Classical theism refers to the form of theism in which God is characterized as the absolutely metaphysically ultimate being, in contrast to other conceptions such as Pantheism, Panentheism, Polytheism, and Process Theism.
Whereas most theists agree that God is, at a minimum, all-knowing, all-powerful, and completely good, classical theists go farther and conceive of God as the ultimate reality, with a broad set of attributes including transcendence (total independence from all else), simplicity (being without parts), and incorporeality. Some classical theists go so far as to include the attributes of immutability, impassibility, and timelessness.
Classical theism is, historically, the mainstream view in philosophy and is associated with the tradition of writers like Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Augustine, St. Anselm, Maimonides, Averroes and Thomas Aquinas. In opposition to this tradition, there are, today, philosophers like Alvin Plantinga (who rejects divine simplicity), Richard Swinburne (who rejects divine timelessness) and William Lane Craig (who reject both divine simplicity and timelessness), who can be viewed as theistic personalists. Since classical theistic ideas are influenced by Greek philosophy and focus on God in the abstract and metaphysical sense, they can be difficult to reconcile with the "near, caring, and compassionate" view of God presented in the religious texts of the main monotheistic religions, particularly the Bible.
- Pojman and Rea, 2
- Craig, 98
- Pojman and Rae, 3; Jansen, 2
- Edward Craig, ed. (1998). "God, concepts of". Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Taylor & Francis.
- Henry Jansen (1995). Relationality and the concept of God. Rodopi.
- Louis Pojman; Michael Rea (2011). Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology. Cengage Learning.