Divine Immutability for Henotheists

Dirk Baltzly

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Discussions of divine immutability normally take place against the backdrop of a presupposition of monotheism. This background makes some problems seem especially salient—for instance, does the notion that God is immutable have any implications for God’s relation to time? In what follows, I’ll consider the problem of divine immutability in the context of henotheistic conceptions of god. I take henotheism to be the view that, although there are a plurality of gods, all of them are in some sense dependent upon and subordinate to one god that is the supreme first principle or archê. Henoetheism was the dominant approach to gods among the pagan philosophers of antiquity—with a few exceptions. I consider the development of henotheistic defences of divine immutability through a dialectical development from Xenophanes to Plato to Proclus (d. 485 CE).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-143
Number of pages15
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


  • Ancient philosophy
  • Divine attributes
  • Henotheism
  • Platonism

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