podcast 164 – On Counting Gods

December 19, 2016

The terms “atheism,” “monotheism,” and “polytheism” seem straightforward enough, but in fact there is unclarity in how a lot of scholars think and write about these, due to the ambiguity of the term “theism.”

In this talk at Boston College in December of 2016, based on my recently published paper “On Counting Gods,” I distinguish these concepts: deity, God, The Ultimate, and show how they are logically related to one another.

The result is, I claim, a better scheme for classifying religious worldviews, shown in two of the charts below. I explain briefly here how I think this scheme helps in thinking about views about deities etc. in Christiany, Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism, and my interlocutors ask how this relates to Christ and to various Trinity theories.

Thanks to Dr. Daniel McKaughan of Boston College and his graduate students for a stimulating discussion! The link to the full paper is just below.

Links for this episode:

Dale Tuggy is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he teaches courses in analytic theology, philosophy of religion, religious studies, and the history of philosophy.

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