Friday, 4 November 2011

Work for 7th and 8th November

Now we leave 'Evil' and move onto Miracles:

Whilst I'm away you need to draw a table like this and fill it in using your own research:
(Any problems, please do send me an email)



Explanation of concept (what do the words in column one mean?)

Example from Bible or elsewhere

Difficulties with this concept

action of God, or an invisible (metaphysical / exterior) agent

That transgresses laws of nature

And has some religious meaning or significance.

Hume says miracles have NO religious significance - Why? (put at least four reasons here)

You need to get quite a bit of detail into each empty box - do your best

There's some good material on Hume here.
There's a definition of ' miracle' here.

This is useful, but you don't need all of it.

The material below might help with the 'difficulties' column:

Brian Davies in ‘Thinking About God’ (1985) believes that a wider definition of miracle is now common. He argues that miracles are “unexpected and fortuitous evens in the light of which we are disposed to give thanks to God”. The word ‘fortuitous’ leaves open the possibility that the event is normal, but is perceived as showing the hand of God. One of the miracle windows in Canterbury Cathedral illustrates such an event. A man is buried alive in a tunnel and his workmates go for help. In the meantime, his distant cries are heard by a passing traveller and he is saved. In the background, a hand can be seen as emerging from a cloud, indicating that the event was a miracle.

Holland – coincidences that do not break natural laws but have religious significance can sometimes be referred to as a miracle: “A coincidence can be taken religiously as a sign and called a miracle”. Holland’s Example: Boy and express train.

The view of miracles as events seen as bearing the hand of God has been popularised by John Hick. He believes that many of the Old Testament miracles, such as the plagues of Egypt and the crossing of the Red Sea, were probably natural occurrences which happened so fortuitously that they were seen as miracles from God

Process Theologians - They see God’s action permanently immanent in the world. This makes the idea of God’ intervention from the outside untenable.

Donald Neil (1984) finds it significant that all Biblical miracles, especially those of Jesus, involved the mediation or action of a human being. This shows that God’s action in the world is not an intrusion from the outside, but is done through human agency from within.

Rudolf Bultmann argues that in the scientific age it is no longer possible to believe in “direct Divine intrusion into the field of human events”,

This view is shared by John Habgood in an article called “God’s action in the world” (1991). He believes that the action of God in the world normally takes place through the agency of other people. The old view, he believes tends to raise moral questions about God’s wisdom and justice. If God were to intervene directly, it would raise questions about the inadequacy of His creation and more importantly, raise questions about why God should intervene here and not there (e.g. why should He not ward off a natural disaster or an evil such as the holocaust?).

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