The Theology of Hiddenness: J. L. Schellenberg, Divine Hiddenness, and the Role of Theology

Keywords: divine hiddenness, hiddenness argument, incarnation, church, original sin, accommodation strategy


The paper explores Pascal’s idea according to which the teachings of the Church assume the hiddenness of God, and, hence, there is nothing surprising in the fact of the occurrence of nonresistant nonbelief. In order to show it the paper invokes the doctrines of the Incarnation, the Church as the Body of Christ, and the Original Sin. The first one indicates that there could be greater than nonbelief obstacle in forming interpersonal bonds with God, namely the ontological chasm between him and human persons. The assumption of the human nature by the Son of God could be seen as a cure for this problem. The doctrine of the Church shows it as an end in itself, and in order for the Church to have meaning and to exist there has to be nonbelief in the world. Finally, the dogma of the Original Sin shows that there is no category of purely nonresistant nonbelief. The paper also addresses Schellenberg’s “accommodationist strategy” from the perspective of the Christian theology and in the last part it investigates what should be the influence of the fact of the hiddenness on theology’s take on the divine revelation.


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