A Timeless God? A Critical Appraisal of John Swinton's Theology of Time and Memory
Issue: Vol 8 No. 1 (2020)
Journal: Health and Social Care Chaplaincy
Subject Areas: Healthcare Communication
In two recent publications the practical theologian John Swinton has given extensive attention to the concepts of time and memory. He considers in what way these have a bearing on how, in Western culture, we view and treat people with disabilities or other kinds of impairment. The authors of this article argue that despite the many pastoral merits of Swinton's thinking on these subjects, his theology of time and memory is unsatisfactory as far as his interpretation of the relevant terms is concerned. Especially his appeal to the doctrine of divine timelessness which is shown to be flawed and unnecessary for his overall argument. A rejoinder to this article is presented by John Swinton at https://doi.org/10.1558/hscc.40527 and also in the print issue (HSCC 8.1).
Author: Wilko van Holten, Martin Walton
Brümmer, V. (1981) Theology and Philosophical Enquiry. London: MacMillan Press. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-17387-7
-(1993) The Model of Love. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
-(2008) What Are We Doing When We Pray? Ashgate: Aldershot.
O'Callahgan, C. and J. Edwards (2018) "Music Therapy and Spiritual Care". In Spiritual Care for Allied Health Practice. A Person-centred Approach, ed. L. B. Carey and B. A. Mathisen, 162-82. London: Jessica Kinglsey Publishers. https://www.jkp.com/aus/spiritual-care-for-allied-health-practice.html
Childs, B. S. (1962) Memory and Tradition in Israel. Naperville, IL: Alec R. Allenson.
Clack, B. R. (1999) An Introduction of Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Religion. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Dekker, E. (1999) "You know when I sit down and when I rise up: The Omniscience of God". In Understanding the Attributes of God, ed. G. van den Brink and M. Sarot, 161-78. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
Fiddes, P. S. (1988) The Creative Suffering of God. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Fretheim, T.E. (1988) "The Repentance of God: A Key to Evaluating Old Testament God-Talk". Horizons in Biblical Theology 10(1): 47-70. https://doi.org/10.1163/187122088X00049
Ganssle, G. E. (2019) "God and Time". The Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy. https://www.iep.utm.edu/ (accessed 7 July 2019).
Graig, W. L. (2001) Time and Eternity: Exploring God's Relationship to Time. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.
Helm, P. (1988) Eternal God: A Study of God Without Time. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Lange, F. de, (2016) "Deterritorialising Dementia: A Review Essay of John Swinton's Dementia: Living in the Memories of God". Health and Social Care Chaplaincy 4(2): 168-79. https://doi.org/10.1558/hscc.v4i2.31325
Leftow, B. (1999) "Eternity". In A Companion to Philosophy of Religion, ed. Ph. L. Quinn and C. Talliaferro, 257-63. Oxford: Blackwell.
Pettazzioni, R. (1956) The All-Knowing God: Researches into Early Religion and Culture. London: Methuen.
Pike, N. (1970) God and Timelessness. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Sarot, M. (2010) "Omniscient and Eternal God". In Scholasticism Reformed. Studies in Theology and Religion, vol. 14, ed. M. Wisse, M. Sarot and W. Otten, 280-302. Leiden: Brill. https://doi.org/10.1163/ej.9789004183179.i-392.82
Stump, E., and N. Krezmann (1987) "Eternity". In The Concept of God, ed. T. V. Morris, 219-36. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Swinburne, R. (1993) The Coherence of Theism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/0198240708.001.0001
Swinton, J. (2000) From Bedlam to Shalom: Towards a Practical Theology of Human Nature, Interpersonal Relationships, and Mental Health Care. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
-(2012) Dementia. Living in the Memories of God. London: SCM Press.
-(2016) Becoming Friends of Time. Disability, Timefullness and Gentle Discipleship. London: SCM Press.
-(2020) "A Timeless God? A Rejoinder to van Holten and Walton". Health and Social Care Chaplaincy 8(1). https://journals.equinoxpub.com/HSCC/article/view/40527
Swinton, J., and H. Mowat (2016) Practical Theology and Qualitative Research, 2nd edn. London: SCM Press.
Wittgenstein, L. (1966) Lectures and Conversations on Aesthetics, Psychology and Religious Belief, ed. Cyril Barrett. Oxford: Oxford University Press.