At least since the seventeenth century, the traditional God of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam has been under pressure to conform to the scientific worldview. Across the monotheistic traditions there has emerged a “liberal” conception of God compatible with a thoroughgoing naturalism. For many, this liberal “new” God is the only credible God. But is it a useful God? Does belief in so malleable a deity come from, or lead to, different political, moral, psychological, or aesthetic phenomena from atheism?
A Plausible God evaluates the new God by analyzing the theology of three recent Jewish thinkers —Mordechai Kaplan, Michael Lerner, and Arthur Green—and compares faith in the new God to disbelief in any gods. Mitchell Silver reveals what is at stake in the choice between naturalistic liberal theology and a nontheistic naturalism without gods. Silver poses the question: “If it is to be either the new God or no God, what does—what should—determine the choice?”
Although Jewish thinkers are used as the primary exemplars of new God theology, Silver explores developments in contemporary Christian thought, Eastern religious traditions, and “New Age” religion. A Plausible God constitutes a significant contribution to current discussions of the relationship between science and religion, as well as to discussions regarding the meaning of the idea of God itself in modern life.