Problems of Reference and Analogy

Part of the Library of Philosophy and Religion book series


Ideally I would include at this point a further defence of the concept of deity which has emerged, to the effect that its degree of coherence and intelligibility is such as to shield it from the criticism that theism is factually meaningless, that ‘God exists’ makes no significant truth-claim, being neither true nor false but nonsensical. However, I have argued elsewhere that it is possible to make a reasonably adequate reference to a transcendent God as logical subject, and must here refer the reader to that source.’ There too I presuppose that divine transcendence may be hospitable to temporality. Certainly the inclusion of temporality and change in the concept of God facilitates, and may even save the possibility of, an intelligible individuating description of him.


Traditional Theory Personal Model Logical Subject Adequate Reference Divine Attribute 
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  1. 1.
    J. Shepherd, ‘Referring to God’,Religious Studiesx (Mar 1974) 67–80.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    N. Smart, The Philosophy of Religion ( New York: Random House, 1970 ) p. 66.Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    See I. T. Ramsey, Religious Language (London: S.C.M. Press, 1957) chap. 2.Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    I. T. Ramsey, ‘On Understanding Mystery’, in J. H. Gill (ed.),Philosophy and Religion(Minneapolis: Burgess, 1968) p. 301.Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    I. T. Ramsey, Christian Discourse: Some Logical Explorations (London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1965) p. 89.Google Scholar
  6. 9.
    I. T. Ramsey, ‘A Personal God’, in F. G. Healey (ed.), Prospect for Theology (Welwyn: Nisbet, 1966) p. 70.Google Scholar
  7. 10.
    H. P. Owen, ‘The Philosophical Theology of I. T. Ramsey’, Theology (1970) 126; cf. Ramsey.Google Scholar

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© John J. Shepherd 1975

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