The hiddenness of God

Research output: Book/ReportBook

57 Citations (Scopus)


This book is about the hiddenness of God, and the problems it raises for belief and trust in God. Talk of divine hiddenness evokes a variety of phenomena—the relative paucity and ambiguity of the available evidence for God’s existence, the elusiveness of God’s comforting presence when we are afraid and in pain, the palpable and devastating experience of divine absence and abandonment, and more. Many of these phenomena are hard to reconcile with the idea, central to the Jewish and Christian scriptures, that God is deeply lovingly concerned with the lives and emotional and spiritual well-being of human creatures; and the philosophical problem of divine hiddenness ranks alongside the problem of evil as one of the two most important and widely discussed reasons for disbelieving in God. The central argument of the book is that the hiddenness problem, construed as an argument against the existence of God, rests on unwarranted assumptions and expectations about God’s love and goodness. In challenging those assumptions, however, the book also raises the question of why we should accept traditional positive characterizations of God’s love (God as perfect heavenly parent, for example) rather than the negative ones suggested by the phenomena of divine hiddenness (God as absent or neglectful parent, for example). The final four chapters aim to address this problem through discussion of God’s widespread experiential availability, God’s loving authorization of lament and protest, and the surprising ease of seeking and participating in a relationship with God.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages198
ISBN (Electronic)9780191865015
ISBN (Print)9780198826019
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2018


  • Divine hiddenness
  • God
  • Religious experience
  • Lament
  • Protest
  • Love
  • Goodness
  • Transcendence
  • Schellenberg
  • Theism


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