Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Personal and non-personal worship

Joshua Cockayne

Abstract

Is it possible to worship a non-personal God? According to some, the answer is no: worship necessarily involves addressing the object of one’s worship. Since non-personal gods cannot acknowledge or respond to address, it must be conceptually inappropriate to worship such gods. I object to this argument on two fronts. First, I show that the concept of worship used is too narrow, excluding many cases that obviously count as instances of worship. And, secondly, drawing on recent work on the philosophy of object knowledge, I argue that addressing non-personal gods might not be as conceptually confused as it first appears. Thus, it at least possible to worship a non-personal God.

Keywords

Worship, Pantheism, Personal, Non-personal

Full Text:

PDF

References

Elkins, James. 1999. What Painting Is. New York, NY: Routledge.

Leftow, Brian. 2016. “Naturalistic Pantheism”. In Alternative Concepts of God: Essays on the Metaphysics of the Divine, edited by Andrei A. Buckareff and Yujin Nagasawa, 64–90. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Levine, Michael. 1994. Pantheism: A Non-Thesitic Concept of Deity. New York, NY: Routledge.

Panchuk, Michelle. 2018. “The Shattered Spiritual Self: A Philosophical Exploration of Religious Trauma”. Res Philosophica 95, no. 3: 505–30. doi:10.11612/resphil.1684.

Ryle, Gilbert. 1949. The Concept of Mind. Chicago, IL: Univ. of Chicago Press.

Smart, Ninian. 1972. The Concept of Worship. London: Macmillan Co.

Smith, James K. A. 2009. Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

Stump, Eleonore. 2010. Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Talbert, Bonnie M. 2015. “Knowing Other People: A Second-Person Framework”. Ratio 28, no. 2: 190–206. doi:10.1111/rati.12059.

The Episcopal Church. 1979. Book of Common Prayer of the American Episcopal Church. New York, NY: The Church Hymnal Corporation.

Underhill, Evelyn. 1936. Worship. New York, NY: Harper & Brothers.

Wolterstorff, Nicholas. 2015. The God We Worship: An Exploration of Liturgical Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

— . 2016. “Knowing God Liturgically”. Journal of Analytic Theology 4, no. 1: 1–16. doi:10.12978/jat.2016-4.130818221405b.

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.