William E. Carroll
Maimonides remarked that a fundamental tenet held by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam is that God is the Creator of all that is. In the Middle Ages, scholars in all three religious traditions sought to articulate what it means for God to create, and to do this in the context of scientific and philosophical traditions, notably Aristotelian and Neoplatonic, that they inherited. One feature of that heritage which attracted special interest was the view that the world is eternal. Is a world created and eternal an oxymoron? Ancient science uniformly affirmed that all change requires some thing that undergoes change; that from nothing, nothing comes. Does this principle of the natural sciences call into question the view that the world is created ‘out-of -nothing’?