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Verbum et Ecclesia

versão On-line ISSN 2074-7705
versão impressa ISSN 1609-9982


STOKER, Wessel. God in the everyday: The biblical God and the God of philosophers and artists. Verbum Eccles. (Online) [online]. 2015, vol.36, n.1, pp.1-7. ISSN 2074-7705.

Life in secular Western society is lived and experienced within an immanent framework, with no reference to God. For many there is no longer any self-evident connection between God and ordinary life - ordinary life here broadly conceived as painted or narrated in art and literature. Since the time of the church fathers, the Christian tradition has conceived of God not only as personal but also, with reference to Exodus 3:14, as being or being-itself. Heidegger criticised this as onto-theology. Is it not better to speak about God without being (J-L Marion)? This problem is discussed from the approach of the philosophy of religion and it is argued that it is possible to speak about God in terms of being. This article further explores how Paul Tillich and Richard Kearney connect God with everyday life by speaking of God in terms of being. Tillich's ontology is a-historical and classical insofar as he uses the concepts of participation and analogia entis. Kearney proposes ontology as onto-eschatological, dynamic, historical, and hermeneutical. This article thus shows that the biblical God is viewed as the God of the philosophers in terms of being-itself (Tillich) and the God who may be (Kearney). The biblical God is also the God of the artists in whose works of art a trace of the religious ultimate is visible in the sacramental power of sensory reality or in secular epiphanies.

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