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Eternity of the world, medieval views of

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-B039-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved June 13, 2024, from

Article Summary

The problem of the eternity of the world was much debated in Western philosophy from the twelfth through the fourteenth centuries, but its history goes back as far as Philo of Alexandria and the Church Fathers. The principal topic of controversy was the possibility of a beginningless and yet created world. The arguments that fashioned the medieval discussion rested upon assumptions concerning the concepts of eternity and creation. In addition, the issue of eternity intertwined with discussions of the relationship of God to creation, with proofs of the existence of God, with the nature of the material universe and with the nature of infinity. Some of the most ingenious ideas in these debates were obtained from pagan Greek, Islamic and Jewish traditions.

Citing this article:
Thijssen, J.M.M.H.. Eternity of the world, medieval views of, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-B039-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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