Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 08 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

There is a traditional theistic doctrine, known as the doctrine of divine simplicity, according to which God is an absolutely simple being, completely devoid of any metaphysical complexity. Although divine simplicity was once regarded as an essential part of philosophical theology, having been upheld for over a millennium by a veritable army of philosophical theologians – not only Christian, but also Jewish and Islamic – the doctrine has, in more recent history, fallen on hard times. Philosophers and theologians now seldom speak of divine simplicity, and when they do, their remarks are almost always critical. This article takes the first steps necessary for restoring the doctrine of divine simplicity to its former glory, arguing that its widespread rejection in contemporary philosophy and theology is certainly premature, perhaps ultimately unwarranted. There can be no question that this doctrine comes with substantial and controversial commitments in metaphysics. But in each case, these commitments are perfectly respectable, having been ably defended and taken very seriously on independent grounds in the contemporary literature.

Keywords: divine simplicity, God, Christianity, philosophical theology

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.