Portraits of God

Word Pictures of the Deity from the Earliest Times Through Today

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About the Book

“God is love”—1 John 4:8
Portraits of God painted with words have ranged from prehistoric conceptions of the Earth Mother to more elaborate sophisticated visions: God as craftsman, a multiple deity, an illusion, one’s highest self, the Omega point…. This book presents sixty-some selections, including many fascinating exchanges in the 16th–19th centuries that constitute the main body of modern Western philosophy, religious or otherwise.

About the Author(s)

The late Louis Baldwin worked as a technical writer for a scientific and engineering laboratory for twenty years before retiring to freelance writing. The author of several books, he lived in San Diego, California.

Bibliographic Details

Louis Baldwin

Format: softcover (5.5 x 8.5)
Pages: 192
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012 [1986]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6720-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8768-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword      ix

Sky Father, Earth Mother      1
High Gods      2
The Earliest Scriptures      4
Enlil & Co.      4
Marduk us. Ashur      5
The Durable Re      6
The Vedic Varuna      7
T’ien      7
The Olympian Zeus      8
Ahura Mazda      11
Brahman      14
The Buddha      18
The Tao      21
T’ien and Confucius      23
Yahweh      26
The Good Craftsman (Plato, 427?–347 B .C .)      31
The Ultimate Intellect (Aristotle, 384–22 B .C .)      34
Jesus      36
The Provident Intellect (Philo, 1st century B . C .–A. D .)      38
The Unknown God (Paul of Tarsus, 1st century A.D.)      41
The Governing Mind (Marcus Aurelius, 121–180)      44
The Graduated God (Origen, c. 185–254)      46
The Radiant One (Plotinus, 205?–207)      49
The Provident Trinity (Augustine, 345–430)      51
Allah (Mohammed, 570–632)      54
The Universal Self (Sankara, fl. 900?)      57
The Highest Self (Ramanuja, fl. 1100?)      59
The Greatest Conceivable (Anselm, 1033–1109)      61
The Three–Ply Enigma (Abelard, 1079–1142)      63
The Unrelated Father (Maimonides, 1135–1204)      66
The Reasonable Mystery (Aquinas, 1225–74)      68
The Christian Brahman (Johannes Eckhart, c. 1270–1327)      72
The Reconciling One (Nicholas of Cusa, 1401–64)      74
The Mighty Fortress (Martin Luther, 1483–1546)      76
The Perfect Necessity (Rene Descartes, 1596–1650)      79
The Divine All (Baruch Spinoza, 1632–77)      81
The Supreme Monad (Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, 1646–1716)      84
The Perceiving Spirit (George Berkeley, 1685–1753)      87
The Vague Conjecture (David Hume, 1711–76)      90
The Categorical Imperator (Immanuel Kant, 1724–1804)      94
The Absolute Spirit (G. W. F. Hegel, 1770–1831)      97
The Focus of Dependence (Friedrich Schleiermacher, 1768–1834)      99
The Personal Absolute (Friedrich von Schelling, 1775–1854)      101
The Redeeming Teacher (Sdren Kierkegaard, 1813–55)      103
The Blind Impulse (Arthur Schopenhauer, 1788–1860)      105
The Projected Self–Image (Ludwig Feuerbach, 1804–72)      107
The Inadequate Good (‘John Stuart Mill, 1806–73)      109
The Pervasive Consciousness (Gustav Fechner, 1801–87)      111
The Dead Illusion (Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844–1900)      114
The Limited Hypothesis (William James, 1842–1910)      117
The Analogous Mind (Charles Sanders Peirce, 1839–1914)      120
The Eternal Insight (Josiah Royce, 1855–1916)      123
The Molder of Chaos (Christian von Ehrenfels, 1859–1932)      125
The Space–Time Condominium (Samuel Alexander, 1859–1938)      128
The Father Fantastic (Sigmund Freud, 1856–1939)      130
The Dipolar Superentity (Alfred North Whitehead, 1861–1947)      133
The Tragic Actor (Nikolai Berdyaev, 1874–1948)      136
The Ideal Incentive (John Dewey, 1859–1952)      139
The Omega Point (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, 1881–1955)      142
The Encompassing Thou (Martin Buber, 1878–1965)      144
The Crucial Dilemma (Albert Schweitzer, 1875–1965)      146
The Even Higher Above (Paul Tillich, 1886–1965)      149
The Fortress Revisited (Karl Barth, 1886–1968)      152
The Lately Departed (Paul M. Van Buren et al., 1960’s)      154
The Multiple Unity (Alan Watts, 1915–73)      156
The Relative Absolute (Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, 1888–1975)      159
The God of Democracy (Paul Weiss, 1901– )      161

Afterword      165
Bibliography      175
Index      179

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “The strengths of the book include a readable style and a simplification of complex issues”—Choice
  • “If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated”—Voltaire