Re: Summary: Something from Nothing (longish)

From: Stephen C Carlson (
Date: Wed Feb 21 1996 - 13:05:43 EST

Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>Finally, I had a brief discussion on this question yesterday with my
>colleague Patout Burns, a patristic and Augustine scholar; he said that the
>doctrine of CREATIO EX NIHILO did not emerge before the patristic period
>and that it originated not out of the theological question of monotheism
>but out of the need to solve the problem of evil without postulating a
>cause external to God. I'm not familiar with that literature, but perhaps
>this question can be put to other lists as well: Elenchus and Ioudaios-L,
>for instance.

I can dig up the references if anyone would like, but the Greek physician
Galen (late second century) criticized the creation EX NIHILO doctine of
the "followers of Moses" (i.e., both Jews and Christians). So maybe that
helps to narrow down when the doctrine emerged (i.e., it is not a modern

Stephen Carlson

Stephen C. Carlson, George Mason University School of Law, Patent Track, 4LE              : Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs     : chant the words.  -- Shujing 2.35

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