In Mirosław Szatkowski (ed.), Ontology of Divinity. De Gruyter. pp. 269-290.

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References found in this work

The Universe as We Find It.John Heil - 2012 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Constitution is not identity.Mark Johnston - 1992 - Mind 101 (401):89-106.
Constitution Is Not Identity.Mark Johnston - 1992 - In Michael C. Rea (ed.), Material Constitution. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 44-62.
Prolegomena to a philosophy of religion.J. L. Schellenberg - 2005 - Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.
Spinoza.Don Garrett - 1991 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51 (4):952-955.

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