The Kaläm Cosmological Argument, Vol 1 & 2

Philosophical Arguments for the Finitude of the Past

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Paul Copan, William Lane Craig
Bloomsbury Studies in Material in Philosophy of Religion
  • New York, NY: 
    Bloomsbury Academic
    , November
     700 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Benedikt Paul Göcke forthcoming.


Did the universe begin to exist? If so, did it have a cause? Or could it have come into existence uncaused, from nothing? These questions are taken up by the medieval-though recently-revived-kalam cosmological argument, which has arguably been the most discussed philosophical argument for God's existence in recent decades. The kalam's line of reasoning maintains that the series of past events cannot be infinite but rather is finite. Since the universe could not have come into being uncaused, there must be a transcendent cause of the universe's beginning, a conclusion supportive of theism.

This anthology on the philosophical arguments for the finitude of the past asks: Is an infinite series of past events metaphysically possible? Should actual infinites be restricted to theoretical mathematics, or can an actual infinite exist in the concrete world? These essays by kalam proponents and detractors engage in lively debate about the nature of infinity and its conundrums; about frequently-used kalam argument paradoxes of Tristram Shandy, the Grim Reaper, and Hilbert's Hotel; and about the infinity of the future.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Paul Copan is the Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University, USA. The author or editor of thirty books, including Creation Out of Nothing: A Biblical, Philosophical, and Scientific Exploration (with William Lane Craig, 2004), The Rationality of Theism (with with Paul K. Moser, 2003), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Religion (with Chad V. Meister; 2007; 2nd ed. 2012) and Philosophy of Religion: Classic and Contemporary Issues (with Chad V. Meister; 2007). He has contributed essays and written reviews for journals such as The Review of Metaphysics, Faith and Philosophy, Philosophia Christi, and Trinity Journal.

William Lane Craig is a Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology and at Houston Baptist University, USA. He has authored or edited over forty books, including Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology (1995), God, Time, and Eternity (2001), and God Over All (2016), as well as over 150 articles in journals such as The Journal of Philosophy, American Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophical Studies, Philosophy, and British Journal for Philosophy of Science.


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