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Naming God

Addressing the Divine in Philosophy, Theology and Scripture

Naming God

Addressing the Divine in Philosophy, Theology and Scripture

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Hardback

£30.00

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781108834469
Number of Pages: 256
Published: 20/07/2023
Width: 14.7 cm
Height: 22.2 cm
Generations of Christians, Janet Soskice demonstrates, once knew God and Christ by hundreds of remarkable names. These included the appellations 'Messiah', 'Emmanuel', 'Alpha', 'Omega', 'Eternal', 'All-Powerful', 'Lamb', 'Lion', 'Goat', 'One', 'Word', 'Serpent' and 'Bridegroom'. In her much-anticipated new book, Soskice argues that contemporary understandings of divinity could be transformed by a return to a venerable analogical tradition of divine naming. These ancient titles - drawn from scripture - were chanted and sung, crafted and invoked (in polyphony and plainsong) as they were woven into the worship of the faithful. However, during the sixteenth century Descartes moved from 'naming' to 'defining' God via a series of metaphysical attributes. This made God a thing among things: a being amongst beings. For the author, reclaiming divine naming is not only overdue. It can also re-energize the relationship between philosophy and religious tradition. This path-breaking book shows just how rich and revolutionary such reclamation might be.

Janet Soskice (University of Cambridge)

Janet Soskice is Professor Emeritus of Philosophical Theology in the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge. She is presently the William K. Warren Distinguished Research Professor of Catholic Theology at Duke Divinity School. Her books include Metaphor and Religious Language (OUP, 1984), which is a classic work of metaphorical theology, and also the best selling trade title Sisters of Sinai: How Two Lady Adventurers Found the Hidden Gospels (Chatto & Windus, 2009), which vividly recounts how the Ayrshire twins Agnes and Margaret Smith made in the Sinai desert one of the most important New Testament manuscript discoveries of the nineteenth century.

'Skilfully and insightfully written, this book draws on the inheritance of the author's classic text Metaphor and Religious Language while developing that inheritance in a great many interesting and engaging new directions.' Oliver Davies, King's College London 'Naming God offers a powerful critical perspective on some of the most basic historical and theoretical assumptions in modern philosophy of religion and philosophical theology, with significant implications - both methodologically and historically - for the subject as a whole. Impressively wide-ranging, Janet Soskice's important new book makes weighty contributions to several fields. The argument is insightful and the style provocative without being polemical. The author offers mature reflection while bringing a lightness of touch to new perspectives on the reception of the tradition.' Carmody Grey, Durham University 'Janet Soskice brings together a professional philosopher's analytical skills with those of an intellectual historian: both strictly in the service of a core theological preoccupation with how, and on what conditions, a theologian may name God. This is an essential book - wonderfully rich and challenging - and the author herself is one of the major philosophical figures of our time.' Denys Turner, Yale University

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