The Question of God’s Perfection

The Question of God’s Perfection

Jewish and Christian Essays on the God of the Bible and Talmud

Series: Philosophy of Religion – World Religions, Volume: 8

Editors: Yoram Hazony and Dru Johnson

Philosophers have often described theism as the belief in the existence of a “perfect being”—a being that is said to possess all possible perfections, so that it is all-powerful, all-knowing, immutable, perfectly good, perfectly simple, and necessarily existent, among other qualities. But such a theology is difficult to reconcile with the God we find in the Bible and Talmud. The Question of God’s Perfection brings together leading scholars from the Jewish and Christian traditions to critically examine the theology of perfect being in light of the Hebrew Bible and classical rabbinic sources.

Table of Contents

Dru Johnson and Yoram Hazony, “Introduction”

Challenging God’s Perfection

  1. Yoram Hazony, “Is God ‘Perfect Being’?”
  2. Berel Dov Lerner, “Is God a Stander or a Walker?”
  3. James A. Diamond, “The Living God: On the Perfection of the Imperfect”

In Defense of God’s Perfection

  1. Eleonore Stump, “The Personal God of Classical Theism”
  2. Lenn Goodman, “Toward a More Perfect Idea of God”
  3. Brian Leftow, “Perfect Being Theology and the Bible”

Divine Morality

  1. Alan L. Mittleman, “Trusting God and Being Ourselves”
  2. Edward C. Halper, “Anger as a Divine Perfection”
  3. Alex Sztuden, “Omnipotence is No Perfection: Rabbinic Conceptions of God’s Power, Knowledge, and Pursuit of Justice”

Divine Attributes

  1. Randy Ramal, “On How Not to ‘Sublime’ God’s Perfection”
  2. Joshua I. Weinstein, “Unifying the Name of God”
  3. Heather C. Ohaneson, “Turning from the Perfection of God to the Wondrousness of God: Redirecting Philosophical-Theological Attention in order to Preserve Humility”