At least since the seventeenth century, the traditional God of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam has been under pressure to conform to the scientific worldview. Across the monotheistic traditions there has emerged a "liberal" conception of God compatible with a thoroughgoing naturalism. For many, this liberal "new" God is the only credible God. But is it a useful God? Does belief in so malleable a deity come from, or lead to, different political, moral, psychological, or aesthetic phenomena from atheism?
A Plausible God evaluates the new God by analyzing the theology of three recent Jewish thinkers -Mordechai Kaplan, Michael Lerner, and Arthur Green-and compares faith in the new God to disbelief in any gods. Mitchell Silver reveals what is at stake in the choice between naturalistic liberal theology and a nontheistic naturalism without gods. Silver poses the question: "If it is to be either the new God or no God, what does-what should-determine the choice?"
Although Jewish thinkers are used as the primary exemplars of new God theology, Silver explores developments in contemporary Christian thought, Eastern religious traditions, and "New Age" religion. A Plausible God constitutes a significant contribution to current discussions of the relationship between science and religion, as well as to discussions regarding the meaning of the idea of God itself in modern life.