Creatio ex nihilo is a foundational doctrine in the Abrahamic faiths. It states that God created the world freely out of nothing - from no pre-existent matter, space or time. This teaching is central to classical accounts of divine action, free will, grace, theodicy, religious language, intercessory prayer and questions of divine temporality and, as such, the foundation of a scriptural God but also the transcendent Creator of all that is. This edited collection explores how we might now recover a place for this doctrine, and, with it, a consistent defence of the God of Abraham in philosophical, scientific and theological terms. The contributions span the religious traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and cover a wide range of sources, including historical, philosophical, scientific and theological. As such, the book develops these perspectives to reveal the relevance of this idea within the modern world.
David Burrell is Professor of Ethics and Development at Uganda Martyrs University. His previous publications include Faith and Freedom (2005), Friendship and Ways to Truth (2000) and Deconstructing Theodicy (2008). Carlo Cogliati is Spalding Fellow in Comparative Religion at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge. His research interests include modal theistic arguments in the three Abrahamic traditions, the theological significance of the notion of infinity, and analogy in theology and science. Janet Soskice is Professor of Philosophical Theology at the University of Cambridge. She is the author of Metaphor and Religious Language (1984), The Kindness of God (2008) and Sisters of Sinai (2009). William R. Stoeger is Staff Astrophysicist in the Vatican Observatory Research Group at the University of Arizona. He specializes in theoretical cosmology, gravitational physics, and interdisciplinary studies bridging the natural sciences, philosophy and theology.
List of contributors; Preface David D. Burrell and Janet M. Soskice; Introduction Carlo Cogliati; 1. Creation ex nihilo: early history Ernan McMullin; 2. Creatio ex nihilo: its Jewish and Christian foundations Janet M. Soskice; 3. The act of creation with its theological consequences David D. Burrell; 4. Scotistic metaphysics and creation ex nihilo Alexander Broadie; 5. Creation and the context of theology and science in Maimonides and Crescas Dan Davies; 6. Creation: Avicenna's metaphysical account Rahim Acar; 7. Four conceptions of creatio ex nihilo and the compatibility question Pirooz Fatoorchi; 8. Will, necessity, and creation as monistic theophany in the Islamic philosophical tradition Ibrahim Kalim; 9. Trinity, motion and creation ex nihilo Simon Oliver; 10. The big bang, quantum cosmology and creatio ex nihilo William R. Stoeger; 11. What is written into creation? Simon Conway Morris; 12. Creatio ex nihilo and dual causality James R. Pambrun; 13. God and creatures acting: the idea of double agency Thomas F. Tracy; 14. Thomas Aquinas on knowing and coming to know: the Beatific vision and learning from contingency Eugene F. Rogers.