University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

Anthropomorphism and the evils of realism

Smith, Simon (2012) Anthropomorphism and the evils of realism Appraisal, 9 (2). pp. 23-33.

Full text not available from this repository.


This paper argues that the problem of evil marks out a fundamental conflict between the abstract speculations of philosophical theology and the concrete demands of lived faith. Religious responses to evil and suffering do two philosophically important things: (1) they remind us of the cosmological framework needed to make sense of the language affirmative of God, and so they resist the demand for logical and ontological isolation characteristic of much theological speculation; (2) they are theologically and psychologically at odds with those who mistake analogy for literal description. Taken literally, talk about God, borrowed from our experience of personal relations, the world is transformed from natural reality into human artefact. Creation is reconstructed for our benefit: by an infinite Person for finite ones. Such realist literalism falsifies our experience of the world, so undermines the grounds of any inference to God, while simultaneously reducing God to a psychological projection.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Library and Learning Support
Authors :
Date : 2012
Copyright Disclaimer : © The Author(s) 2012
Depositing User : Jane Hindle
Date Deposited : 27 Jul 2017 09:20
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 18:54

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800