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In Our Own ImageAnthropomorphism, Apophaticism, and Ultimacy$
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Wesley J. Wildman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198815990

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198815990.001.0001

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Ground-of-Being Models of Ultimate Reality

Ground-of-Being Models of Ultimate Reality

(p.185) 5 Ground-of-Being Models of Ultimate Reality
In Our Own Image

Wesley J. Wildman

Oxford University Press

Ground-of-being models regard ultimate reality as holy or sacred (unlike subordinate-deity models) and reject the idea that ultimate reality is an aware, agential being (unlike agential-being models). Ground-of-being models are radically anti-anthropomorphic, resisting the Intentionality Attribution, Narrative Comprehensibility, and Rational Practicality dimensions of anthropomorphism simultaneously. They are strongly amenable to the scientific study of religion and to apophatic metaphysical frameworks, within which ultimate reality surpasses the complete cognitive grasp of any possible creature. They offer a compelling and natural solution to the problem of religious diversity. They are and have always been relatively less popular than agential-being and subordinate-deity ultimacy models but it is not impossible to imagine a civilizational transformation after which ground-of-being models would become the dominant religious outlook. Variations, strengths, and weaknesses of the ground-of-being class of ultimacy models are discussed.

Keywords:   Ultimate Reality, Anthropomorphism, Ground-of-Being Theism, Naturalism, Iconoclasm

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