After a review of the origin and development of the doctrine of creation out of nothing, this lecture will examine the following questions:
A) Is there a genuine difference between creation and (Neoplatonic) emanation?
B) What does the doctrine of creation out of nothing imply about the ontological status of matter?
C) Does the doctrine of creation out of nothing mitigate or intensify the problem of evil?
Mark Edwards holds BA degrees in Classics and Theology from the University of Oxford, together with a Doctorate in Classics. Since 1993 he has been Tutor in Theology at Christ Church, Oxford, and University lecturer in Patristics at the University of Oxford. He now holds the title of Professor of early Christian Studies. He has published widely on early Christian thought and late antique philosophy, and his books include Neoplatonic Saints (2000), Origen against Plato (2002), Culture and Philosophy in the Age of Plotinus (2006), Catholicity and Heresy in the Early Church (2009), Image, Word and God in the Early Christian Centuries (2012) and Religions of the Constantinian Empire (2015).