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Stump, Eleonore & Kretzmann, Norman, , . Eternity
1981, The Journal of Philosophy 78(8): 429-458.
Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by:

Introduction: The concept of eternity makes a significant difference in the consideration of a variety of issues in the philosophy of religion, including, for instance, the apparent incompatibility of divine omniscience with human freedom, of divine immutability with the efficacy of petitionary prayer, and of divine omniscience with divine immutability; but, because it has been misunderstood or cursorily dismissed as incoherent, it has not received the attention it deserves from contemporary philosophers of religion.’ In this paper we expound the concept as it is presented by Boethius (whose definition of eternity was the locus classicus for medieval discussions of the concept), analyze implications of the concept, examine reasons for considering it incoherent, and sample the results of bringing it to bear on issues in the philosophy of religion.

Comment: A key paper in philosophy of religion, and arguably the most influential paper in the debate over God's relation to time. Would be a great one to discuss at Masters level if looking at metaphysics and philosophy of religion - especially because many are keen at first to dismiss the idea that God is 'outside' of time - and this paper provides a strong case to the contrary.

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