Why a world at all? | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 47, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2542-6583
  • E-ISSN: 2590-3268



The author examines five ways of approaching the issue, beginning with rejection of the legitimacy of the question as in the writings of Schleiermacher and Barth. Neither is found persuasive, the latter because of more recent biblical studies. Next, an answer in terms of divine will is examined, and here it is argued that Calvin and Descartes generate more serious problems than they realised (by continuing the later medieval tradition of substituting will for intellect in their analysis of the divine nature). A third option of postulating a specific need in God, as with Sölle and (to a lesser degree) Moltmann, is also rejected before two positive approaches are canvassed, that it is integral to the meaning of goodness to share or, as Balthasar prefers to express it, for Beauty to ‘overflow’ into a world of beauty.


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