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The Spirituality of Size: The Religious Qualities of Pantheistic God Metaphors

The Spirituality of Size: The Religious Qualities of Pantheistic God Metaphors The Spirituality of Size: The Religious Qualities of Pantheistic God Metaphors Demian Wheeler aniel Ott and I are reenacting and extending a debate that took place in the early 1980s between the third-generation Chicago schoolers DBernard Loomer and Bernard Meland. Their quarrel concerned the “size” of God and the accompanying question of divine ambiguity. After a brief examination of the Loomer-Meland debate, this article explores and commends the religious qualities of pantheistic God metaphors—what I will call “the spirituality of size.” Clearly, then, I tend to side with Loomer in “the battle of the Bernards.” Be that as it may, I end up holding out for a polytheistic pantheism that effectively merges a Loomerian aesthetics with a Melandian axiology, a pantheist metaphysics of ultimacy with a pluralist ontology of divinity. I. The Battle of the Bernards: The Question of Divine Ambiguity Like Ott and myself, Meland and Loomer repudiated agential and panentheistic models of God, identifying instead as religious naturalists, naturalistic theists, and empirical process theologians. They grasped that if the natural realm is all there is, then “God” or “the sacred” must be coincidental with or included 1. The debate reached a crescendo at Purdue University in 1982 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Journal of Theology & Philosophy University of Illinois Press

The Spirituality of Size: The Religious Qualities of Pantheistic God Metaphors

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
ISSN
2156-4795

Abstract

The Spirituality of Size: The Religious Qualities of Pantheistic God Metaphors Demian Wheeler aniel Ott and I are reenacting and extending a debate that took place in the early 1980s between the third-generation Chicago schoolers DBernard Loomer and Bernard Meland. Their quarrel concerned the “size” of God and the accompanying question of divine ambiguity. After a brief examination of the Loomer-Meland debate, this article explores and commends the religious qualities of pantheistic God metaphors—what I will call “the spirituality of size.” Clearly, then, I tend to side with Loomer in “the battle of the Bernards.” Be that as it may, I end up holding out for a polytheistic pantheism that effectively merges a Loomerian aesthetics with a Melandian axiology, a pantheist metaphysics of ultimacy with a pluralist ontology of divinity. I. The Battle of the Bernards: The Question of Divine Ambiguity Like Ott and myself, Meland and Loomer repudiated agential and panentheistic models of God, identifying instead as religious naturalists, naturalistic theists, and empirical process theologians. They grasped that if the natural realm is all there is, then “God” or “the sacred” must be coincidental with or included 1. The debate reached a crescendo at Purdue University in 1982

Journal

American Journal of Theology & PhilosophyUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Sep 16, 2021

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