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Time and Eschatology

It's a party! on May 14th 2024, Ryan Mullins joins David Anzalone's seminar on the philosophy of time.

In his seminar on the Philosophy of Time, David Anzalone will be joined on 14th May 2024 by Ryan Mullins, who currently serves as Lecturer and Researcher at the Faculty of Theology and as Academic Master Coordinator of the online Master’s in Philosophy, Theology and Religions.

The two will chat about the philosophy of time and how it interacts with the philosophy of religion, particularly the afterlife and eschatology. 

Abrahamic faiths have a doctrine of resurrection. Indian philosophy often has a doctrine of reincarnation. What model of persistence and identity over time fits best with these doctrines? The abrahamic faiths provide a positive hope for the world. Evil will forever be defeated. There is an ontology of time called ‘eternalism’, according to which all moments of time, past, present and future, all equally exist. The future consummation of history exists, as well as the battle of Waterloo, together with history's most horrible events. If this theory of time is true, can we still believe that God will defeat evil? Evil seems to be very alive and well. It exists forever.

Among other things, Ryan is an expert on the doctrine of God. There is a very popular model of God called Open theism, which is usually understood as a revisionist model of God. The classical and traditional view of God holds that God is timeless, immutable and omniscient. God knows everything, including future free actions that humans will perform. Open theists deny that God knows future free actions. Free actions, they argue, are not the sort of things anyone can predict with infallible certainty, not even God. If Open theism is true, how can God fulfil his eschatological goals? These are the questions that Ryan and David will discuss with their students next Tuesday.

Together with Ben Page, Ryan and David have edited a special issue that covers some of these topics (available in open access).

Ryan Mullins is the host of The Reluctant Theologian Podcast, a podcast on God, time, and everything in between. David appeared as a guest in two episodes as well: 

Listen to Reconstructing Hell with David Anzalone

Listen to Divine Passibility and the Problem of Hell with David Anzalone